Just when you thought you knew what a tablet is (versus a slate, versus a pad) Barnes & Noble comes out with the Nook Color and throws a spinner in the already gummed up works.
People are already calling the Nook Color an Android Tablet because it works off the Android operating system. And yet, it is an e-reader! Are you confused yet? This is an e-reader that thinks it's a tablet.
This product further blurs the distinction between what an
e-reader is and what a tablet is. The Android Nook offers us the opportunity to read e-books, but also to surf the web and download apps on a touchscreen.
This color e-reader - the Nook still thinks of itself an an e-reader - will probably do away with E-ink. But it also will probably erode the distinction between tablets and e-readers.
Right now it seems that the main distinction is one of price. The Nook Color is going to be just $249. Bloggers are having difficulty trying to figure out what it is with at least one blogger calling it an "Android-Based Reader/Tablet."
Crunchgear already calls this the "tablet tipping point" and this is for good reason. This really looks like the tablet for the e-reader crowd. And the price should make the Kindle very worried.
Products like this are going to probably put an end to the physical book reader category or at least Balkanize it. It also will further define what a tablet / pad / slate is. Or make it more confusing.