Barnes and Noble has just unveiled its latest eBook reader, the NOOKcolor. It packs a 7-inch color touchscreen, offers Wi-Fi connectivity and runs Android. It’s so much more than a traditional eBook reader.
So, the E-Ink display is now gone, replaced by the 16M-color 1024-by-600-pixel IPS touchscreen with multi-touch support (read “pinch-to-zoom”) and viewing angles reaching the impressive 178 degrees. The NOOKcolor comes with 8GB of onboard storage for up to 6000 eBooks (there are over 2 million compatible eBooks) and there is also a microSD memory card slot ready to accommodate cards with up to 32GB of memory.
The newly announced NOOKcolor can also be used for web browsing (over Wi-Fi – there is no support for 3G) or as a portable media player. It features a built-in mono speaker, a standard 3.5mm audio jack and plays MP3 and AAC audio files as well as videos in MP4 format.
The NOOKcolor also displays files in EPUB, PDF, TXT, DOC, DOCX, XLS, PPT, JPG, formats (keep in mind, though, that LIT, AMZ, LRZ, LRX files are not supported).
The NOOKcolor lets you listen to the Pandora internet radio, play some games (Chess, Sudoku, Crossword Puzzles) and, according to the manufacturer, will stay awake for up to 8 hours (with Wi-Fi switched off) before you have to recharge its battery.
By the way, even if the NOOKcolor is based on the Android platform, it has no access to the Android Market so you have to rely on the B&N’s own app store.
The NOOKcolor is now on pre-order in the US (for 249 US dollars, which is 100 bucks more than the previous Wi-Fi-only model) and will start shipping on 19 November 2010.