Nook Update

IF any of you are on the fence about a nook, maybe this will help you. Today Barnes and Noble released a slightly scaled down nook, the nook Wi-Fi. I failed to mention in my write up about the nook that the original nook comes with wi-fi and 3G access thanks to AT&T. What this really means is that I can browse the B&N store and get any materials that I'm subscribed to anytime and anywhere that I can pick up an AT&T signal. (I'll leave the evaluation of the AT&T network for those of you with iPhones). The original nook was also able to hook up to B&N wi-fi networks, serviced by AT&T.


This new slimmed down model ditches the 3G service, but seems to retain all the other goodness of it's older 3G cousin. But the good news is it comes at a much more attractive price of $149. Also nice is the reduction of the original nook from $259 to $199. If I were shopping today for a nook I would easily choose the 3G-less nook, as I've only used the 3G a couple times to see if it works. Since the limited web browsing that one can do with the nook is restricted to a wi-fi network, I'm not losing anything with the lack of 3G.

Also today an update came out that gave me an extra-extra-large font. This is great if you want just 4 words per line. In other words, it's useless for me, but I could see how it would be helpful to some. There's also a Go to Page feature (previously missing), and the ability now to use ALL of AT&T's wi-fi hotspots for free. It might just be me, but I feel the nook is just a little faster also.
Amazon, the first in the ereader market, didn't sit idly by and you can pick up a decidedly uglier Kindle DX for $189.

I think this signals a change in the e-reader market, with the coming of the iPad, and the promise of other tablet computers to come. The tablet computers are able to do more, and will do those things with at least a passable mark. They are also the buzz gadget right now, and something people want just to have. With the cheapest iPad coming in at $500, consumers are looking to have to choose between a multi-function tablet and a one trick pony like an e-reader; it's the rare consumer who will be willing to shell out over $750 for 2 devices. With a drop in e-reader pricing it's more likely that a consumer might purchase both devices.

It'll be interesting to see what the next rumored nook will feature when it supposedly debuts later this year. Though color e-ink is being developed, it's probably too far out to get that in for the nook 2. Now if only e-book pricing would stabilize...

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