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Barnes & Noble confirms Nook Wi-Fi, drops Nook 3G price

updated 08:45 am EDT, Mon June 21, 2010

Nook Wi-Fi undercuts price to fight Kindle, iPad

Barnes & Noble quickly confirmed its plans for an entry-level e-reader today by rolling out the Nook Wi-Fi. The reader drops the built-in 3G but keeps Wi-Fi that can now get online at most any access point; AT&T is giving free access to its own public hotspots. The reader still has the six-inch e-paper display, 3.5-inch color touchscreen and all the other features, such as e-book lending, web browsing and the fledgling game and music Android apps.

The Nook Wi-Fi will cost much less than the first reader, reaching down to $149. It's available to order today and will ship this week. As a complement to the low-end Nook, the original Nook (now known as the Nook 3G) is dropping from its original $259 to $199. It still has free 3G.

In addition to the readers, Barnes & Noble is rolling out the 1.4 firmware update for both devices. Patching up adds the free AT&T access as well as a Go To Page feature that can jump to a particular page, an extremely large font for poor-sighted readers, and faster book load times. Nook owners can get it through a manual update today, but those willing to wait will get it automatically this week over Wi-Fi.

The Nook price drops represent a milestone for e-readers as it represents the first full 3G reader below $200, undermining the Amazon Kindle. It also distances the Nook much further from the iPad, which starts at $499 with Wi-Fi only but has often been considered close enough to its opponents that it drew away some customers.


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By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. ebeyer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004

    0

    Still just a book reader?

    I mean, nobody's checking email with this thing, are they?

    EB

  1. legacyb4

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2001

    -2

    Too bad they missed Father's Day!

    With prices like that, it almost is worth getting as a gift. Oh wait, B&N is IP-restricted so it does do us folks up north very much good....

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    Not bad

    Much as I love the iPad, I think the Nook is positioning itself very well for the low-end "just want an ereader" market. From what I've seen, it's clearly a superior product to the Kindle (from a hardware point of view), should offer a decent selection of titles and is attractively priced. I'd certainly give one of these to a senior who isn't interested in a computer-like device, or to a kid who needs an e-reader for school over an iPad, since this will get the job done and represents a less expensive risk.

    Just goes to show that you don't have to beat Apple (not that anybody has anyway) in order to succeed -- you just have to make a good-looking, good-value product for your particular niche.

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