Is this Barnes & Noble's E-Reader?

barnes & noble
Gizmodo has posted what it says are photos and details of the e-book reader that Barnes & Noble is reportedly getting ready to release. The most interesting tidbit: It supposedly has a 6-inch monochrome e-ink screen that's very much like the one on Amazon's Kindle -- but also a smaller color multi-touch LCD beneath that one, which is home to features like the keyboard and much of the book-shopping interface. It's an interesting idea which would sidestep some of e-ink's limitations (besides lacking color, it refreshes slowly).

The upcoming device is also said to be cheaper than the Kindle; to offer books published by Barnes & Noble itself at low prices; and to provide access to Google Books' wealth of out-of-print tomes.

barnes & noble
I'm still waiting for someone to release an e-book device that simply gives up on e-ink's principal virtue-amazing, weeks-long battery life-in favor of all the benefits of color. If such a device were able to eke out ten hours on a charge, I might prefer it to an e-ink-equipped gizmo, even if it forced me to do far more babysitting of the battery.

Of course, a color device without enough battery life to read an entire book might really be a tablet computer, not an e-reader. One way or another, I suspect we'll get the opportunity to watch "traditional" e-readers and tablets duke it out during 2010 . . .

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter