Nook: E-Book Reader from Barnes and Noble

Oct 21, 2009

Book dealer Barnes and Noble (B&N) has announced its own e-book reader, named Nook, equipped with 3G wireless and two displays.

Like Amazon's Kindle, the Nook device draws in e-books over its built-in 3G wireless. Its components shut down when not in use to save energy. Nook also works over 802.11b/g, such as via hotspots in the B&N brick-and-mortar bookstores.

A distinguishing factor is that Nook, along with the usual E-Ink display, includes an additional 3.5" color LCD display with touchscreen functionality and backlighting for showing and selecting color book titles. A nice feature, but paid for dearly in battery time: the device runs 10 days on a battery load (with the wireless turned off), according to the data sheet, about half the time of other readers on the market.

The operating system for the Linux handheld is Android version 1.5. The reading software is B&N's own eReader, in which they partnered with Adobe and adapted its Content Manager to a DRM implementation. A special "lend-me" feature allows customers to pass on their favorite title to another Nook owner free for up to 14 days (with customer access unavailable during that period). Implementation of eReader is also available for iPhone, Motorola Smartphone and Blackberry models. The software can also go on Windows and Mac OS X PCs.

B&N will distribute content in the PDB Palm and the Epub open standard formats. Nook can also display PDFs and JPGs and play MP3 audio files. The device should be available in November at B&N outlets for $259 and is also orderable from Nook.com.

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Comments

  • CBR or CBZ

    Tony Freeman, CBR & CBZ formats are only .rar (cbr) and .zip (cbz) files with the extension renamed, and they contains .jpg or .png files. Try opening a cbr file with winrar and you will see it. What I don't know is how Nook manages picture files.
  • @ Tony Freeman

    According to Wikipedia [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Book_Archive_file#Design ],
    cbz and cbr files are, respectively, zip and rar archives. From the sound of it, I think you could extract the archives into png/jpeg files. Under the Nook faq ( http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/support/ ),
    "Q. What File Formats does nook support?
    A. Nook supports all eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers sold at Barnes & Noble.com. You can also load many other files, including MP3s and PDFs, as well as ePub and PDB files.

    You can also load images for wallpaper and screensavers using the JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP formats. "


    I am unsure if this means it does not have a built-in reader for JPG/PNG or that using them as wallpaper/screensavers is simply an option. Either way, there is png2pdf ( http://png2pdf.sourceforge.net/usage.html ) or Image Magick ( http://bitprison.net/jpg_to_pdf ).

    Finally, you can simply 'copy and paste' pics into OpenOffice and export to PDF.
  • CBR or CBZ Format?

    The majority of my free reading time is reading comics in cbr or cbz format. Does anyone happen to know if this device can properly display comics in one or both of these formats? Can I upload txt or cbr/z files to the device? If it can handle cbr/z, then I know what I'm getting for the holiday!
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