eBooks: Barnes and Noble Nook

After my last post regarding the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, one of my Facebook friends asked:

“Isnt there a thing called the Nook or something that downloads books from the library?”

The answer is a big “Yes” and a little “No”.

Yes, there is a thing called the Nook, and its the ebook reader from Barnes and Noble, but the only library it downloads from is from Barnes and Noble’s catalog of books. Though if you think “free” when you think “library” then you could say “yes” because the Nook has over 500,000 free ebooks available to it, while the Amazon Kindle doesn’t. The nook retails at Barnes and Noble for $259.

Lending

One interesting feature of the Nook is its ability to allow you to lend select ebooks to friends for free for 14 days. They don’t even need a Nook themselves. All they need is an app they can install on their PC or Mac or their iPhone. Soon they’ll also be able to loan their books to Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile smartphones, too.

(I do find it strange that there is no Android app yet because the Nook runs on the Android operating system. Is it possible Barnes and Noble will forge some sort of alliance with Google, the provider of the Android OS?)

Expandable Memory

Another plus for the Nook is its expandable memory using MicroSD or MicroSD HC cards. The Kindle only has internal memory, and you can’t swap memory chips with books on them as you can with the Nook.

Color Nav Screen and WiFi

The Nook also has a separate color touchscreen for navigation, unlike the Kindle with its pure grayscale screen. It also has WiFi and 3G wireless, while the Kindle only has 3G. The plus here is you can access WiFi in the Barnes and Noble stores, and elsewhere, and browse and download content in your local bookstore. I suppose if you can access WiFi elsewhere, the you can probably download content there as well.

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