Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch review

The Nook eReader has become a bit of a fly in the ointment for Kindle, with sales of the B & N product doing pretty well in what’s coming to be a blood bath of a market.  When eReaders came out, some analysts predicted the market would not stand the test of time due to the fact that consumers can read the same electronic books on tablets, phones and PCs.  But the market, and more importantly the Barnes and Noble Nook as well as the Amazon Kindle line, have proved everyone wrong.   


Star Rating:
Price: $139
Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon (June 30th)


Barnes and Noble’s latest installment ot the Nook family, the Nook Simple Touch, adds touchscreen capabilities, and runs a measley $139.  It includes a 6-inch e-ink touchscreen.  Unlike B&N’s other Nooks, there is no color screen or Android OS.  It’s a simple no frills e-reader with a hefty feature set for the money.

The Nook Simple Touch eReader gets around 2-month battery life from a single charge.  That will of course vary with use.  The 6-inch touchscreen has 50% more contrast than the first Nook and it weighs just 8oz, less than most standard paperback books.  You can store up to 1000 books (2GB, add a microSD card for more) at a time, and the Simple Touch even lets you borrow books from your local library, a feature that B and N have banked on to distinguish them from the competition.  There is currently only a WiFi version, and there is no word if a 3G version will be available.

From the size, to the design, to the superb new E Ink Pearl display, this device is significantly better than the previous-generation NOOK.  The exterior of all-new NOOK is designed from soft-touch rubber that feels amazing compared to the hard plastic found on other readers. It rests comfortably in your hand for hours on end. It’s noticeably lighter than the Kindle, and the contoured back coupled with the rubberized matte finish gives you a solid grip.

The new E Ink display is unbelievable, better than the Kindle, and Barnes & Noble has put some work in improving the seizure-inducing page transitions that plague all eReaders. They’re still there, but they’re much improved compared to older readers. The addition of a 6-inch touchscreen makes interacting with the device much more enjoyable than non-touch eBook readers, and it also helps make the size of the device perfect for carrying.

The back is hollowed out, which not only makes the new Nook easier to handle, but makes the reader lighter, and feel smaller.  There are four buttons on the bezel , which will page up and down when you tap them, or it will rapidly advance when you hold it down. And they’re fully configurable, so you can assign actions depending on the hand you use or how you grip the device.

Double tapping the center Nook button will bring up a navigation bar that will take you to various areas of the Nook, including settings and the homescreen. When you hit the new Nook’s homescreen, you’re welcomed with the book you’re currently reading along with progress statistics, recommended articles from news feeds, and a bottom bar that has the status of all your Nook friends and what they’re currently reading.

The real selling point of the new Nook Simple Touch is in its size and weight, which feels amazing to carry around with a single hand.

You can preorder the Nook Simple Touch now with an expected launch date of June 30th.

Check out the demo by ‘goodereader’…