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Barnes & Noble to announce Nook Color, an Android e-reader

Barnes & Noble may introduce a new version of its Nook e-reader with a full color touchscreen display, powered by Google Android. CNET reports that the company will unveil the device on Oct. 26.

A tipster told the website that the device will be called the Nook Color, have a seven inch display, and sell for $249–a bold price. “It’s a big step ahead, instead of chasing Amazon,” said the anonymous person.

Adding fuel to the fire, Engadget reports that “nookcolor.com” was purchased by Barnes & Noble in March.

Though it’s running Android, the Nook Color won’t have all of the features of a full tablet like the iPad, but it will be half the price. Barnes & Noble will continue to sell its current Nooks for a reduced price, and upgrade the firmware to improve the response time and speed of the device.

Questions and speculation

The lingering question: will the device use the new color e-ink or will it opt for a lit LCD or OLED display like the iPad? E-ink has been praised for its readability and low power consumption, but its slow refresh rate makes web content and videos difficult to view and its lack of a backlight makes night reading a chore.

This new Color Nook, assuming it exists, will be a strong statement of independence by Barnes & Noble and stand out from Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad. The Nook will be available at Wal-mart beginning Oct. 24. In April, the company added games and a web browser to the device.

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