When Barnes & Noble launched the first generation Nook ebook reader (November 2009) with the color LCD strip at the bottom, it did not get a lot of positive reviews and was generally considerd a failed attempt to compete with Amazon’s Kindle. The Nook Color launched last year, it received better reviews and and became a favorite of people who wanted it as an inexpensive starting point to create an Android tablet with just an unauthorized firmware upgrade. With the release of their third model, the Nook Simple Touch Reader, Barnes & Noble has a winner on their hands according to Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports notes, however, that the Nook “beat” the closet rated Kindle by only one point. The new Nook closed the gap in battery life to bring it on par to the Kindle, supports library ebook loans (the Kindle will be able to do this soon too) and, of course, has a touch e-ink screen. This last feature is especially interesting to me as a Kindle user. I don’t know how many times I’ve smudged the Kindle’s screen after trying to swipe it to turn the page. This happens a lot of after moving from the iPad’s Kindle app to the Kindle device (which I find better for longer reading sessions).