The first screen is an 6-inch e-ink display with an 800x600 pixel resolution. That's standard for e-books, with this screen having similar refresh and contrast as the second generation Kindle's. The second display, however, is as wide as the e-ink display but is a multitouch LCD that is meant to be used as the sole interface for browsing swiftly through colored book covers (like Apple's coverflow, but books instead of of Album art) and buying "rather than forcing eink do things it was not made for." It is 480x144 pixels in size and has a resolution of 150dpi.


The choice of two different screens (and techs) on one device serves to overcome the shortcomings in e-ink, which lacks of richness and interactivity; and LCD's eyestrain and battery drain. (The LCD will remain inactive while books are being read.) Contrast this with the Kindle which uses the e-ink display to emulate a slow menu system and requires a physical keyboard for searching. Likewise, Sony's e-ink readers with touchscreens layers have reduced visibility. The B&N reader has none of these issues. [editor's note: In theory.]

The interface has a few buttons. According to photos below, there are two sets of next/previous page buttons, as the Kindle has. But there are also buttons for search, home, "BN" which it is safe to assume is for accessing the store, and a back button. There's also an icon for a person, with a dot under it, which is for user profile, important for the device's social networking hooks. The reader is expected to have book lending features between friends and publishing of excerpts on facebook and twitter, but that may be cut before launch.


The carrier attached to the reception bars at the top of those photos might be Verizon or Sprint, but Barnes and Nobles, wise to Amazon's international plans ahead of the public (corporate espionage!) may have gone with a carrier more capable of bringing their books internationally, more naturally, meaning a GSM carrier. I'm unsure.


Pricing is yet unknown, but no matter what, it was planned to be sold at less than the price of a Kindle, with the majority of revenue made up through book sales.

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