Barnes & Noble's Android-based, dual-screen e-book reader made an impressive debut recently, wowing observers with both its features and its price.
Dubbed "Nook," the $259 wireless e-reader is available for pre-sale, with retail sales set for the end of November.
Similar to the popular Amazon Kindle, operating on Sprint's network, the Nook features 3G connectivity courtesy of AT&T. But it also supports Wi-Fi and, in addition to its main E-Ink reading screen, sports a second, tiny color touchscreen for navigation -- enhancements the single-screen Kindle lacks.
It also includes a feature that allows owners to lend their e-books to others. The "LendMe" tool lets users send e-books for free to a friend's Nook, iPhone, iPod Touch, PC and select BlackBerry and Motorola smartphones, for up to 14 days.
In addition, the Nook comes with a 16GB microSD card reader and supports the transfer of .PDF documents from computers, as well as the open EPUB format adopted by many e-book players (but not Amazon).
The Nook is one of the few non-phone devices to use Android, the Google-backed, open source mobile operating system.