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Insiders Say B&N Will Launch New Nook,Tablet In October

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the around-the-corner dept.

Books 50

Nate the greatest writes "Rumors are circulating that Barnes & Noble is going to release their new hardware soon. Two different sources inside B&N have confirmed that a launch is imminent, with one saying B&N will launch both a tablet and an ereader. The other says that a new tablet is coming. I tend to think that the first source is probably right because product pages for several accessories leaked in early August. The pages referenced 2 different new models. Also, B&N recently announced plans to continue to develop both new ereaders and tablets, though they've changed their minds so much that I don't know if that announcement is worth anything."

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50 comments

Color e-reader? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#44872371)

Finally a device with a color e-ink display, pretty please? How about making it work as a computer display, too?

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#44872493)

And I want it for under $25.00 and It needs to be more powerful by itself then all of Google's Data Servers.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872619)

And I want it for under $25.00 and It needs to be more powerful by itself then all of Google's Data Servers.

No Free - Ad Supported - ads for porno with 3 minute "teaser clips".

Let's go for broke here, huh?

Re:Color e-reader? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872855)

No Free - Ad Supported - ads for porno with 3 minute "teaser clips". Let's go for broke here, huh?

Three minutes? Teaser? I'll be done in two minutes.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 7 months ago | (#44872923)

And it should run my Windows programs.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 months ago | (#44873411)

Yes! Also it should modify each Windows program so it works well on a touchscreen.

Re:Color e-reader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876861)

And fix my broken code and logic errors, do what I meant and not what I said, fit on my watch and have a 30" screen and run on solar power with less than 30 seconds exposure per day. And butter my toast while it toasts it, having purchased it and had it delivered via bitcoins it mines in the background.

Re:Color e-reader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44873649)

Your post implies there is something unreasonable with OP's requests. Care to elaborate on why OP's requests are unreasonable?

Re:Color e-reader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44875573)

color e-ink has not really matured to the point where it's "any good", and e-ink in general has too low a refresh rate to be unusable as a computer monitor (at least for a computer running any current consumer OS).

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44872525)

Sadly no, the refresh rates are just too slow.
Other than a feeling that this is better to look at, what are the advantages? I look at LCD and AMOLED screens all day, they seem fine to me.

Re:Color e-reader? (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 7 months ago | (#44872573)

Finally a device with a color e-ink display, pretty please? How about making it work as a computer display, too?

What's the advantage to making a cheap device which people would buy to use as a display instead of a means of reading books purchased from B&N? I think they are also unlikely to build ones that can be used as BBQ grills.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#44873117)

What's the advantage to making a cheap device which people would buy to use as a display instead of a means of reading books purchased from B&N? I think they are also unlikely to build ones that can be used as BBQ grills.

As long as the device is sold at a small profit, or at minimum not at a loss, it's worth it to sell them to increase the distributed base. If you have the device for one purpose, you might use it for another. Plus, you get to claim the sales as... sales. It gets your volume up, so you can buy components at lower prices...

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 7 months ago | (#44875223)

What's the advantage to making a cheap device which people would buy to use as a display instead of a means of reading books purchased from B&N? I think they are also unlikely to build ones that can be used as BBQ grills.

As long as the device is sold at a small profit, or at minimum not at a loss, it's worth it to sell them to increase the distributed base. If you have the device for one purpose, you might use it for another. Plus, you get to claim the sales as... sales. It gets your volume up, so you can buy components at lower prices...

Unless it's a loss-leader for content sales for the device, or the additional sales drive costs down through economies of scale, you are WRONG: it is NOT worth it to sell them at a loss, even a small one.

If it's sold at a small profit, as in the device manufacturing process is self sustaining, then yes, it's probably worthwhile. But realize that self-sustaining in this regard includes amortized R&D costs, production tooling costs, manufacturing costs, shipping costs, and flooring costs for putting the devices inside the front door and having Nook sales areas inside physical B&N stores where you would otherwise have more books, a wider variety of titles, and other things which also compete for flooring, such as book bags, book lights, and so on. As a general rule, this COGS - Cost Of Goods Sold - will be twice the total of the parts costs and manufacturing costs to get the device into shrink-wrapped boxes.

