Last year, Sony was the only big name making touchscreen E-Ink ebook readers, and the price premium was hefty. Now Barnes and Noble (and soon Kobo with Borders in the US) have 6 inch touchscreen E-Ink readers with IR touch sensors that sell for relatively affordable prices. The New Nook (what a name, oye) sells for $139 and is in stores now, though it's not easy to find them in stock for purchase. The touch interface is very intuitive and easy to use-- a big selling point these days when touch is the rage.
The Nook Simple Touch has a wide and comfortable design and a grippy surface we like. It's not chic, but it's definitely modern and good looking. The reader has WiFi and you can download books, magazines and newspapers from B&N's online store directly to the reader, or you can transfer them via USB. Battery life is excellent on E-Ink readers (at least if you keep WiFi off when not needed), and the Nook will last many times longer on a charger than the LCD-based Nook Color or tablets like the HTC Flyer and 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Above: the Nook Simple Touch and Nook Color.
Here's our 25 minute New Nook Simple Touch video review. We take a look at books, highlighting, the dictionary, PDF support, buying books, text clarity and reading features. Our full review will follow next week.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview