Live from Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet event!

We’re live from Barnes & Noble’s press conference here in New York City where the bookseller is expected to take the wraps off its sequel to the Nook Color tablet. Though the firm used a heavily customized, unrecognizable version of Google’s Android platform to power the original Nook Color, it is still one of the most popular Android tablets in the short history of the media tablet category. Barnes & Noble has reportedly shipped more than 3 million Nook Color slates to date, and with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire ready to heat things up beginning next week, we’re hoping B&N has a few surprises up its sleeve this morning to keep the space competitive. Hit the break for our live coverage and don’t forget to refresh the page often, or enable auto-refresh, for all the latest news as it breaks.

10:32AM:That’s it! We’re going to go try to get some hands-on time with the new Nook Tablet. Thanks for tuning in!

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10:30AM:New Nook Digital Shops will be set up in B&N stores to show off and promote Nook products.

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10:29AM:The Nook SimpleTouch is available today.

10:29AM:The previous-gen black and white eReader is getting an update that will add the new page-turning tech from the updated SimpleTouch.

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10:28AM:“No annoying ads, whether the device is on or off.” The crowd chuckled. Amazon charges an extra $40 to turn off ads.

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10:27AM:The Nook SimpleTouch (new name for the black and white reader) features a better display and twice the battery life of Amazon’s competitive offerings.

10:26AM:Starting today, the Nook SimpleTouch is just 99, down from its launch price of 149.

10:25AM:It will also feature a new Best-Text technology that renders text more clearly than any other E Ink display. Beyond that, it sports up to 2 months of battery life.

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10:24AM:The black and white Nook touch is being updated with a new E Ink display as well.

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10:24AM:

10:24AM:B&N is adding fast access to the web and email, along with tons of new content sources.

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10:23AM:“The Nook Color will have access to all of the content we announced with the Nook Tablet.”

10:22AM:B&N is pushing out an update to the original Nook Color that features 100 new improvements.

10:22AM:Jamie Iannone is now on stage to discuss B&N’s digital portfolio. “The Nook Color is the best selling Android tablet in the world,” and now the price is being cut to 199.

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10:19AM:The Nook tablet will cost 249. Pre-orders start now and it becomes available next week.

10:19AM:The Nook Tablet is also supported by people at Barnes & Noble stores. Kindle Fire? Good luck getting support…

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10:18AM:“Content will look and render better on the Nook Tablet than on the Kindle Fire.”

10:17AM:The Nook Tablet was hand-designed while the Kindle Fire used the BlackBerry PlayBook design, and it sports twice the RAM.

10:17AM:“Nook tablet is lighter than Kindle Fire at under a pound.”

10:17AM:The Nook Tablet features a better display with no air gap, double the storage plus expandable memory, and the Nook Tablet is also lighter.

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10:16AM:Lynch says the Nook Tablet is clearly the better choice this holiday season versus the Kindle Fire.

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10:14AM:On top of all that storage, you also get Nook Cloud access for cloud-based storage.

10:14AM:It ships with 16GB of internal storage and it supports up 32GB of external storage as well

10:13AM:B&N has been working with thousands of developers to build a huge catalog of apps for the Nook Tablet. Yup, Angry Birds will be there at launch…

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10:12AM:B&N already has the largest library of top magazines, and they’re expanding their library even further alongside the launch of the Nook Tablet.

10:11AM:The Nook Tablet supports a feature called “read and record,” while allows parents to record themselves reading a book. The child can then play the recordings back at a later time.

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10:10AM:The Nook bookstore is now home to over 2.5 million books.

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10:09AM:

10:09AM:It supports video playback up to 1080p, and it comes pre-loaded with apps for Netflix and Hulu Plus. “It has the deepest Netflix integration of any tablet.”

10:08AM:Battery life = up to 9 hours of video! It also supports up to 11.5 hours of reading time.

10:07AM:The Nook Tablet gets free access to AT&T and B&N WiFi hotspots.

10:07AM:It weight under 1 pound and it can be held comfortably during extended periods of time. If features a “Vivid View” display built by LG that B&N is billing as a huge breakthrough in the tablet space.

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10:06AM:It’s hands-down the best media tablet in the 7-inch class. 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM.

10:05AM:As you can see, it looks just like the original Nook Color, and it’s being billed as B&N’s lightest, fastest tablet yet.

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10:04AM:Well that was fast! Lynch just announced the Nook tablet and we’re watching a video.

10:03AM:The Nook Color has access to the largest catalog of magazines and children’s content. It’s the number 2 tablet in the world behind the iPad.

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10:02AM:The Nook Color was the first color eReader with tablet functionality. “We sold millions.”

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10:01AM:No company in digital content has grown faster in the past 12 months has grown faster that B&N. They now sell 27% of eBooks.

10:00AM:B&N CEO William Lynch is now taking the stage.

9:59AM:Ok! They just announced that the show is about to start.

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9:55AM:Ok guys, we’re seated and people are still filing in. No 5-minute warning yet so we’ll probably get started a few minutes late.

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