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Barnes & Noble starts shipping Nookcolor

Bookseller Barnes & Noble has announced that its has begun shipping its Nookcolor ereader ahead of schedule, with customers who pre-ordered units starting to receive them today. Barnes & Noble is also rolling out live demonstration units to their own retail locations, along with Best Buy, Walmart, and Books-A-Million Stores, along with a “very limited” number of Nookcolor devices for retail purchase.

“Nookcolor is the device for people who love to read everything: books, newspapers, magazines, children’s books, and more,” said Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch, in a statement. “Beyond being the most full featured reading product on the market, it also offers the versatility of a tablet, enabling wireless Web browsing and streaming music.”

Barnes & Noble says the Nookcolor will be available only in limited numbers at retailers until it fills customer pre-orders and in-store reservations for the devices. Customers orders Nookcolor units this week can expect their device to ship on or around November 26, although that date may shift as Barnes & Noble works to keep up with customer demand. Barnes & Noble recommends that customers who want to ensure they receive a Nookcolor in time for the holidays get their orders in as soon as possible.

Unlike E-Ink readers like the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s own Nook readers, the Nookcolor features a 7-inch color touchscreen display with a 1,024 by 600 pixel resolution, with backlighting. The device also offers playback of digital video and audio files (MP4, MP3, and AAC), support for up to 32 GB of removable storage via a microSD slot, integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless networking, and up to 8 hours of battery life (with Wi-Fi off). The Nookcolor retails for $249.

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