Barnes & Noble has lowered the price of its Nook Simple Touch e-reader to $79 to compete against Amazon's entry-level e-reader, the Kindle.
The E-Ink e-reader, which previously cost $99, packs essentially the same hardware as the Kindle: Both devices have 6-inch black-and-white screens, Wi-Fi connectivity and 2 GB of storage. (Via a microSD card slot, Nook storage can be expanded to 32 GB only useful, really, if you want to store all your books and PDFs on your device, instead of archiving them in the cloud.)
The Nook is slightly wider, thicker and heavier than the Kindle (6.5 inches x 5.0 inches x .0.47 inches and 7.5 ounces, versus 6.5 inches x 4.5 inches by 0.34 inches and 6 ounces). Both have long battery lives, but the Nook wins out with two months, doubling Amazon's e-reader at one month.
The Kindle is priced at $69, but displays ads on its screensaver, and comes without a charger. Without the ads and with a charger, it costs $99. So, the Nook offers perhaps the best value in the entry-level e-reader category, leading into the holidays.
The Nook is available at its new price via Nook.com, as well as at Barnes & Noble stores and third-party retailers, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy.