Barnes & Noble to release new Nook eBook reader in spring

The New York Times published an article last Sunday regarding Barnes & Nobles taking on Amazon. It stated that they are “putting the final touches on their (Barnes & Noble’s) fifth e-reading device, a product that executives aid would be released sometime this spring”.

Unfortunately, the popular newspaper wasn’t able to get any comment from a representative from the company.

This could possibly be a new tablet. It can also be an affordable e-ink e-reader that can retail to about $50. Or it could even be an e-reader that has a Qualcomm power-efficient Mirasol color display that is now being used by e-readers in Korea and China.

Can this new e-reader be a part of the Nook’s launch outside US? Barnes & Noble is rumored to making this gamble and the Times article said that it is “expected to be a Waterstones bookstores in Britain.” Though they haven’t revealed any date as of yet but at least there is some glimmer of hope that its release could have this new feature.

It’s good to note that Barnes & Noble will continue to redesign their stores. This according to CEO William Lynch. They will investing in smaller stores and eliminate DVD and music sections while not completely removing them from their line-up as they will only move it to other stores.

SolarKindle adds more reading time to your Kindle

Book lovers don’t have to bring a bulky book with them to enjoy reading their favorite novels nowadays. With the advent of inexpensive e-book readers, the once bulky books has turned into a seemingly thin and hi-tech piece of work.

Unfortunately this new technology has its limitations. Just like any other devices out there, it has a battery that can and will be drained in long term usage. That’s quite sad for readers who are at the stories most exciting part then the screen turns blank on them due to battery shortage.

But Amazon has found a way to help these troubled readers. They don’t have to fret about having their Kindle’s batteries drained on them. Because the SolarKindle is here.

The latter is a Kindle protective cover that has a solar panel attached to it. This solar panel is not only green, but it also lets you charge your Kindle and an hour of charging in the Sunlight would enable you to use your Kindle for 3 days. In low light conditions, the SolarKindle can be charged via a USB port. It also features an 800lux LED reading lamp to help you read in dark areas.

Currently, the SolarKindle works for the manual version of Kindle. A model for the Kindle Fire will be released later this year.

Not a bad add-on for your Kindle.

Kindle: Most gifted item in Amazon


Before, a lot of people thought ebooks will never really be a hit and ebook readers aren’t a necessity. All of that changed with the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle.

For the first time ever, Amazon shoppers on Christmas day bought more books for their Kindles then they did the traditional paperbacks and hard-bounds.

Usually, on Christmas day, people are out there opening their received presents, not buying stuff. This time however, people who received the Kindle – and that’s a lot – immediately went to Amazon’s online store to purchase at least one ebook to try out their new gadget.

And just to show how much the Kindle has become a main-stream product, Amazon says the ebook reader is the “the most gifted item in Amazon’s history”.

Hmmn, I wonder how did its main competition – Barnes & Noble’s Nook – do during the holidays?


B&N’s Nook delayed for one week

Although Barnes & Noble is still keeping mum as to how many devices they are manufacturing, it seems very obvious to point out that it’s not just a measly number.

In a statement posted on the company’s Web site Sunday night, the book retailer says there will be a delay for the retail arrival of the Nook by one week – due of course, to high demand issue. The Nook will be hitting the stores in December 7 instead of the previously expected date of November 30.

The company has told Reuters on Sunday that there won’t be lot of stocks available in big stores when it becomes available next week.

“We expect to have them in our highest-volume stores on December 7th and in a very limited number,” Mary Ellen Keating, Barnes & Noble spokeswoman, told Reuters.

Those who pre-ordered their devices before November 20 will be receiving them before the holidays. Those who placed their orders after the said date will have to spend the holidays without the Nook in their hands, and expect to receive it sometime around January 4.

Announced in October, the Nook has been generating a huge interest (enough to cause them production delays :)) from consumers with its split-screen display, allowing for a black and white text display for the majority of the screen, and a smaller color display at the bottom used for control and navigation. Compared to the Kindle, the Nook also offers a microSD slot for memory expansion.

The Nook is being sold for $259.


