Nook 2 – What Features Does the New Nook Have?

Nook 2

Barnes and Noble is expected to announce a new ereader device on Tuesday, May 24th. There aren’t any details about the new Nook yet, so all we can do is guess at what features it will have.

Most people expect Barnes and Noble to release a new E Ink Nook—a Nook 2—but others insist a Nook Color 2 is going to be announced, possibly one with a larger display and with an Android Honeycomb operating system.

I predict that it will be a new E Ink Nook focused on simplicity and low cost, and will probably lack a few features to bring the price down.

I can guarantee it will not be a Nook Color 2. B&N just released a major update for the Nook Color so replacing it now makes no logical sense, and a Honeycomb Nook makes even less sense because B&N are in the business of selling ebooks, not hardware. A Honeycomb Nook would have to be unlocked and thus open to install 3rd party apps—that’s something B&N would never do, and their new appstore is proof.

I suspect the Nook 2 will do away with the color LCD screen below the E Ink screen, like the picture at the top of this post suggests. Instead the Nook 2 will have a touchscreen similar to Sony’s ereaders, which use NeoNode’s zForce infrared technology. These touchscreens have been a huge success for Sony because they work extremely well and don’t degrade the quality of the screen.

Another detail with the screen, the new Nook could use the new higher-contrast Pearl displays like the Kindle and Sony Readers. Or perhaps B&N will go in a completely different direction and use some variation of LCD.

One big question, will the Nook 2 have an Android operating system? The original Nook does, and so does the Nook Color. It seems very likely that the new Nook will run Android as well. But what version? And will it be hackable?

What about screen size? Most ereaders come with 6″ screens, but 5″ or 7″ screens aren’t out of the question. A 7″ screen would match the Nook Color.

Some features are pretty much a given: ebook lending, syncing, notes, highlights, dictionary, adjustable text size and type, support for Adobe DRM, WiFi, and PDF support (hopefully improved PDF support). All the other Nooks have a microSD card slot, so that will likely be included as well.

The original Nook, in part because of the LCD screen, doesn’t get very good battery life compared to other E Ink ereaders, so hopefully the new Nook will improve in that area.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out. What features do you think the new Nook will have?

13 Responses to “Nook 2 – What Features Does the New Nook Have?”

  1. “Instead the Nook 2 will have a touchscreen similar to Sony’s ereaders, which use NeoNode’s zForce infrared technology.”

    Having now owned a Kindle for a while, I have to believe that there are senior citizens that struggle with the Amazon keyboard or won’t buy it because of it. And we know that is a big market with baby boomers reaching retirement age having more time to read. Therefore, I think you are right about the type of screen that will be implemented.

    If they include a MicroSD card again, hopefully it will accessible from the outside, although I guess it is not that big a deal if they exclude it altogether.

    As for the screen size, I think it comes down to what they think the maximum weight a reader should be for comfortable reading. If they can package a reader that is light as the Kindle with a 7″ screen than I say do it.

    How does the Sony 950 compare to Kindle and/or Nook in terms of battery life?

    You don’t have a RSS feed for comments by chance?

  2. Actually I meant to say Sony 650, although I am just trying to get an idea what impact the Sony’s screen technology has on battery life compared to Kindle.

    • It doesn’t appear to use much more energy for the touchscreen—the 350 gets about 2 weeks (don’t have the 650 anymore, but is was about the same). The Kindle seems to be way better than others. When they say 3-4 weeks, that’s pretty spot on. It seems like I never charge that thing.

      As for RSS comments, I was just looking into that last week, but I couldn’t figure out how to get them without changing my existing RSS feed, which is the last thing I want to do…again. There’s probably a way, but WordPress is so freaking complicated that I can’t figure anything out half the time.

  3. Ok, thanks. So if they go with the Sony screens they probably still won’t be able to compete with Kindle on battery life. I think 2 weeks is sufficient in any case. There are trade-offs to everything.

  4. Definitely Not: A Nook Color 2, your analysis of the situation is spot on.

    Most Probable: Your Nook 2 mock up is probably the best case scenario, though it will be underwhelming and more evolutionary than revolutionary. Add Gorilla Glass on the front to make it more resilient and I would like it.

    Pipe Dream: Nook 2 with Mirasol screen or other color e-ink tech.

    Personally I use a Nook Color, a iPhone (now downgraded to an iPod Touch) with the Nook App, and am impatiently waiting for a Nook App for my WP7 phone. I would love a nice eink Nook to complement these for the throw in the bag times.

  5. As an added note, I expect that the new Nook 2 will match the outer dimensions of either the original Nook or the Nook Color so as to leverage the first and third-party covers already in stock.

  6. Hope now that B&N now being bought by Malone, NC will fly off the shelves if Android 2.3 is used. Kindle sells more units cause its a Ereader but NC w/2.3 will fly. Nook 2 better have at least Android 2.2 (like NC)or it will fail to Kindle unless their really cheap.

  7. I’ve had 5 Sonys and the battery life on all of them is far,far better than the original Nook, which is an enormous POS that never,ever worked well and crapped out for good after 4 or 5 months. And this is after having to open it up and re install the battery to even get it to boot out of the box. They will have to make huge huge improvements to compete w/ Kindle or Sony…

  8. A small point to reduce any misconceptions: the difference between the 7″ NOOK Color and 6″ NOOK screen sizes is the aspect ratio. They’re basically the same width; the NOOK Color’s screen is about 25% longer, reaching down into the area that has the color touch-screen on the regular NOOK.

  9. when do you think Barnes and nobles will come out with a new nook color

    • We might see a new Nook Color by the end of the year in time for x-mas, but it might be longer. B&N are just now refreshing their original Nook and that took about 18 months.

  10. I’m very impressed, how your predictions turned right. Kudos!