Wow. I think Barnes & Noble’s has got it right. E Ink-based displays last a long time because it doesn’t consume any power when information is not being updated–perfect for an ebook reader application. But it doesn’t update quickly and is very awkward when navigating through a menu system or even simple scrolling. Touch doesn’t work very well either precisely because of the slow response. On the other hand, LCDs do that quite well and that’s probably why it is hanging out below the E Ink display. As you can see from the picture the LCD can display a keyboard, book choices (from, of course, Barnes & Noble) or maybe related content, reference material, footnotes, endnotes, appendix, etc. I believe this is a positive evolution of the ebook reader.
Source: “Exclusive: First Photos of Barnes & Noble’s Double Screen E-Reader” – Gizmodo