Barnes & Noble has unveiled an all-new version of its Nook e-book reader at a press event in New York City. Dubbed the Simple Touch Reader, the $ 139 device is meant to directly compete with Amazon's Wi-Fi-only Kindle 3, equipped with a touch screen, a two-month battery life and a 6-inch, 800 x 600 pixel display using the latest e-Ink technology.
Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said this pocket-sized version of the Nook was "inspired for readers turned off by buttons, keyboards and complexity." It weighs 7.48 ounces, which is 35% lighter than the original Nook, and it's also more compact than the first Nook measuring 6.5 x 5.0 x 0.47-inches. During the unveiling, the company also noted that the device has 37 fewer buttons than Kindle, as it ditches the keyboard and uses a single on/off button on the back.
The new Simple Touch Reader is powered by Google's Android 2.1 software and an 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor. It will feature 2GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSDHC, and has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity with free Wi-Fi access at all Barnes & Noble stores and at over AT&T hotspots nationwide.
The Simple Touch Reader also integrates B&N's Nook Friends, a social sharing platform found on the Nook Color, as well as access to an online portal for shopping and sharing at myNook.com when it launches next month.
The device is available for pre-order now in stores and online over at nook.com, with shipments starting on or around June 10. Prices for the first edition Nook Wi-Fi and 3G + Wi-Fi devices will be reduced to $119 and $169 respectively, while the 7-inch Nook Color will remain the same at $249.