Barnes & Noble on Monday received some potentially good news following the rejection of its antitrust suit against Microsoft earlier this month. Microsoft is looking to halt the import of the bookseller’s Nook slates, claiming the devices infringe three Microsoft patents. Barnes & Noble argued that the patents in question are invalid because they do not cover new inventions, and the company has a new ally. Jeff Hsu, a staff attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, told Bloomberg he recommended that ITC Judge Theodore Essex rule that there is no violation by Barnes & Noble. Microsoft said the recommendation was made before evidence was presented, and it believes Hsu’s opinion may change once the trial gets underway. Bloomberg notes, however, that the ITC staff acts as a third party in the case and there’s no requirement that the judge follow any recommendations. Microsoft claims the Android operating system found on Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader utilizes its protected technology, and the software giant has signed agreements with roughly 70% of Android vendors in the United States to license the technology in question. Judge Essex is expected to release his findings on April 27th.
The team at iFixit recently tore open Barnes & Noble’s brand new Nook Tablet to get a closer look at its inner workings see how they compare to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The group found that the Nook Tablet is powered by a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1GHz, and it has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal SanDisk storage. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood that’s rated for up to 11.5 hours of reading time, 3.5 hours longer than the previous generation Nook Color device. The Nook Tablet received a repairability score of 6 out of 10 points, which is worse than the Kindle Fire’s 8/10 score. The LCD can be easily replaced because it isn’t fused to the bezel, however one would need to remove the motherboard in order to replace the battery, and there are “excessive amounts of adhesive” and even hidden screws that made the teardown a bit more tedious than usual. More →
If you are a company that has developed an Android product of any sort, chances are Microsoft has attempted to sue you or drag you in to an expensive licensing agreement. Samsung, HTC and ViewSonic are just a few of the larger firms that currently have deals in place with Microsoft. Barnes & Noble is the latest Android device maker to find itself in Microsoft’s line of fire, but it is not giving up the battle so easily. The retailer recently asked the Justice Department to probe the Redmond-based company over monopoly concerns and has accused the firm of “embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices.” Read on for more. More →
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. More →
Barnes & Noble is holding a press conference on Monday morning where the company is expected to unveil a new color eBook reader that will go head-to-head with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. According to a recent report, the slate in question will be Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color 2 and it will feature a 7-inch 1024 x 600-pixel display, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. Rumors also suggest the tablet will be priced at $249, $50 more than the hotly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire, but nothing is confirmed until Barnes & Noble executives take the stage on Monday morning.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow morning, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Barnes & Noble’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST / 7:00 a.m. PST.
Barnes & Noble sent out invitations on Monday to a press conference that will be held on November 7th in New York City. The event will focus on the company’s Nook eReader devices, although it is unclear what will be announced. We suspect Barnes & Noble will unveil the Nook Color 2, an Android tablet that reportedly offers a 7-inch display. The Nook Color 2 will likely go head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire this holiday season and it may be in Barnes & Noble’s best interest to drop the price of its Android-powered eReader from $249 to match the Fire’s $199 price point. All of this will be cleared up in a week, and BGR will be reporting live from the event.
The successor to the Barnes & Noble Nook Color will launch this month, DigiTimes reported on Friday. There is no mention if the Nook Color 2 will run Android, as the original did, although we hope Barnes & Noble considers using the more tablet-friendly Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system this time around instead of a the Froyo build, which was designed for use on smartphones. Inventec and Pegatron will assemble the eReaders and supply as many as 2-3 million devices by the end of this year, the report says. TPK Holding will provide the 7-inch color touchscreen panels. DigiTimes also said that the Nook Color 2 E Ink will supply “e-paper backplanes,” which suggests there will be a new E Ink component to the Nook Color 2, although it is unclear what its role will be at this point. Barnes & Noble most recently released its “All New Nook,” a gray-scale device that we favored among all other eReaders. The Nook Color 2 could face stiff competition from Amazon’s new Android-powered tablet, which is also expected to launch this fall. More →
We received a tip from an unproven source claiming to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble. While this might seem like a strange move at first, it actually makes a whole lot of sense. Apple would be able to take Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications, and fold them into Apple’s own iBooks store. Apple would have no use for the NOOK, and that would likely be discontinued in this scenario. Apple could then convert some of the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores into Apple stores and close the rest. It’s out there, and with a price most likely around $1 billion to $1.5 billion, it might be a stretch (though it would barely make a dent in Apple’s giant pile of cash). It also almost makes too much sense for Apple to do this, said another source of ours, mentioning that Apple doesn’t make moves that appear logical to most outside observers at the time. This unproven source also said that iTunes 11 would be released in September along with iOS 5 and iCloud, and will support reading iBooks on computers as well as textbook purchases and rentals.
