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Tuesday May 24, 2011 6:44 pm

Nook Simple Touch Reader unveiled, aims sights at Kindle

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Handhelds

nook simple touch reader

Today, Barnes & Noble unveiled their revamped Nook e-reader, which they are calling the Simple Touch Reader.

The $139 device is available for pre-order immediately and will be in stores on or around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples.

The Android-based, e-reader measures 5 x 6.5 inches and weighs less than 7.5 ounces, which is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook. During a New York launch event, B&N CEO William Lynch promised the "longest battery life of any e-reader," or up to two months on a single charge, and 80 percent less flashing on the 6-inch touch screen; the white-out that occurs when flipping pages. There is 50 percent less contrast than the first-edition Nook.

The device has built-in Wi-Fi and will feature 2GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB with microSDHC. It runs Android 2.1 and a 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor.

Barnes & Noble went after Amazon and its Kindle, arguing that the new Nook has fewer buttons, is easier to navigate, and an E Ink Pearl display that is 10 percent less bulky than the Kindle. Barnes & Noble also talked up the new Nook's soft, contoured back.

On the content side, Barnes & Noble will launch the myNook.com portal in the next few weeks. "Shop, share and connect with friends from any computer," the company said. That sharing includes linkups with Facebook, Twitter, and email, as well as LendMe and ePub support, via Nook Friends. There will not be apps like those found on the Nook Color; this device is about simplicity, Barnes & Noble said.

Existing Nooks, meanwhile, will get a price drop - the Wi-Fi Nook will be $119 instead of $149 and the 3G will be $169, down from $199. The company will phase out the older Nook.

Reports of a new Nook got started earlier this month after the company revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it would "make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device."

The last major Nook upgrade was the Nook Color, which started shipping in November. The Android-based device includes a 7-inch touch screen and access to more than 2 million titles, as well as an extra-wide viewing angle intended for sharing. The screen boasts 1,024-by-600 resolution and 169 pixels per inch. It comes with 8GB of storage, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card.

In late April, Barnes & Noble pushed out a major software update to the Nook Color, which included its own app store, an email client, the ability to play Flash video, and enhanced books. It also added support for Android 2.2 "Froyo" and Adobe Flash video.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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