October 22 – October 29, 2009 Edition

B&N Announces Long-Awaited E-Reader at Frankfurt

FRANKFURT, GERMANY/Authorlink News/10/19/09–Barnes & Noble announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair this past week that it will introduce its own dedicated eBook reader that will run its e-book applications, in partnership with Plastic Logic. Video report.

The touch-screen reader, named the Nook, is reportedly "the size of a trade paperback book and will feature full color," and will be available by April 2010. Barnes & Noble is still tight-lipped about the cost of the reader, but some say it will range between $199 and $800.

A Fair spokesman for Barnes & Noble said the Nook e-reader will "allow the user to comfortably read for hours," unlike reading on an iPhone or other smart phone, which he said are suitable only for short periods of time.

The Barnes and Nobles e-reader project, according to the blog Gizmodo, has been under development for years, with several devices of varying size and capability in the pipeline. The B&N device will reportedly have two screens, one a monochrome e-ink screen like the Kindle-and a multitouch display similar to an iPhone underneath the other.

B&N's partner, Plastic Logic, is a spin-off company from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory and specializes in polymer transistors and electronics. The principal product the company has developed is a flexible A4-size and robust plastic electronic display the thickness of a credit-card. It will be the core part of its own upcoming eReader. The headquarters of Plastic Logic is in Cambridge, United Kingdom. A factory for the mass-production of the display units was opened on September 17th 2008 in Dresden, Germany.


Plastic Logic plans to release its own QUE proReader in January 2010. It is intended as a replacement for paper, allowing electronic documents to be transported and read just like paper documents. It will have a thickness of less than 7 mm, a form factor of 8.5" x 11" and a weight of less than 16 oz (453 grams). It will be capable of displaying MS Office documents (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), PDF files and others.


The so-called "proReader" will have some stiff competition against a host of e-readers, including what may be the first Google Android-based e-reader. Some say the e-reader could be on the market in time for the Christmas selling season. Barnes & Noble's entry into the e-reader fray adds another major player to the mix– and one that has its own book distribution to compete with Amazon and the Kindle.

The Barnes & Noble Nook will supposedly be built on a Google Android operating system, and will feature all titles in Google's huge book search program.