Barnes & Noble has made a dramatic entrance into the e-book arena with a new reader called the Nook. The cost is $259. It’ll be available in stores sometime during the week of December 7th and is already so popular that pre-orders have exceeded the expected supply for the rest of the year. I had the opportunity to view a mock-up, and they’re pretty small. You can increase the font size, but I’m not sure this would be a good purchase for people with bad eyesight.
An advantage of the Nook is that it supports a variety of e-book formats, including ePub. This means books can be purchased from a wide variety of sources, most notably Google’s huge catalog of 400,000+ titles, and that these purchases will work on devices other than the Nook. Contrast this to the Amazon store which uses a proprietary format that locks the buyer into the Kindle. Also the Nook has more options for connecting to the Internet and a battery that can last up to 10 days on a single charge. To see how the Nook stacks up against the Amazon Kindle 2, here’s an admittedly biased comparison chart.