£29 NOOK Simple Touch could emerge as a Raspberry Pi rival

£29 NOOK Simple Touch could emerge as a Raspberry Pi rival

The Raspberry Pi and the NOOK Simple Touch are two different beasts altogether destined for two different audiences but I cannot help but wonder whether the NOOK Simple Touch ebook reader could be used as a hacker’s platform for DIY enthusiasts.

The impetus behind this suggestion is the new price of the NOOK Simple Touch. £29 is not a lot of money for a device with the breadth of features of that eBook reader. Sure, it doesn’t have the connectors found on the Raspberry Pi (although it has a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi and a microUSB one).

However, this rudimentary Android tablet comes with a more powerful Cortex-A8 SoC, the TI OMAP 3621 which is clocked at 800MHz and has a PowerVR SGX530 GPU onboard, 2GB onboard storage and 256MB of RAM.

It also sports a 6in 800 x 600 touchscreen display, albeit one that has only 16-level greyscale. As for the battery, it can power the device for more than 30 hours on one charge.

It doesn’t have audio capabilities though but can be rooted to run Android applications through Google Play. Note that it runs a customised version of Android 2.1 Éclair OS.

There are a number of dedicated NOOK websites out there for developers and enthusiasts and it is very likely that the sudden drop in price will boost the adoption of the two-year old Simple Touch. Check out our review of the Simple Touch GlowLight ebook reader which is fairly similar to the Simple Touch but carries a more expensive price tag.

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