While Amazon teases consumers with hints of a possible tablet on the horizon featuring Nvidia's quad-core Tegra "Kal-El" SoC, e-book rival Barnes & Noble revealed a new version of its NOOK electronic book reader Tuesday, aimed to take on Amazon's Kindle e-reader in presentation and price when it launches June 10.
Unlike the current NOOK Color which resembles more like a cheap tablet now with the recent upgrade to Google's Android 2.2 "Froyo" OS, the new "NOOK: Simple Touch Reader" is just that: a simple 7.48-ounce device sporting a 6-inch E Ink Pearl no-glare touch screen which offers 50-percent more contrast than the NOOK 1st Edition. It's small enough to fit in a jacket pocket or handbag (6.5-inches high by 5-inches wide by 0.47-inches deep) but still capable of storing up to 1,000 digital books.
"Touch makes it simple to use, and the beautifully compact design makes it the most portable eReader in its class," said Barnes & Noble chief executive William Lynch. "Add to that an unmatched battery life, the most advanced paper-like touch display on the market and wireless access to the world's largest digital bookstore."
The new device will sport an SD card slot for expanding its storage capacity and a "best-in-class" battery life boasting a 2-month read-time on a single charge with the Wi-Fi setting switched off. Page turns are lightning fast, the company claims, thanks to the touchscreen and "well-placed side" buttons. The new Fast Page feature allows the user to press and hold a side button to quickly scan through content and skip right to the desired section.
Tuesday Barnes & Noble said the new e-reader will also support LendMe technology (aka lending ebooks to friends up to 14 days) and the NOOK Friends service, the latter of which was previously launched on the NOOK Color.
"From the home page, customers can see book recommendations from friends," the company said. "See what your friends have posted about their current read, swap recommendations, share reading status, favorite quotes, and much more. Through Twitter and Facebook integrations, right from their current book, customers can tweet the title they’re reading, post on their Facebook wall and see what their NOOK Friends “like” on Facebook."
The all-new NOOK is slated to arrive on June 10 for $139. Interested consumers can pre-order the device now by heading here.