With Barnes & Noble set to launch a new e-reader just hours from now, a tipster has told CNET the device is a touch-screen e-ink e-reader that will retail for $139.
Update: The May 24 Barnes & Noble press conference confirmed nearly all of the information that was leaked in the story below. Read CNET's complete coverage of the new Nook for more details.
Barnes & Noble is set to launch a touch-screen e-ink e-reader tomorrow that costs $139, matching the price of the Kindle WiFi, a reliable source has told CNET.
The source has seen promotional signage that's set to go on display in stores. Based on the signage, the new Nook is called "The Simple Touch Reader," according to the tipster, who describes it as a "squat, black, touch-screen e-ink reader that has been profusely speculated about in recent weeks."
The source adds that the Nook "1st Edition" WiFi and 3G+WiFi e-readers will drop to $119 and $169 respectively.
While we'll wait and see exactly what the specs are on Barnes & Noble's new e-reader, we assume it will have the same 6-inch Pearl e-ink display found in the Kindle (there will be no color LCD of any sort) and also use Neonode's responsive "zForce" infrared touch technology that's found in the latest Sony Readers, as well as the just-announced Kobo WiFi Touch Edition. It may also be powered by the same Freescale i.MX508 processor that's inside the new Kobo and will most likely come with 1GB or 2GB of internal memory and sport a microSD expansion slot for adding additional memory.
We'll have to wait and see just how thin and light the new e-reader is, and whether its battery life can approach that of the Kindle's (up to a month).
"The Simple Touch Reader" seems like a little bit of an odd name for a device, but Barnes & Noble did register for a trademark for the phrase in late March of this year.
The new Nook will be announced at around 7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET tomorrow and you can follow along with CNET's live blog of the event.