Barnes & Noble just announced its new Nook e-reader–and as rumored, the big news is that it has a color screen. No, it’s not some bleeding-edge color electronic ink: The $249 Nookcolor uses an IPS LCD, the same type of screen used by the iPad, but in a 7″ size. Like the original Nook, it runs Android, and B&N says it will run for eight hours on a charge.
Barnes & Noble is calling the Nookcolor a “reader’s tablet,” cleverly splitting the difference between Kindle-style e-readers and iPad-esque tablets. It’ll only succeed if it’s good, but its positioning seems distinct and comprehensible–unlike a Kindle, it has a color touchscreen, and it’s much more portable and affordable than an iPad.
That doesn’t make it the ideal device, of course–it can’t compete with the Kindle’s battery life or the iPad’s third-party app riches. (I can’t tell from B&N’s site if the device can run stock Android apps, but I’d tend to doubt it.)
The Nookcolor is supposed to start shipping around November 19th; more thoughts to come.