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NOOKcolor Rooted into $250 Android Tablet

Just a few weeks after its launch, members of the XDA Developers Forum have successfully rooted Barnes & Noble's Android-based e-reader, NOOKcolor.

Dubbed as the "ultimate reading experience," the NOOKcolor sports a 7-inch color touchscreen, built-in WiFi, a LendMe app for allowing friends to borrow your virtual books, limited user customization, and more. It's definitely a big step up from the previous black-and-white interface featured on the original NOOK.

When purchased outright, NOOKcolor is devoid of any hints of Android by using B&N's custom Nook UI overlay. Consumers can't log onto the Android Market and download apps-- they can't even side-load apps from external sources. Instead, NOOKcolor owners are required to wait for an update that will include B&N's proprietary app store.

However the XDA Developers Forum team has rooted the e-reader and essentially created a $249 Android tablet capable of installing apps such as Angry Birds and Launcher Pro. NOOKcolor rooting is still listed as a "work in progress," however instructions can be found here via nookdevs.com. The instructions note that users need a microSD card with 64 MB or above and access to a computer.

"The current rooting process will enable you to install apps on the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor using either SCP (a secure copy program) or ADB (the Android loader from the android SDK)," the instructions read. "The process will also let you SSH into the NOOK and execute command line commands there."

Potential NOOKcolor rooters are reminded that the process will void the warranty and could possibly brick the device. Consumers should use caution and follow the instructions explicitly.