The word is out - the new Barnes and Noble e-reader "nook" is hot and expected to take market share from Amazon's Kindle - but will it?
Clearly, the world's largest eBookstore provider, Barnes and Noble who unveiled their device today, see Kindle as the competition - a comparison between the devices appears on their website today.
nook is the first reader to come with built in WiFi - books can be downloaded from anywhere in the US at no additional cost using 3G mobile wireless connection. However, unlike Amazon's International Kindle, connection will not be free outside the States although users will still be able to download their books with the WiFi capability.
The plus side is that nook comes in at the same price as the Kindle at $259 but offers much more. It has two screens - the larger black and white e-Ink screen for reading books commonly used in these devices plus unlike the Kindle, a 3.5-inch color LCD touchscreen, more suitable for browsing and downloading jpeg images for personalised screensavers, as it has a faster refresh rate than the e-Ink screen.
It also has a built in dictionary, 2GB of internal storage, MP3 player and supports open formats such as EPUB. nook is a little thicker than the Kindle at 0.5 inch compared to 0.36 inch of the latter, and very slightly heavier than the Kindle.
nook customers will have access to over one million titles with the ability to store as many as 1,500 eBooks, newspapers, and magazines. With an added memory card, you can increase the number to 17,500. When downloaded you can make the text bigger, and easily bookmark, highlight, and make notes as you go.
However, the biggest draw is likely to be the ability to share books with other nook users, smartphones or computers for up to 14 days.
The recession hasn't helped companies like Barnes and Noble who have been affected by consumers who have cut back on spending on books and music. Their recently launched online bookstore along with nook will certainly help boost sales. The company signed an agreement earlier this year to provide ebooks to Plastic Logic's QUE reader announced yesterday.
nook arrives at Barnes and Noble stores in the US on November 30, but US customers can preorder it online now, or beginning Wednesday in any Barnes & Noble store.
For more read E-Paper Displays: Markets, Forecasts, Technologies 2010-2020.
Also attend Printed Electronics USA 2009.