In addition to the new $249 Nook Tablet revealed this morning at a press event in New York City, Barnes & Noble announced a new price drop to $99 and a software update for the Nook Simple Touch eReader.
When it debuted this summer as the Nook Touch, Barnes & Noble's E Ink eReader cost $139. Now, the company is dropping the price by 40 bucks. In the spirit of competition, Barnes & Noble used its press event to play up the now-$99 eReader's lack of display ads. That's a jab at the Amazon Kindle Touch, which for the same $99 price includes on-screen special offers. To avoid those ads, users have to purchase a $139 version of the Kindle Touch.
Touted by the company as sporting the "most advanced E Ink display," the Nook Simple Touch will get a free v1.1 software update that speeds up page turns by 25 percent. That boost will likely address some criticisms of the eReader—including those found in our full Nook Touch review—particularly that the earlier version of the Nook Touch offered slower page turns than the Amazon Kindle 3G.
Also bundled in the update is new font technology, which Barnes & Noble calls Best-Text. According to the company's press materials, that software will boost the sharpness of text in digital content, making lettering in eBooks and magazines crisper and easier to read in sunlight.
The Nook Simple Touch is available now for $99 at bn.com, and current owners of the eReader can download the software update at www.nook.com/update.