IDC recently published a report that provided a snapshot view of the tablet and eReader markets. The company noted that in the first quarter, for the first time ever, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color lead the eReader pack ahead of Amazon’s Kindle. Even though Barnes & Noble just introduced the “all new NOOK,” a black and white device, IDC says that the lack of a color screen on Amazon’s Kindle “clearly impacted the company’s previous dominance in the eReader market.” The research firm also found that the eReader market declined to just 2.2 million units shipped in the first quarter, and said that the “post-holiday season proved to be challenging” for the eReader market. IDC still expects the global eReader market to ship 16.2 million devices this year, up 24% from last year. Read on for the full press release, which offers a few details on the tablet market, too. More →
Barnes & Noble took the wraps off of its latest eReader, the “All-New NOOK,” just last month. Its grayscale screen strays from the NOOK Color, and while the device still runs Android, it looks and feels much more like a traditional eReader. However, the new NOOK has a brand new E Ink Pearl display that not only works as a touchscreen, but refreshes less often than other eReaders and transitions faster. I’ve been using the new NOOK for the past week extensively, staying up late at night reading and pulling the NOOK out on the subway for quick page turns between stops. At $139, the NOOK is competitively priced with the Wi-Fi Kindle, but is it good enough to be your next (or first) eReader? My full review is after the break.
We just spent some time with Barnes & Noble’s just-announced eReader, the all-new NOOK, and we have to say… we’re impressed. From the size, to the design, to the gorgeous new E Ink Pearl display, this device is leaps and bounds better than the previous-generation NOOK. What’s more, we think it will definitely push Barnes & Noble even further in the growing eReader space, and it should have the team over at Amazon working overtime on its next Kindle design. The exterior of all-new NOOK is composed entirely of soft-touch rubber that feels amazing compared to the hard plastic found on other readers. The new E Ink display is fantastic, and we definitely appreciated the work Barnes & Noble put into 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 in a small bag or even a coat pocket. Barnes & Noble’s is taking pre-orders for its all-new NOOK starting now, and the device will begin shipping on or around June 10th for $139. In the meantime, definitely check out our hands-on gallery below!
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled its all new NOOK eBook reader, and to say it’s an improvement over the previous-generation model is an understatement. This new version replaces the older greyscale model, not the still-young NOOK color, and it features a major improvement we probably all saw coming… a touchscreen. The eReader sports an on-screen keyboard and it also allows readers to look up words or take notes with simple taps on the beautiful E Ink display. The new NOOK features just one button compared to the Kindle’s 38, which obviously simplifies the user experience significantly. More importantly, the new NOOK can last up to two months on a single charge — double the battery life of Amazon’s Kindle. Other nifty features include a new proprietary dissolve transition that takes readers from one page to the next, and social media integration that allows users to share recommendations via Twitter, Facebook and more. Of course the new eReader also features Wi-Fi connectivity and owners can enjoy free hotspot access at all Barnes & Noble stores as well as every AT&T hotspot across the country. The new NOOK will retail for $139.99 when it becomes available on June 10th from Barnes & Noble, Best Buy and more. Pre-orders are available immediately.
While Microsoft is busy showing off the latest and greatest its Windows Phone platform has to offer, Barnes & Noble is across town getting ready to take the wraps off its brand new NOOK eReader. Tablets like the Apple iPad 2 and BlackBerry PlayBook are taking center stage right now, but these jacks of all trades have a long way to go before they can even come close to matching the reading experience afforded by dedicated eReaders. Avid readers and casual readers alike can appreciate the remarkable battery life and unique features that only a dedicated eBook reader can afford, and good luck trying to soak up the sun while reading a book on your iPad — right now, only an E Ink display can remain perfectly visible and glare-free while combating the sun’s rays. So what new features does Barnes and Noble have in store for its latest NOOK eReader? Hit the break for our live coverage of the unveiling, which will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST, and don’t forget to refresh the page often for all the latest updates! More →