updated 09:50 am EST, Tue November 16, 2010
Nook Color goes out to advance buyers
Barnes & Noble today said it had started shipping the Nook Color to early pre-orders. Its e-reader and tablet crossover should reach some as early as today and through the rest of the week for those who either ordered online or reserved the device at a store. A "very limited" number of retail units are also available both at Barnes & Noble's own stores as well as Best Buy, Books-A-Million and Walmart.
Orders have already been heavy enough that new online orders won't ship until November 26. The bookseller has warned that buyers may need to commit soon to guarantee a reader before the end of the year.
The Nook Color is both an attempt to leapfrog Amazon and other traditional e-reader creators by being the first with color but also a means of stemming cannibalization by tablets like the iPad. It has deliberately avoided running a standard implementation of Android and is running an Apple-like curated platform where apps have to meet certain experience and interface guidelines. The initial device will have support for Pandora radio and a handful of games.
Along with the new hardware, Barnes & Noble promised that its update for original Nooks should be available next week. The download will primarily speed up the grayscale readers and improve sync.