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Summary:

Barnes & Noble ramps up production of the Nook e-Book reader so you can walk into their store to try and buy, starting this week. A firmware update also just hit and here’s a video showing you what to expect in version 1.2 for the Nook.

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Folks waiting to get their hands and eyes on a Barnes & Noble Nook needn’t wait much longer. The bookseller today announced in-store availability of the eInk device starting mid-week. The Nook is also listed as “in stock” for online orders, so it appears that production has either caught up to demand or the company has increased production. The official press release says that Barnes & Noble has “ramped up production and is shipping stock to the majority of its stores.” Economics aside, this opens up the market for potential buyers to try the $259 device, and even walk away with one from a brick-and-mortar store, if they want to. Starting on February 10, you can check local in-store availability on the Nook website.

Coinciding with the increased device availability is a firmware upgrade for all Nook devices. Version 1.2 just arrived and will appear as automatic, over-the-air install for Nook owners. Folks that prefer to manually upgrade their Nook, can find the installation files and instructions on the Nook support site. Matt Miller has already updated his Nook and shows off the latest features in a video demo at The Mobile Gadgeteer.

Matt likes the larger navigation buttons on the color display and I can see why — you can’t miss those up and down buttons now. His content from bookstores other than Barnes & Noble now show the correct titles and book information. There’s also a new “Lend Me” icon indicating if a book can be loaned out and personal documents or other content is sortable by author or title. Barnes & Noble mentions additional enhancements like page numbers for bookmarks, easier navigation of daily subscription issues and an improved in-store connectivity experience. Make sure you watch to the end of Matt’s video — he has one other “feature” on his Nook that you just can’t buy in any store.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?

  1. Version 1.2 a.k.a. what they should have shipped day one.

    One note for anyone else doing the manual update: close your current book first. I wound up losing my current position and “highest page read” on my open book. :(

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  2. You forgot the option of “demand has caught up to production.”

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  3. really wonder why Amazon has not gotten into a Partnership with a brick and mortar shop yet to sell the Kindle. As with every electronic device it is very important to experience the design and feel of ther device, just to see if it fits your hand is in my opinion a MUST for something that costs so much money. nobody would buy a TV online if you haven’t had a look at it somewhere else in a store, why does Amazon think that poeple are willing to do so with an E-Reader.

    B&N will have a huge advantage from this, just the possibilities in terms of promotion and consumer shows are much better now that you have the thing in stores. It makes the whole E-Reader sector much more tangablie for people.
    Now they just have to finetune the device itself ( see http://www.e-reader-reviews.com/barnes-noble-nook-reader-review/ ,the last user review at the bottom) and the success can get started!:-)

    Cheers from Switzerland,
    Daniel

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