Barnes & Noble's new touch-screen version of the Nook, introduced today is both a counter-attack on Apple's iPad and a way to gain an edge on Amazon's Kindle. I like my iPad as a device for watching videos and surfing the web, but it's a bit unwieldy as an e-reader. (I have the original iPad, not the newer, lighter model.) This weekend, while using my sister-in-law's Kindle, I was reminded how light and purse-friendly it is (though I had a strange urge to flip it like a Frisbee). The new monochrome Nook, which sells for $139, is also feather-light -- it weighs 7.5 ounces and is less than a half-inch thick.
Here are excerpts from some early reviews of the newest Nook:
-- CNET: "The big question, of course, is whether this e-reader is better than the Kindle. Better is a relative term and since both e-readers have the same Pearl e-ink screen and display text in very similar fashion ... the actual reading experience isn't all that different. However, the Nook has a clearly smaller design and the touch-screen navigation just feels more natural and smooth after you deal with a touch-screen smartphone all day."
-- Engadget:" ... it's a sexy piece of hardware. It's incredibly light and thin (quite a bit thinner than its predecessor) and the rubbery back feels pleasant in the hand. We were only able to poke around the software for a short while, but it's certainly more responsive than the original Nook (as you'll see in the video below). While there is less screen flashing during refreshes there is still some, and it actually might be more jarring now that you're not seeing it every page turn."
-- CrunchGear: " ... the touchscreen appeared fairly snappy, but didn't provide much instant feedback. The device really is small, but the screen is of course the same size as the competition."
Note: The original post stated that the pricier, color Nook did not have a touch screen. Thanks to those commenters who pointed out my mistake, which I've corrected.