My understanding is that Nooks are sold as a loss-leader in the expectation of future book sales. My undestanding comes from their 10Q and EDGAR filings with the US government, which are a matter of public record.

The whole "Internet bubble 1.0" dotbomb was about the non-viability of "sell at a loss, make it up in volume" business model. That business model was about capturing the market to the exclusion of competitors, and then raising prices, after which people will remain your customers out of early loyalty, or out of lack of choice in the matter.

The chinese restaurant "revolving door" in the small industrial park near my home is predicated on the same business model, and the reason I call it a "revolving door" is that the business model doesn't work. You get one restaurant in ant really low prices, then they establish a lunch crowd based on price, and then another restaurant opens in the park and undercuts the price, the first goes out of business, and the cycle repeats. These restaurants run on cash flow, or at a loss based on an initial investment which gets eaten up. The people in the park could care less, so long as they have a place to go for chinese food for lunch, and during the rare times there is no restaurant, they drive to the chinese place by the post office instead, and pay a higher price which is capable of sustaining the business there.

Personally, I would never sell a multifunction device where I'm not getting income from each function; it just doesn't make sense. That's why if you want to read .DOC files or .PDFs, it costs you for the extra software on the Nook, since if you are reading either of those, you aren't reading content purchased from B&N. The only way an unrestricted universal content reader makes sense is if it's sold at an at least 6% premium above COGS, and so far parts cost have kept that out of reach (this answers another question posed early on in the posts on this topic).

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#44875313)

As long as the device is sold at a small profit, or at minimum not at a loss, it's worth it to sell them to increase the distributed base. If you have the device for one purpose, you might use it for another. Plus, you get to claim the sales as... sales. It gets your volume up, so you can buy components at lower prices...

Unless it's a loss-leader for content sales for the device, or the additional sales drive costs down through economies of scale, you are WRONG: it is NOT worth it to sell them at a loss, even a small one.

Please get back to me when you reach a junior high school reading level.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 7 months ago | (#44880083)

As long as the device is sold at a small profit, or at minimum not at a loss, it's worth it to sell them to increase the distributed base. If you have the device for one purpose, you might use it for another. Plus, you get to claim the sales as... sales. It gets your volume up, so you can buy components at lower prices...

Unless it's a loss-leader for content sales for the device, or the additional sales drive costs down through economies of scale, you are WRONG: it is NOT worth it to sell them at a loss, even a small one.

Please get back to me when you reach a junior high school reading level.

You are neglecting what "at a small profit" implies.

It is not worth it to go into business and break even. To do so ignores the time value of money, which is the profit you could be making on the investment capitol if you invested it in something else. This is called "opportunity cost".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_value_of_money [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost [wikipedia.org]

Or, to put it back in the same condescending manner you put it:

``Please get back to me when you reach a college freshman's level of understanding of finance and microeconomic theories.''

In this context, "a small profit" is "an incremental amount above what I could make by having the money invested in anything else". In the B&N case, this would be things like physical books -- which is why retail flooring is an issue, and why I raised the point about amount of available physical inventory and variety of titles. I wasn't raising the issue to hear myself talk. I'm guessing you never worked in, managed, or owned a bookstore? I've done two of those.

Re:Color e-reader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44880031)

Except B&N sell the HD and HD+ tablets at extremely discounted prices, mostly likely sold at a loss. They are fully functional Android tablets that come with the ability to buy from the B&N store, but isn't limited to it.

I bought an HD+ last month because it was only $150 USD, has decent specs and a fantastic 9" 1920x1280 screen. Even though I could run most apps within the B&N branded version of Android that came on it (limited only by the lack of various hardware functions like GPS, camera, gyro, magnetometer), I swapped it out for a proper CM install.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 7 months ago | (#44873479)

Colour e-ink looks terrible - like a badly tinted black and white photo printed on recycled cardboard. It might be better than pure grey but neither is it much use for anything. Comics and other colour media wouldn't benefit much from it, not least because the refresh speed is abysmal.

Mirasol would produce a better picture for similar battery life however it's a question of whether Qualcomm are pursuing that market any more.

