Barnes & Noble Gives E-Ink the Boot

Nook Color from Barnes & Noble

Definitely not an e-reader, and not quite a full-fledged tablet, the newly announced Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color ($250) blends an interesting mix of features that could change the current landscape of gadgets vying to replace your laptop, paperbacks, and magazines.

Powered by a custom version of Android, the 7-inch (tablet?) sports a “VividView” 1024 x 600 IPS touchscreen for clearly displaying over 2 million digital books — including interactive versions for the kiddos — plus many of your favorite glossies. To prevent pesky glare from sunlight and the backlight that typically plague LCD screens, a special “full lamination screen film” has been added too, potentially giving it a viewing edge over the iPad and most phones when submitted to the beach test. Naturally this screen requires far more power though compared to energy sipping e-ink, making the Nook Color’s battery life tap out at around 7 hours.

Size wise, the device measures .48-inches thick (just barely thinner than the iPad) and weighs a feathery 15.6 ounces. In terms of memory, the e-reader-gone-tablet ships with eight GB of space for carrying a sizable library with you at all times, which can be viewed in either portrait or landscape modes. Thanks to integrated WiFi, the Nook Color can also be used to check email, browse the web (sorry no Flash), listen to music via an included Pandora app or watch videos through the video player. Taken as a whole, the fact that it all sells for a reasonable $249 makes it pretty darn tempting for those on the fence between buying a Kindle or snagging one of the many tablets out there. Unfortunately, units won’t start shipping officially until November 19th, but you can reserve one in advance by pre-ordering from Barnes & Noble now at the link below.

Buy Now: $250