Review: Nook Tablet is a worthy competitor to Kindle Fire

The Nook Tablet improves on the Nook Color mainly by beefing up the processor and memory and extending the battery life.

Last week, Associated Press technology writer Peter Svensson reviewed the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s $199 tablet that aims to challenge the iPad. This week, he reviewed the new $249 Nook Tablet from bookseller Barnes & Noble, which he called “a solid product, worthy of duking it out with [the] Kindle Fire.”

Here’s what he had to say about the device…

“Like the new Kindle Fire, the [Nook] Tablet has a 7-inch, touch-sensitive color screen, about half the size of the iPad’s. It’s the same screen as on the Nook Color, the eReader Barnes & Noble launched a year ago. I thought it was the best eReader yet when it launched.…Read More

Are textbooks a ‘scam’? Students think so

Renting textbooks can save thousands over a four-year college career, industry experts say.
Renting textbooks can save thousands over a four-year college career, industry experts say.

Buying pricey textbooks has never been a back-to-school highlight for college students, but according to a survey released Aug. 12, students rank textbooks among their leading wastes of money and the “biggest scam” in higher education.

Disdain for the costliness of textbooks was just one of the many financial worries revealed in a survey of college students conducted by online textbook rental company BookRenter, which launched in 2008 and serves about 5,000 college campuses with a library of 3 million textbooks.

The survey results echo a sentiment expressed by many student activists in recent years as textbook prices have soared and web-based book rental web sites have attracted millions of customers with texts often marked down by more than half the retail cost.…Read More

Barnes & Noble launches eBook software for students

One-third of students are comfortable with eBooks, according to a study.
One-third of students are comfortable with eBooks, according to a study.

Barnes & Noble has joined the growing list of companies and organizations giving college students electronic alternatives to their pricey textbooks with the book retailer’s free NOOKstudy software that could save students 40 percent at the bookstore.

The NOOKstudy software will be usable on PCs, Macs, the Apple iPad, and, of course, the Nook when the program is released in August. More than 500,000 free eBooks will be available through the software, according to the Barnes & Noble web site, including some texts that might be required for college students.

Barnes & Noble will partner with learning management giant Blackboard in its NOOKstudy launch, allowing students who use Blackboard’s online learning platform to buy and read texts available in the NOOKstudy library, which will be stocked with more than 1 million eBooks in all.…Read More

Barnes & Noble unveils textbook rental service for colleges

Barnes & Noble's textbook rental service could create a larger audience for the industry.
Barnes & Noble's textbook rental service could create a larger audience for this growing market.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. is launching a textbook rental program for college students, making it the newest entrant in a growing field, and officials at book rental services say the announcement will raise college students’ awareness of the burgeoning market.

The new program, available though campus bookstores or the stores’ web sites, began as a pilot program in three campus bookstores in the fall. It has now been expanded to 25 bookstores.

Some college bookstores that will offer the program include Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and the University of South Carolina.…Read More