It was only a week ago that we learned Barnes & Noble was preparing an Android-powered eReader and now the device is official. Nook was unveiled yesterday and is already available for pre-order at $259. B&N is pushing Nook as “The world’s most advanced eBook reader” and we tend to agree with them.
I went ahead and pre-ordered the device and here are 5 reasons why I think it could top Amazon’s Kindle.
1. Powered by Android
It is hard to tell from the online demos, but Nook is actually powered by Android. This opens up the possibility to future applications which could extend the functionality of the device. Barnes & Noble has said they are open to the possibility of releasing a SDK for developers if the community demands it (and we will).
“We haven’t announced anything regarding putting out an SDK or setting up a developer environment, but we do think Android offers some exciting opportunities in that way,” Lynch said this morning during a conference call with reporters. “We do think – just because of all the excitement and all the development around Android – we do think that putting out an SDK and a developer environment would be something exciting for us and our users.”
We also expect the Android community will quickly hack the device and contribute their own cool additions.
2. Dual screens
The Nook features a 6 inch e-ink display and a 3.5 inch color touchscreen LCD. The touchscreen is capacitive and allows users to navigate their eBooks library, purchase new content, read the news, access and other content. Kindle only features a single 6 inch e-ink display.
3. WiFi access
Unlike the Kindle, Nook includes WiFi access. This will allow the device to be connected anywhere in the world. Barnes & Noble also offers special content and promotions when users connect to the WiFi at any Barnes & Noble store. Users will be able to access full eBooks for free when in a Barnes & Noble store.
4. Lend books to friends
Purchase a great book and want to lend it to a friend? Users can share their eBooks with friends using one of the eReader clients. Books can only be lent to one user at a time and are automatically returned after 14 days.
5. More for less
The Nook is available for pre-order at only $259 which is cheaper than the latest generation Amazon Kindle for $279.99 $259. Customers who pay less for the Nook will have access to additional features like memory expansion via microSD slot, replaceable battery, native PDF support, and support for the open EPUB eBook format (PDF).
Still not sold? Watch the promo video.
For an in-depth comparison, check the official site (PDF).
Update 10/22: Kindle price was lowered to $259.99 after this was posted.