Re:Color e-reader? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#44877761)

Yes, color e-ink, 9.7" or don't bother releasing anything. We have enough 'tablets' called 'e-reader' out there now.

Blue screen of Nook (2, Funny)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 7 months ago | (#44872405)

Since Microsoft bought out a big chunk of B&N from Nook to prevent B&N from destroying their "Linux" patents in a patent trial I presume this will be the new WP based Nook.

Thus who cares ? I don't, this just looks like another slashadvert for Microsoft in the making.

Re:Blue screen of Nook (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44872535)

Unlikely, Microsoft do not allow OEMs to customize WindowsPhone like they can with Android. A new nook will likely just have a newer android build.

Re:Blue screen of Nook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44874673)

I haven't heard anything about this acquisition apart from rumours. Are you saying that MS have actually bought part of B&N? Could I have a link please?

Looks like they're copying Apple's PR (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872475)

Get everybody talking about what they might or might not have, so when a product actually ships a certain percentage will decide to check out what they've been hearing so much about. Nice.

Re:Looks like they're copying Apple's PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44874233)

So what you are saying is that such marketing schemes originated with Apple, is that it? I find that hard to believe.

Talking from experience (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 7 months ago | (#44872515)

I own two nooks.

I have few if any problems with the devices. But the software could use some work. They need to be able to handle more document types (Word, PDF, etc.) with well designed user interefaces. Right now they depend on selling extra software to do that with is wrong.

In addition, they need to redo their website. I have no problem finding books to buy when I go to their store. I go in, go to the section I desire and browse the "New Books" section. But trying to do it via the device is a waste of time.

Partly because the store only holds a few new books, so they select out the best, ignore the crap, and do not try to 'push' certain books.

On the devices, the opposite happens they don't limit the 'new' books in a section to the good stuff, instead they break the section downs to subsections, and fill the sub sections with every single book available.

Re:Talking from experience (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44872553)

Cyanogenmod runs on the Nook Color pretty well. The only issues are due to it having a very low amount of RAM. I am not sure why it is wrong to sell software to handle more document types, office software often costs money.

Re:Talking from experience (0)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 7 months ago | (#44872555)

As a fellow Nook owner, I second the software problem. It is almost a requirement to root any Nook purchased, as B&N spends more effort trying to prevent people form rooting them than actually fixing their usability issues. Hardware and price wise, the Nooks are fantastic. Software-wise, they are atrocious. Adding the Google Play Store on the stock OS is a good start, but redesigning their store to be more friendly is the natural next step.

Re: Talking from experience (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#44872707)

I'm confused, book is super easy to root in I experience (simple touch), and the new ones have come with Google store for a while. Are you sure you're not talking about kindle?

Re: Talking from experience (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#44873097)

Much of the time when they update the nook software they break whatever mechanism was used to root. You don't notice because you're using a rooter.

Re: Talking from experience (2)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 7 months ago | (#44873779)

I've owned Nooks since the first generation (with the little LCD at the bottom) up through the Nook Tablet. You are correct, they are easy to root...unless B&N's software gets loaded on again. Each software update has less features, and mostly code to prevent rooting/sideloading/etc. Even the less tech-saavy users in the B&N forums notice this.
The Google Store was only announced earlier this year and only works on their newest Nook and Nook HD lines. They chose to leave any other product line out.
While again, I much prefer the Nook hardware over Kindle or Nexus, I still find their stock software lacking. Thankfully Nookdevs have done an excellent job at finding ways around B&N's shifting restrictions.

Re:Talking from experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44873013)

funny. It wasn't hard to root the nook color; I just bought a CM loaded card and put it in. However, I found that I just used it in nook mode to be a book, and with the nook HD I just use it and it just works. Not sure what your issue is.

Re:Talking from experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44873287)

I own a few NOOK's (the readers, not the tablets).

My issues in case they read these...

1) If a book as links to say the table of contents its not apprenet how to go back to where you left off. More then once i have been forwarded to the footnotes.
2) The sorting is terrible. No easy way to send the shelves from say Caliber, doesn't allow you to sort by add date, etc.

Otherwise its a good reader.
Depending on the content (say project gutenberg content) i often use my nook more then my kindle as their EPUB support is actually quite good and its a more common format.

