Many wondered if tablets and dedicated eBook readers could coexist, primarily because the former can do everything the latter can do, plus a whole lot more (except read comfortably in direct sunlight). But much lower prices and lighter devices have made sure that eBook readers remain relevant. On top of that, Barnes & Noble appears determined to blur the line between what constitutes a dedicated eReader and a full fledged tablet.
Barnes & Noble today announced it added "significant new features and content" to its Nook Color device, which B&N pitches as "the reader's tablet." This $250 in-between now has full-featured, built in email, an enhanced Web experience, and a broad collection of popular apps courtesy of its v1.2 update, B&N says.
"Nook Color offers the best reading experience of any device, and now delivers the most popular tablet features such as engaging apps so customers can play, learn and explore, free, built-in email, an Android operating system update for enhanced Web browsing and more interactive content," said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. "With our new Nook Apps program, we’ve partnered with the world’s best publishers and developers to offer popular brands like Angry Birds, Epicurious, Uno, Lonely Planet, Dr. Seuss, Little Critter and many more quality and entertaining applications. These and other enhancements, plus new ways for adults and children to experience exciting content, make Nook Color a great alternative to paying double the price – or more – for an expensive tablet. Our easy-to-use, full-featured Reader’s Tablet is available for only $249, and presents the best value of any tablet on the market."
B&N is correct in describing these additions as "significant." The addition of Nook Apps allows the Nook Color to be taken a little more seriously as a "reader's tablet," with a selection of both free and paid apps, with half of the latter priced at $2.99 or less and the majority priced at $5.99 or less, B&N says.
Email is another big addition. B&N says users can now organize multiple Web mail accounts in one inbox, adding that it works with the top Web mail services, including Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, and Hotmail.
B&N will begin rolling out the over-the-air (OTA) update to customers via Wi-Fi over the coming weeks, or you can grab it immediately by heading to www.nookcolor.com/update .