Rumor: Barnes & Noble To Show Color Nook Next Week

An unsourced rumor has a new Nook e-reader being unveiled next week by Barnes & Noble, and a color one at that. It is supposed to be called the Nook Color (naturally), but beyond that little is known (if anything is in the first place). A new Nook would be a good idea, since the current one is really under threat from cheaper readers.

It’s said to have a 7″ screen and run Android, which would make it a little bigger than the current version. Chances are it would be running a version of the current Nook app for existing color devices. The type of screen isn’t mentioned, but for full color there are really only a few options:

Full LCD, the wisdom of which is disputable, since as a reading device you want a passive, low-power display. But if this new device is more focused on magazines or textbooks, it could make some sense.

Mirasol or other color e-ink, which seems unlikely, as that technology isn’t quite ready for prime time. All the OEMs are still working on their color e-ink panels, and this early in the game they’d be quite expensive (and possibly low-quality).

Pixel Qi, which would be awesome.

Apparently, this new device is to be sold alongside the current Nook, and the price is believed to be $250. A firmware upgrade for the original would ship at the same time. I have little faith in the viability of these tweener devices right now, with super-cheap e-readers and the iPad pressing them from both sides, but until we find out what B&N actually has up its sleeve, I’ll reserve judgment.