Barnes & Noble Reveals The Nook Color, Please Act Surprised

Well, well. The interweb rumor mill wins again. It’s been said for weeks that B&N was going to out a color Nook and sure enough, the bookseller did just that.

Android powers the second-gen Nook and it uses a 7-inch color, yep, color LCD for displaying the content. Since Android is inside, it’s slightly more than an ebook reader and slightly less than a tablet. There are social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter, along with the ability to display videos as well as the standard ebook content. Sounds a bit like some other devices, no?

B&N is marketing this as an entirely new product category. They want to turn reading ebooks into a social affair and taps the standard social networking streams. Dubbed Nook Friends, this function allows users to share quotes and even books with their Internet friends. But B&N didn’t go with Android just for those functions. The Nook Color has an array of apps including Pandora, games, access to Google and Wikipedia, a contact manager and more. There’s even a full-featured magazine reader that will probably be highly advertised.

Bad news for the Android fanboys, though. The Nook Color is what’s called a curated experience, which is a fancy way to say there’s no Android Marketplace.

As for the hardware, the Nook Color is void of any phyiscal buttons. Instead there’s a 1024×600 7-inch screen, laminated to reduce glare traditionally associated with LCDs. There’s a MicroSD card slot as well as WiFi. The entire thing weighs in at 15.6 oz with a thickness of .48-inches — that’s just 5.4 oz heavier and .12-inches thicker than the new Kindle.

The internet rumor club got the pricing right, too: $249.99. That places it at half the price of the iPad, but over $100 more than the WiFi-only Kindle. Good spot? The market will start deciding on November 19th when it starts shipping alongside the older dual-screen models.