Courtesy Barnes & Noble.com

If you’ve been waiting to get an e-reader upgrade (or your very first one), Barnes & Noble unveiled its newest e-reader today: a smaller, black-and-white touchscreen device called the Nook Simple Touch Reader. It is selling for $139, the same suggested retail price as Amazon’s Kindle. How do the two compare?

Both devices have built-in Wi-Fi, 6-inch display screens and are priced at $139. But the Nook is buttonless, is 1.5 inches shorter and is one ounce lighter.

Another plus for the Nook is the battery longevity. You can read for two months with the Barnes & Noble model, compared to less than four weeks with a Kindle.   Additionally, you can share your favorite books and weigh in on book reviews with the Nook Friends app. The social media component helps drive recommendations in a way that regular reviews from strangers can’t touch.

Courtesy: Amazon.com

One of the cooler aspects of the Nook is in how you turn pages. The Kindle screen appears to blink before the next page appears. Readers have reported seeing a lingering word or two from the previous page. But the Nook seems to turn pages smoothly and without the black screen.

Not to be outdone, Amazon announced a few hours later it is launching its new 3G version of its ad-supported Kindle for $164, called the Kindle 3G With Special Offers. If you can put up with an occasional advertisement popping up on your screen, you’ll get special offers and coupons for books and electronics.

The rivalry so far seems to be giving Barnes & Noble the upper hand, claiming it controls 25% of the e-book market.

 

 

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