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After rumors and speculation, Barnes & Noble officially confirmed today the release of a WiFi only version of their Nook e-reader. The Nook WiFi comes in at $149, a low price point for the e-reader market, and has all the same specs besides the 3G removal, including the dual displays (though its back is grey now instead of white). In addition, the Nook 3G has had its price slashed to $199, creating a sub $200 e-reader that does 3G & WiFi — that’s a pretty enticing product now. The Nook also updated itself to firmware 1.4, allowing users free access to AT&T’s WiFi across the country. Both versions are available for order now and will be shipping this week.

06/21/2010

Barnes & Noble Introduces NOOK™ Wi-Fi® and Lowers NOOK 3G Price,
Giving Book Lovers Greater Choice and Even Greater Value

At Only $149, Wi-Fi-Only Addition to NOOK Family is the Most Full-Featured, Low-Cost eBook Reader on the Market, Now Available Online at www.nook.com

Bestseller NOOK 3G is First Dedicated eBook Reader with
Free 3G Wireless and Wi-Fi Connectivity Available at $199

Latest Software Update to Both NOOK Models Offers NOOK Customers
Complimentary Access at All AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots and Improved Reading Features

New York, New York – June 21, 2010 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, is giving book lovers more choice and greater value in dedicated eBook Reading devices with the addition of NOOK Wi-Fi to the NOOK by Barnes & Noble family for just $149, and a new lower price for its award-winning NOOK 3G at $199. The new NOOK Wi-Fi offers all the great features of NOOK 3G – a color touchscreen for navigation and best-in-class E-Ink® display for a great reading experience – plus Wi-Fi connectivity. NOOK Wi-Fi is now available to order online at www.nook.com and www.bestbuy.com.

Barnes & Noble’s new price for NOOK 3G marks the market’s first under-$200 dedicated full-featured eBook reader that offers both free 3G wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity. And Barnes & Noble continues to enhance the eReading experience for all NOOK 3G and NOOK Wi-Fi owners through its latest 1.4 software update, now offering even more places to connect to Wi-Fi for free and faster access to the content they want to read.

NOOK Wi-Fi eBook Reader marries innovative technology and sleek minimalist design with Wi-Fi connectivity. This latest addition to the NOOK family gives customers the opportunity to take advantage of the proliferation of both in-home and public Wi-Fi hotspots, where they can browse the Web and shop the Barnes & Noble eBookstore of more than one million eBooks, periodicals and other digital content. With its latest software update for all NOOK devices (now available at www.nook.com/update), Barnes & Noble is offering all NOOK customers complimentary access to AT&T’s entire nationwide Wi-Fi network, including Barnes & Noble bookstores which have previously been available to NOOK customers.

As part of the NOOK eBook Reader family, NOOK Wi-Fi features Barnes & Noble’s breakthrough LendMe™ technology, enabling customers to share eBooks with friends for up to 14 days. NOOK Wi-Fi also offers the same great in-store features like Read In Store™ to browse complete eBooks in Barnes & Noble stores at no cost, and More In Store™, offering free, exclusive content and special promotions.

“People who love to read will find tremendous value with the new NOOK Wi-Fi, the most full-featured, low-cost eReading device on the market, and our bestselling NOOK 3G now at an even lower price,” said Tony Astarita, Vice President, Digital Products, Barnes & Noble.com. “This expanded choice offers best-in-class, best-priced dedicated eBook Readers featuring eBook sharing, access to our vast eBookstore, great free and exclusive content and much more. And with expansion of fast and free Wi-Fi access beyond Barnes & Noble stores to thousands of AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots, we’re bringing additional freedom and flexibility to all NOOK 3G and NOOK Wi-Fi customers.”

Just like NOOK 3G, NOOK Wi-Fi features:

* Enriched eReading: Enjoy an immersive reading experience with color book covers to browse in your library or while shopping, fast page turns, multiple font choices and sizes and more.
* Dual displays: A fun, easy-to-use reading experience on the familiar paper-like 6″ E Ink display which offers great contrast with no backlight or glare even in bright sunlight, and 3.5″ LCD lower color touchscreen for navigation.
* Vast catalog of content: Shop the Barnes & Noble eBookstore for everything from classics to current bestsellers and download your content wirelessly in seconds. There are more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers available and free eBook samples.
* Lend to friends: Share a wide range of eBooks with friends for 14 days using exclusive LendMe™ technology.
* In-store experience: Access fast and free Wi-Fi connectivity in Barnes & Noble stores and enjoy the beta Read In Store feature to browse many complete eBooks for free, and the More In Store program, which offers free, exclusive content and special promotions.
* Games, music and Web: Play Chess or Sudoku, listen to your favorite songs or browse the Web to check news and email.
* Light and portable library: About the size and weight of a paperback, the 2GB device carries approximately 1,500 eBooks and offers virtually endless shelf space with expandable memory.
* Your B&N personal library: With Barnes & Noble’s Lifetime Library™, Barnes & Noble digital purchases will be accessible on BN.com and can be enjoyed on the widest variety of devices. Your eBook library goes wherever you go, giving instant access to your existing Barnes & Noble digital library on your NOOK device, partners’ third-party eBook readers and hundreds of computing and mobile devices enabled with free BN eReader software including iPad™, iPhone®, iPod touch®, BlackBerry®, HTC HD2™, PC and Mac®.
* Read for days: Long battery life means you won’t need to worry about recharging. With Wi-Fi turned off, enjoy reading for up to 10 days on a single battery charge.
* Personalize with style: Customize NOOK Wi-Fi with one of the many stylish designer accessories available for all NOOK devices. Customers can choose from a range of classic and colorful accessories designed exclusively for NOOK devices by renowned designers kate spade new york, Jack Spade, Jonathan Adler, Tahari and others.

NOOK Wi-Fi follows NOOK 3G’s stylish design and dimensions and is lightweight (just 11.6 ounces), making it easy to carry in a handbag, briefcase, backpack or suit jacket pocket, just like NOOK 3G. NOOK Wi-Fi also comes with a removable white back cover – NOOK’s is grey – and you can personalize your device from a selection of four additional great back cover colors.

All NOOK 3G and NOOK Wi-Fi customers can also use the included USB cable to connect their device to a PC or Mac to transfer their personal files in ePub, PDF and PDB formats to their NOOK. Based on Barnes & Noble’s open platform and Adobe technology partnership, customers can transfer and read personal files that utilize Adobe’s latest digital rights management or are rights-free. Barnes & Noble’s use of Adobe technology and ePub format also allows customers to read their digital content across a growing universe of devices.

NOOK Wi-Fi Available for Order Today
Just in time for summer reading, NOOK Wi-Fi is now available for purchase online at www.nook.com for $149 and will begin shipping this week. A bookseller at a Barnes & Noble store can also help customers place an order. NOOK Wi-Fi can also be ordered at www.bestbuy.com. Barnes & Noble expects NOOK Wi-Fi will be in-stock in select Barnes & Noble and Best Buy stores for immediate purchase later this month and rolling out to all stores later this summer.

NOOK 3G continues to offer both free 3G wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity to give customers more ways to shop on-the-go. NOOK 3G is in stock at Barnes & Noble stores and at www.nook.com with its new price of $199. NOOK 3G is also available at Best Buy and www.bestbuy.com.

Visit the NOOK counter at any Barnes & Noble store to see, hold and touch NOOK and learn more about eBooks and eReading from a knowledgeable Barnes & Noble bookseller who can help determine which NOOK eBook Reader best fits a customer’s needs. Barnes & Noble offers the best opportunity to try before you buy in both Barnes & Noble and Best Buy stores.

NOOK v1.4 Update: Complimentary AT&T Wi-Fi Access and More
Barnes & Noble also announced that its latest NOOK v1.4 software gives all NOOK 3G and NOOK Wi-Fi customers complimentary high-speed access to AT&T’s entire nationwide Wi-Fi network, including restaurants, hotels and additional locations across the country which can be found at www.att.com/go. So now, in addition to Barnes & Noble stores, all NOOK customers can enjoy free-high-speed access to browse the Barnes & Noble eBookstore and the Web on their NOOKs in thousands more places.

The latest NOOK software also offers a Go To Page feature, one of the most frequent enhancements requested by NOOK users, which allows customers to jump to a specific page number in an open eBook, an extra extra large font and performance enhancements to open eBooks even faster.

NOOK v1.4 software is now available via manual download at www.nook.com/update with additional information and easy-to-follow directions. NOOKs connected to Wi-Fi will receive an automatic NOOK v1.4 update upon syncing over the next week.










Chris Gullo