Re:Talking from experience (1)

BranMan (29917) | about 7 months ago | (#44877753)

Sorting I can't help with, but most of the time there is either a tiny (back) button on the upper or lower edge somewhere (don't recall) OR if you jump back to the TOC, the last entry visible is the one you came from. Hope this helps. YMMV, etc.

Re:Talking from experience (2)

0racle (667029) | about 7 months ago | (#44873433)

What issues with PDF's do you have? I have a Nook Color and don't seem to have issues with PDF's, I haven't noticed anything anyway.

Re:Talking from experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44874667)

+1. I love pdfs on mine. Best display for reading articles for the price.

I can read them from my google drive, my SAN, or my local storage without rooting the nook.

Re:Talking from experience (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 7 months ago | (#44874693)

As an owner of one of the earlier Nook Color models, I can't speak much about the software (put CM on it the first chance I got), but the hardware is mostly pretty nice. It doesn't have a lot of beef to it, but I've never been a touchscreen gamer sort, so that doesn't bother me.

What does piss in my cheerios is those goddamn charge/sync cables. If spun sugar could conduct electricity, I'd swear those pieces of junk were woven from cotton candy. $15 for a new cable every 6 months, and knowing that eventually, they'll kill the line and you won't be able to get them anymore: priceless.

I had a nook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44876395)

...for one day. Once i saw all the chains that B&N attached to it... i took it back.

You cant even delete files on it without logging into B&N website.... screw that!

I love my google nexus BTW.

Name (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#44872589)

Maybe they should call the new erader a Cranny instead

Re:Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44873139)

Maybe they should call the new erader a Cranny instead

That does sound much better than "Priest's Hole".

Google Play (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 months ago | (#44872603)

This time around it had better support Google Play out the door or it's DOA. Amazon, B&N, etc, all thought they could simply throw together their own private marketplace and reap lots of commission money like Apple does through its App Store. Problem is neither of them could grow their app store to reach that critical mass of selection to make it appealing to consumers, and simultaneously draw in developers to support yet another proprietary mess of App building and submission. It's the usual problem of which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Then there's the issue of free apps. Developers that go to all the extra work to support another minor platform want to make money for their efforts, so they often don't even bother with a free or trial version. At one time there were less than 20 free apps for Nook Tablet. Even the big players, like Angry Birds, didn't offer a free version for Nook Tablet. Exactly why would a person want to buy a Nook Tablet instead of generic Android tablet? Beats me.

Re: Google Play (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#44872741)

Also, as Google moves what were os functionality apis to the play store, it's going to be a bigger deal. To prevent fragmentation they say...

Re:Google Play (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44872751)

I think part of the market at least is that they can easily be turned into generic Android tablets. Until the N7 2012 was shipped there were relatively few inexpensive but good tablets.

Re:Google Play (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872753)

B&N added the google play store to the Nook HD and Nook HD+ back in May. I can't imagine they will be removing it for the new version.

Re:Google Play (1)

LavouraArcaica (2012798) | about 7 months ago | (#44872821)

Because nook tablets ARE android with google play?
As far as I know, they run pretty much everything a 'generica android tablet' runs.

Re:Google Play (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44873361)

The grandparent's point is that BN didn't introduce Google Play compatibility until earlier this year.

Nook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44873491)

nice to see Barnes and Noble continuing production of their Nook. I was wondering if anyone was still using a Nook.

Re:Nook (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#44877847)

Gen 1. Simple touch here .every day. Got it the first week it was out, has been in use ever since.

I welcome this.... (1)

ogdenk (712300) | about 7 months ago | (#44873565)

I'm glad they are giving tablets another go. I just recently got a Nook HD+ and it's actually a fairly impressive tablet, especially at that price point. The 1920x1280 LCD is really nice to look at and it's got a reasonable CPU.

I reflashed mine with CyanogenMod 10.1 but I know a few others who are quite happy with the stock firmware. Once they finally added the play store and such the stock firmware sucks a lot less. I'd buy another one.... I'm actually thinking of buying a few Nook HD's for the kids.

As long as they stay on the current track of trying to make real tablets out of them instead of eReaders on steroids, I'm happy.

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