Last week, CNET broke the story that Barnes & Noble would be introducing a $249 Android-based color e-reader for the holiday buying season. That product, the Nook Color, has just become official, with Barnes & Noble showing off the new device at a press conference at its flagship Union Square store in New York City today.
After a picture of the Nook Color was leaked to CNET, the biggest mystery surrounding the product was what type of screen it would sport. As we anticipated, the screen is a 7-inch touch-screen LCD, and not something more exotic like a color e-ink or a Mirasol display, which won't be available until next year. Barnes & Noble told CNET that this is a next-generation LED-backlit display supplied by LG, which is bright yet energy efficient. The product's designers added a special layer of laminate to the glass that covers the display to help cut down on glare and improve off-axis viewing.
A lot of people wondered whether this would be classified as an Android tablet, and while the device does run on Android 2.1 (it will be upgradeable to Android 2.2 next year) and offers additional functionality such as Web browsing, audio and video playback, and some basic games, Barnes & Noble is spinning it as a "reader's tablet." The Nook Color has built-in Wi-Fi but no 3G, and comes with 8GB of internal memory, plus the capability to expand capacity via a microSD expansion slot tucked into the bottom of the device near its "corner slot."
Here are its key specs:… Read more