Barnes & Noble Unveils Simpler, Lighter Nook E-Reader

By Beecher Tuttle May 24, 2011

Barnes & Noble on Tuesday introduced a slimmer, less expensive and more intuitive e-reader, dubbed the Nook Simple Touch Reader.

The newest member of the Nook family is designed with the “grandma” demographic – or less technologically-advanced consumers – in mind. The Android-based e-reader sports only one button, which is 37 less than the Amazon's Kindle 3, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch was quick to point out during the New York media event.

Lynch said that part of the inspiration for the latest Nook was based on consumers' desire for a simpler device. The bookstore giant's chief executive referenced one letter that asked why none of today's e-readers are suitable for grandmothers, according to the AP.

Replacing the Nook's LCD navigation screen is a black-and-white E Ink touchscreen display. The change in technology enabled Barnes & Noble to design a much smaller and sleeker e-reader. The Nook Simple Touch Reader is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook.

Perhaps the crown jewel of Barnes & Noble's new device is its battery life. The new Nook can run for two full months on a single charge (with Wi-Fi turned off), more than doubling that of the most recent Kindle device, according to Mashable.

The Nook Simple Touch Reader runs Android 2.1, sports an 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor and provides 2GB of built-in storage, plus an additional 32GB capacity with a microSDHC card slot. Company officials also said that they have virtually eliminated a common e-reader drawback known as “ghosting,” when the lingering image of the last page can be noticed for a short time. Barnes & Noble said that the new device provides 80 percent less flashing.

The next-generation Nook will launch around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples, and is currently available for pre-order online. The device will be priced at $139, keeping it in line with its closest competitor, the Amazon Kindle.

Consequently, Barnes & Noble has slashed prices on its other e-readers. The Wi-Fi Nook has been dropped from $149 to $119, while the 3G has been marked down from $199 to $169, according to PC Mag.

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Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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