Kindle gets a battery boost, native PDF reader

Since Barnes & Noble’s Nook are making huge waves in the market even before its release, Amazon’s Kindle has to keep up if they want to stay on top.

Announced today, Kindle now has an improved battery life when the wireless connection is turned on. Compared to its previous 4-hour battery life, the Kindle can now run up to seven days with the wireless activated. Battery life with the wireless connection turned off still remains, which is about two weeks.

“Battery power management for portable wireless devices is a complex technical area, and the battery life improvement announced today is the result of a six-month firmware improvement and testing program,” according to the press release.

In addition to the battery boost, Amazon has also added native PDF support to the Kindle. The company says users can now “read professional and personal documents in their original PDF format without conversion.” In order to read these PDF files, you can either email the files to your Kindle email address or transfer them via the USB connection. You can also easily convert your PDF files to the Kindle format by typing the word “Convert” in the subject of your email.

According to a press release, all new Kindles will be shipped with the battery boost and native PDF support. Users who already bought the Kindles before will be receiving the new enhancements via a firmware upgrade which will automatically be sent to them when the wireless connection is turned on.


Huge demand on the Nook delays production

Credit: Barnes & Noble

Is this finally the device to challenge the Kindle’s reign in the eBook reader market?

It sure looks like it, as Barnes and Noble, distributor of the Nook eReader, announced that it is experiencing production delays because of the huge demand for the device – and they haven’t even started shipping the devices yet.

Compared to Amazon’s Kindle which has a black and white display, the Nook provides a split-screen display, allowing for a black and white text display for the majority of the screen, and a smaller color display at the bottom.

Additional features of the Nook include Wi-Fi access capability and a touch-screen display. The device will be built on the Google Android operating system.

All of these plus access to Barnes & Noble’s extensive of library, the Nook is being marketed for $259, the same price as the Kindle. Kinda makes it an easy choice, doesn’t it? 😉


Plastic Logic’s reader offers Wi-fi, Powerpoint and Excel support

Another player in the Ebook market dominated by Amazon’s Kindle and Sony reader will be coming in from Plastic Logic.

Yesterday, the company announced that they are preparing to release an ebook reader that’s aimed at business professionals.

Prototypes of the QUE were demonstrated last month at the DEMOFall 08 conference. The device is set to make another er- public appearance at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7 next year.

So what makes this electronic reader different from its competitors?

The QUE’s 10-inch diagonal screen does not only show black and white electronic display, it also boasts a capability to support PowerPoint and Excel documents, which cannot be found on others.

Like the Kindle DX, the QUE includes connection to a 3G wireless network for downloading books. But unlike its competitor, the QUE also comes in with an integrated Wi-Fi.

Plastic Logic plans to offer content through an online QUE store powered by Barnes & Noble. No word yet as to when the device will be available in the market and how much it will cost.

“More than an eReader, QUE means business,” Richard Archuleta, chief executive of Plastic Logic, said in a statement.

Hmmn, I wonder what Kindle has to say to this.  🙂


More apologies from Amazon over deleted Kindle ebooks

It seems like Amazon isn’t done apologizing for what they did over the illegally sold copies of George Orwell’s novels and they’re doing everything they can to get back on people’s good graces.

The company is now ready with not just one or two, but three options for their peace offering: a redelivered copy of the novels, a gift certificate worth $30, or a check for $30. These were said in an email sent to Kindle owners Thursday, a copy of which was given to CNET News by a reader.

As you may all remember, the internet was all abuzz in July when Amazon remotely deleted copies of 1984 and Animal Farm from the Kindle devices of readers who purchased them. The company said the ebooks were placed in the Kindle library by a publisher who did not have legal rights to the novel. This move generated lots of angry outcries from the Kindle owners, civil libertarians and customer advocates , and even a lawsuit  filed by a student whose annotations for 1984 were deleted along with the novel.

Owners of Kindle readers whose copies of the novels were deleted can contact Amazon through and ask for either another copy, a gift cert or a check.

Oh, and by the way, if you made annotations in the ebook, you’ll be glad to hear they’re returning the ebook along with your notes – so you don’t have to file a lawsuit.


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