Can't stand the drab displays of e-ink readers? Barnes & Noble's got you covered with the Nook Color, a full-color ebook reader with some tablet computing talents.
Ditching e-ink for a full-color display, the device gets some much needed beefing up to make LCD a more palatable reading option. According to B&N, the display offers a wide viewing angle idea for reading, enhanced color tuning and gradation. A full lamination screen film sits on top of the LCD to reduce glare, both from the backlighting and external light sources.
Designed with the help of Yves Behar, the Nook Color measures 8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 inches and weighs 15.8 ounces, making it compact enough as a portable reading device. Features include a 7-inch touchscreen display (1,024 x 600 resolution), WiFi connectivity, 8GB of onboard storage, built-in speakers, a 3.5mm jack and microSD card expansion. Battery life takes a hit, though, lasting only a full eight hours before requiring a recharge.
More than a device to flip through digital books and magazines, the full-color ebook reader adds a number of tablet computing features that bring something extra to the table. It runs a modified version of Android underneath, with a full HTML browser, a media player, social networking integration (Twitter and Facebook) and support for apps under the Nook Developer program. Out of the box, it will ship with a few choice apps, including Pandora, Lonely Planet and some games.
If the Nook Color can reduce the eyestrain from reading fine text over an LCD screen better than the iPad, there could very well be a big future for this device, especially at the aggressive $249 price point. The new color e-reader ships beginning November 19.