TECH
05/24/2011 11:03 am ET | Updated Jul 24, 2011

Barnes & Noble Unveils 'Simple Touch Reader': Next-Gen Nook With Touchable Display

Barnes & Noble on Tuesday introduced its latest Nook eReader device, the Simple Touch Reader.

The new Nook is built on Android 2.1 technology. Its black-and-white touchscreen measures 5 by 6.5 inches, weighs under 7.5 ounces and will retail for $139. The Simple Touch Reader will ship around June 10, though pre-orders are open now.

WiFi capabilities will be built into the device, and battery life is expected to last up to two months on a single charge, which Barnes and Noble claims is the longest of any eReader.

A digital keyboard replaces traditional buttons on the front panel of the Simple Touch Reader, and the back features a soft contour design.

Barnes and Noble claims there will be 80 percent less flashing when the user turns a page, meaning that the screen will appear black for a shorter amount of time as the next page loads. The touchscreen, which operates by infrared technology, will offer six different fonts in seven different sizes, as well as the ability to customize e-ink screensavers.

Like other Nooks, the Simple Touch Reader will feature Nook Friends, a social sharing platform powered by Facebook, Twitter and email. The company will also soon launch myNook.com, an online portal for shopping and sharing.

While Barnes and Noble still offers the Nook Color for $249, the basic Nook has been reduced to $119 for the WiFi model ($169 for 3G) and will be available only while supplies last.

On Monday, Kobo announced its eReader Touch Edition, another black and white e-ink touch-screen device, retailing for $129.99.

In February, Barnes and Noble reported that it held 25 percent share of the ebook market. Other reports say that Amazon's Kindle holds 47 percent share, followed by the iPad at 32 percent and trailed distantly by the Nook at 4 percent. At the press conference on Tuesday, Barnes and Noble said that it was the best-selling overall eReader.

Last month, Barnes and Noble added an App store and email program to its Nook Color, which also runs Google's Android operating system. The Simple Touch Reader offers a more stripped-down reading experience than the Nook Color.

Meanwhile, Amazon is strongly thought to be prepping its own tablet, a rumor bolstered by CEO Jeff Bezos's coy non-denials on the subject. Sources say the Amazon tablet would not be a part of the Kindle line but would be sold alongside it.

Check out the new Nook (below).

Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader