Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader

Barnes and Noble has just announced a new version of its Nook e-reader. The goofy little color screen at the bottom is gone. Notice also that it is mostly button-free, because the screen is touch sensitive. Price is $139, same as I paid for my Kindle 3.

NOOK Shop screen

I’m a little jealous over the coolness factor, but otherwise not much. It would be nice to point directly at a spot on the screen, rather than navigate a cursor with the Kindle 5-way button. But it isn’t something one does often enough to be a real headache. I expect that soon enough people will start figuring out new e-reader-specific functionality that a touch screen makes possible, but at the moment there really isn’t any such thing.

What’s most heartening about this announcement is that industry is clearly feeling the pressure to rapidly push the technology down the cost curve. I’ve heard that when it was introduced Amazon made little or nothing on the Kindle 3. Now B&N raises the bar with a touch screen, something that they will probably lose money on for awhile. These companies are betting that sales will take off while prices from their suppliers are driven down. If they are right, the impulse-buy e-reader is not far off, with the promotional premium e-reader and the disposable e-reader coming not long afterward.

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4 thoughts on “Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader

  1. Being the owner of an iphone 4, I can’t imagine being okay with an arrow button to navigate. I still haven’t taken the e-reader plunge, but as you know, plan to do so soon. I keep holding out for the next generation, wanting to make sure that when I buy, I won’t be let down that the next one is the really improved one. But I suppose that isn’t a solvable dilemma.

  2. I have been trying to decide if my Iphone 4 is not enough. I read Kindle books on it and I have several other readers on it. My daughter makes fun of me because having a touch screen my mind naturally tries to make every screen a touch screen causing embarrassment in places like Publix where I can’t seem to get the hang of buttons.

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