Kindle was the first to release a reader better fitted for class materials (with the help of their Kindle DX) as PDF is king in this area and a large screen is mandatory to read PDF files. B&N doesn’t yet have large format eReader, but it tries to make up the difference by offering a free software package that at least should make the Nook be more friendlier to the students – NOOKstudy. Available for both Windows and Mac platforms, NOOKstudy intention is to help students organize their course papers/reading materials. NOOKstudy will work standalone, even if you do not own a Nook (although owning one it will certainly help). The software package promises to let you access Read More…
In our last article about Pandigital Novel 7, we reached to some not too rosy conclusions about its firmware quality and usability, lack of touchscreen response and slow page turns. It looks like Pandigital had reached the same conclusions and they are trying to fix the device. The latest firmware is available and the improvements are all across the board resulting in a more responsive touchscreen and a more stable WiFi connection. Page turns are still slower than Nook or Kindle for example but the accelerometer works now so you can use it in both portrait and landscape mode. You can download the new update here (version S10_07_04K _PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP) and you’ll also find detailed instructions. You’ll need to have a SD card available.
Today, Amazon finally got a patent (number 7,748,634) for its first Kindle design. Beside pointing out the lack of efficiency of the US Patent and Trademark Office that needs 4 years to award a patent (and in many cases even longer), what is striking in the original patent application is the mention of a dual display system, one eInk, one LCD that Amazon did not implement, but the ideea was deemed worthy by, you guessed, Barnes and Noble with their beautiful Nook. And, as a side joke, we can’t help wonder if this is why Microsoft canned Courier ;).
Here is the relevant paragraph from the patent application:
A handheld electronic device comprising: a housing; an electronic paper display disposed in the housing and having a first surface area; and a liquid crystal display (LCD) disposed in the housing proximate the electronic paper display, the LCD having a second surface area that is smaller than the first surface area of the electronic paper display.
Now, whether Amazon would decide to sue B&N for the design and patent infringement is everyone’s guess, but B&N is also in a dispute with Spring Design over the design. Since both Amazon and Spring Design cannot claim dibs for the design at the same time, the whole situation is rather interesting and we’ll be happy to watch it unfold. If you want to read the whole patent, here is the link. Enjoy!
As you might have heard, Amazon signed an agreement to purchase Woot, a website that appeals to our impulse buying and sells one products a day, albeit at heavily discounted prices. In a move that fits the announcement, Woot today is selling the Amazon Kindle for $149 plus $5 shipping.
Update: They are sold out already!
In response to todays’s Barnes and Noble announcement for a new WiFi only Nook at $149 and $199 for the 3G version, Amazon slashes its own price for Kindle which now costs only $189. This is indeed a good day for eBook readers!
The battle has officially begun, so do not be surprised if B&N lowers the price further to match Amazon the way they did it in the past, or if one (or both) of them starts to offer free eBook readers (combined with some kind of subscription service). The larger Kindle DX remains at the same price, $489.
In an excellent news for eBook lovers, and in a move that is sure to put pressure on Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble confirms their new Nook model sans 3G for a new low price of $149 while at the same time reducing the price for the previous $259 3G capable Nook to $199. The new model without 3G connectivity is called Nook WiFi. One of the features I really love about Nook line is the inclusion of a microSD expansion slot, a feature not present into it’s main competitor, Amazon’s Kindle.
The 3G capability made a lot of sense several years ago during the release of the initial Kindle, but meantime the smartphone market exploded along with more or less generous data plans and tethering options (again more or less legal), so it shouldn’t be very challenging to tether your new Nook to your smartphone. Also, Barnes & Noble released their latest Nook software, now at the version 1.4 that beside a number of improvements as “Go to page”, an extra large font and some speed-up overall, now allows Nook to access the fairly extensive AT&T WiFi network for free.
The new Nook is available at B&N own website and also at Best Buy and it will start shipping this week. The main visual difference between Nook WiFi and Nook 3G is a white back panel for the new model and a slightly (0.5 oz) lower weight.
Update: Amazon followed immediately slashing their Kindle price to $189.
In the near future (and we are talking about 2011) we might see new Kindles and Nook models using the new E-Ink displays generation recently announced (source RedFerret). The next generation E-ink displays will have better contrast ratio (almost double the contrast of the current E-Ink displays) and also much higher refresh speeds, allowing for simple animations (see video). Gone will be the days when just a page turn would make you fall asleep. Another announced display technology features an almost indestructible screen, ideal for children books that usually look like they went through a war. Check the videos after the break. Read More…