Barnes & Noble began shipping the Android-powered Nook Color today and it features a large color touchscreen and it will eventually run multiple apps. Is it enough to compete in the e-reader space and should we consider this device a tablet that competes against the Apple iPad?
The Nook Color has a 7-inch IPS display with 1024 x 600 resolution and it will be running a custom build of Android. It will also come preloaded with Pandora and have Facebook integration but it won’t be able to access the Android Market. Barnes & Noble said it will be developing its own store and that it will be simple to port existing apps but don’t expect an Amazon Kindle app on this thing ever.
The Nook Color will not have 3G data but it does support WiFi (including 802.11n), it will also come with 8 GB of internal storage and there’s a microSD slot for expanding the memory. It costs about $250 and is shipping to those who pre-ordered it and look for it to hit the retail Barnes & Noble stores soon.
“Nook Color is the device for people who love to read everything: books, newspapers, magazines, children’s books and more. 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. At $249, it represents tremendous value. We’re encouraged by the consumer response thus far, and the organization is committed to doing everything we can to meet demand,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, in a prepared statement.
The early reviews indicate that it is solid e-reader device but don’t expect it to be a tablet competitor to the Apple iPad. The color screen has been called nice to look at but it won’t work in direct sunlight and you won’t get the battery life that you’d find on the non-color, e-Ink screen of the Amazon Kindle.