Barnes & Noble might have done just enough to become a major player in the exploding ebook reader and tablet market thanks to a new model called the NookColor.
Available from the 19th of November for only $249, the device packs a 7-inch 1024x600 pixels, touchscreen display with wireless capabilities, 8GB onboard storage, a microSD card reader and a web browser.
At less than 400g, it is just as petite as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and like so many others, is powered by Google's omnipresent Android OS albeit the 2.1 version.
An early review by PCMag points out to the gorgeous colour reproduction, especially on publications like the National Geographic although eschewing the monochrome woeld means that battery life has shrunken to eight hours.
It is unlikely that it will run Android Marketplace apps as Barnes & Noble will make sure the device is as closed as possible; expect them to be hacked within weeks of launch though.
All in all, the new Nookcolor is a very attractive alternative to those looking to buy something more evolved than the monochrome Kindle but without the associated expense (or bulge) of an iPad.
The only fly in the ointment, as far as we can tell, is that, like its predecessor, the $149 monochrome Nook, this one is not bound for non US-markets yet.