Subtitled The Simple Touch Reader,” with a single 6-inch black and white touchscreen, Barnes & Noble is taking a step back with an E-Ink screen and nothing else. With no keyboard comes more screen real estate especially when compared directly to the Kindle 3. B&N also made sure to drive other points of comparison home, like 80 percent less flashing” to which they’re referring to that black screen flash that you get during E-Ink page turns and double the battery life at two months. The touchscreen works with IR technology, which should hopefully mitigate some of the problems with E-Ink touchscreens and decreased readability in fact, B&N promises a 50 percent improvement over the original Nook. For storage there’s 2GB built-in and a microSDHC slot for swapping in your copy of Proust, with a WiFi connection for snagging new titles (but no 3G). Under the hood there’s a 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor, running Android 2.1. or your custom mod of choice once the hackers get ahold of this.
B&N also is promising some new ways to discover and share books, with Nook Friends” sharing over Facebook, Twitter, and email using LendMe and ePub. The myNook.com portal will somehow augment this process.
The new Nook will retail for $139 and starts shipping on June 10th. Meanwhile the original Nook will drop to $119 for WiFi and $169 for 3G and be retired once supplies run out”¦ the end of a dual-screen era!