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CNET First Look
New Nook e-readerBarnes & Noble has unveiled the second-generation Nook, a touch-screen e-ink e-reader the company is calling the "Simple Touch eReader."
Hi, I'm David Carnoy and I'm here with the new Nook. This is being branded as the Simple Touch Reader. It has a touch screen that has Neonode infrared technology, that's the technology that's in the Sony Reader and also the new Kobo Touch Edition. This devices comes with 2 gigabytes of internal memory as well as an expansion slot, a micro SD expansion slot, so you can add up to 32 gigs on a card and that allows you to store literally thousands of books. One of the big deals here is the battery life. Barnes and Noble is saying you can go up to 2 months on a single charge and that means that's about twice as long as the Kindle right now. As you can see, there are very few buttons on this device. There's one main Nook button and there is a power button and that's really it. You navigate everything through the touch screen. There's a home screen, shopping, all the things that you would expect from the old Nook but it is on a touchscreen device. This runs on Android 2.1. It weighs 7.5 ounces. That's just a shade heavier than the Kobo Touch Edition but this is a very light device. Barnes and Noble has had sort of this soft touch paint to the back so it's got a little bit of rubberized feel to it. There's also some buttons on the side of the screen that will allow you to do things like go fast forward through a book. In terms of font sizes, you get 7 different font sizes and there are 6 different styles of fonts. It reads PDF files but does not read Word files and there are no Nook apps available for the device. This is really a strictly an e-reading device. It has a Pearl E Ink screen that's readable in direct sunlight. That's the same E Ink screen that's in the Kindle as well as the new Kobo Reader and Sony Readers. One of the big issues with E Ink is that you get sort of a ghosting effect but Barnes and Noble has really taken a lot of care into making sure those flashing has been reduced. This is really a pretty quick device. It has an 800 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor in it. This is a Wi-Fi-only device. There is no 3G. It is $139. That's the same price as the Kindle Wi-Fi. However, there's $25 more in the Kindle with special offers. Barnes and Noble is making a big deal about the social networking features in this device. There's something called Nook Friends that allows you to share what you're reading, what's in your library with friends. One of the nice things about having the touchscreen is you can do the dictionary lookup. You can actually tap and hold on a word and that word will come up and it will automatically look up the word. So there you have it, the new Nook, the Simple Touch Reader. We'll soon find out whether it is a Kindle killer. It is a smaller device than the Kindle and the touchscreen certainly adds a navigational element that the Kindle does not have right now. It will be interesting to see what Amazon's response to it is. I'm David Carnoy and that's the new Nook, the Simple Touch Reader. Thanks for watching.