Barnes & Noble All-New NOOK, 6-inch E Ink Pearl Display, Android 2.1

Barnes & Noble has introduced the All-New NOOK. It still sports a 6-inch E Ink display, but the new Pearl E Ink features 50% more contrast than the E Ink that was used in the first NOOK. The more contrasty E Ink display is also faster with 80% less flashing, the flashing that happens when content is updated on E Ink displays.

The All-New NOOK is 35% lighter (7.48 ounces, 212 grams) and 15% thinner than the original. The battery lasts for up to two months on a single charge with WiFi off, which is about twice as long as the Kindle.

The most important feature in my mind is that the All-New NOOK now sports touch capability. Instead of a touch layer on top of the E Ink display that degrade contrast and the experience of reading, the latest touch solutions use infrared and that includes the All-New NOOK.

By adding touch you can make notes, highlight, doodle, etc. Natural almost necessary things you do on a book, and now things you can do on an e-book in your All-New NOOK.

Touch is also required to navigate. The All-New NOOK might look like a mere e-reader on the surface, but underneath is Android 2.1, an OS that will enable the All-New NOOK to act like a tablet with some under-the-hood tweaking.

The price is US$139 and you can pre-order online and in stores now. The All-New NOOK will start shipping on June 10, when you can also pick one up at BestBuy, Walmart, Books-A-Million, and Staples.

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