Not content to let the Kindle or iPad own the e-book space, Barnes & Noble has just announced its successor to the Nook, the NOOKcolor. The NOOKcolor is, as the name indicates, a color e-book reader and touchscreen tablet. It’s going to retail for $249 and is expected to start shipping on November 19.
The NOOKcolor features a 7-inch backlit IPS display and capacitive touchscreen. It weighs in at just under a pound and comes with 8GB of built-in memory, which can be expanded up to 32GB with a microSD card. It also features a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and a micro-USB port. It also has built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Barnes & Noble rates battery life of up to eight hours with Wi-Fi turned off. While primarily an e-reader and web browser, the NOOKcolor can also playback audio files and *.MP4 video. It supports EPUB, PDF and TXT files, as well as Microsoft Office file formats.
Like the original Nook, NOOKcolor is built off of Google’s Android OS. It doesn’t look like the device will be able to access the Android Market directly, but Barnes & Noble has announced a NOOKdeveloper program. The NOOKcolor SDK is based on Android 2.1, so if you have an Android app already, porting it to the NOOKcolor shouldn’t be too difficult.
Already Barnes & Noble is touting the inclusion of apps like Pandora and built-in games like chess, Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Undoubtedly seeing the success that children’s books have found on the iPad, the NOOKcolor will also support the new Nook Kids platform.
While the original Nook was mostly a response — albeit with a few extra perks, like 14-day lending — to the original Amazon Kindle, we think it’s safe to say that with the NOOKcolor, Barnes & Noble has really upped the game. It is clear from the featureset that the true target of this device isn’t the new Kindle, but instead the iPad and other tablets.
Ultimately performance will dictate how well the NOOKcolor will stand up to devices like the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, but as it stands right now, the NOOKcolor looks like one of the most impressive e-readers to hit the market this year.
Original post by Christina Warren of Mashable and can be found here: http://on.mash.to/chCv96