The Nook Goes Color

Barnes & Noble just announced its new Nook e-reader-and as rumored, the big news is that it has a color screen. No, it's not some bleeding-edge color electronic ink: The $249 Nookcolor uses an IPS LCD, the same type of screen used by the iPad, but in a 7? size. Like the original Nook, it runs Android, and B&N says it will run for eight hours on a charge.

Barnes & Noble is calling the Nookcolor a "reader's tablet," cleverly splitting the difference between Kindle-style e-readers and iPad-esque tablets. It'll only succeed if it's good, but its positioning seems distinct and comprehensible-unlike a Kindle, it has a color touchscreen, and it's much more portable and affordable than an iPad.

That doesn't make it the ideal device, of course-it can't compete with the Kindle's battery life or the iPad's third-party app riches. (I can't tell from B&N's site if the device can run stock Android apps, but I'd tend to doubt it.)

The Nookcolor is supposed to start shipping around November 19th; more thoughts to come.

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