Barnes & Noble challenges Apple, Amazon with Android-powered Nook Color

barnes noble challenges apple amazon with android powered nook color 1

As predicted last week week, Barnes & Noble has brought color to the otherwise drab monochromatic world of e-books with the first color e-book reader in the U.S., the Nook Color. What the company calls “the ultimate reading experience” was unveiled at a grandiose event at the company’s Union Square bookstore in New York City.

barnes noble challenges apple amazon with android powered nook color 3The Nook Color eschews the standard E-Ink screen for a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 color LCD showing 16 million colors, and running a version of the Android smartphone OS. The Wi-Fi-only Nook Color includes 8GB of internal memory, enough to hold 6,000 books, plus a microsSD card slot for additional memory. It’ll go on sale on Nov. 19 for $249, but pre-orders are now being accepted.

B&N claims the Nook Color screen is covered by a proprietary lamination to maximize readability and minimize glare. In addition to books, the Nook Color also has a full Web browser, plays videos from within books and magazines, but is not Flash compatible. It weighs less than a pound, and is less than an inch thick.

Also included is Nook Friends, enabling “social reading” with access to Facebook, Twitter and Google for readers to discuss, share, recommend and borrow books, often with a single click. You’ll be able to copy and paste individual lines from books and post them with comments.

B&N claims it can get you a book in 12 seconds, and the battery lasts for eight hours of continual reading. This battery life compares unfavorably with both the iPad and the Kindle, perhaps Nook Color’s biggest drawback. The iPad gets 10 hours with a larger screen and even showing video, while the Kindle need not be recharged for weeks. The Nook Color becomes yet another device that needs to be plugged in every night, and will run out of reading juice on long international flights.

Conde Nast and Hearst are B&N’s primary magazine partners. Within a magazine, you can tap on an individual article to go full screen.

barnes noble challenges apple amazon with android powered nook color 2Extras also include Sudoku, chess and crossword puzzles, plus a digital music player Pandora, and B&N has invited developers to create reading-centric apps with a Nook developer program.

B&N claims it will offer more color content than any other e-reader platform, with access to two million books, as well as dozens of newspapers and magazines such as USA Today, US Weekly, Elle, and The NY Times, viewable in landscape or portrait.

The reader also caters to children with Nook Kids, which will offer hundreds of picture books with more coming soon, many with interactive animations, video and text-to-speech read back capability.

While it is unlikely Apple will be worried – the Nook is purely a read-only device – Amazon and its suddenly so-last-week, black-and-white Kindle may feel threatened. A few hours before the Barnes & Noble event, Amazon sent out a press release extolling Kindle sales.


Product Review

Honor schools other phone makers on design with the hole-punch View 20

The Honor View 20 is Honor’s best phone to date. Why? Just look at the punch hole screen, the striking design, and the exciting 48-megapixel camera for evidence. Here’s our review.
Computing

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.
Health & Fitness

Still tired? Smart sleep aids can help improve your snooze

Do you snore? Toss and turn? Alternate between extremely hot and extremely cold body temperatures at night? A deluge of smart sleep technology on the market aims to help you get a better night of shut-eye.
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Deals

Need a new tablet? The best iPad deals for January 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Deals

Save up to $950 with the best smartphone deals for January 2019

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $950.
Mobile

Photograph your meal with the Foodvisor app for caloric, nutritional estimates

Many of us understand the importance of a healthy diet, but counting calories and diving into nutritional data is a lot of work. The Foodvisor app for Android or iOS gives you a calorific and nutritional breakdown of your food from a photo.
Wearables

With weeklong battery life, the new Honor Watches are a real Dream to wear

Honor has unveiled the new Honor View 20, one of the best smartphones of the year. Alongside it, however, the company also took the wraps off of the new Honor Watch Magic and Honor Watch Dream.
Mobile

2019's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Mobile

Moschino glams up the 48-megapixel Honor View 20 at Paris launch

After its success with the View 10 in 2018, Honor has announced its sequel, the Honor View 20 with an entirely new type of display which has a hole-punch for the camera rather than a notch.
Mobile

Embrace your inner Dr. Frankenstein with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and this cool app

Ever wanted to make your favorite toy come alive? If so, and you have a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, then you need to grab the 3D Live Maker app and try out some augmented reality magic. Here's how to use it.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus photo leaks with dual front-facing camera

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Mobile

Xiaomi shows how its folding smartphone will look, and you’re going to love it

Xiaomi is the latest manufacturer to show off a folding smartphone prototype. The unnamed phone has a different design than others we've seen, adopting a double fold where the sides of the screen fold over the back of the device.