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An earlier version of this Barnes & Noble Nook review noted that some popular "Android Market favorites" like Angry Birds won't work on the color Nook. Angry Birds does in fact work on the Nook, but it must be bought and paid for through the Nook store, not the Android Market. The story has been updated with the clarification.



) -- With its latest software upgrade,

Barnes & Noble's


Color Nook has improved into a wonderful device -- not that it was so bad to begin with.


Operating system: Android 2.2

network: Wi-fi only

screen size: seven inches

screen details: 1024 X 600 VividView touchscreen

processor: 800-MHz Texas Instruments ARM Cortex-A8

memory: 8 GB (plus microSD card slot)

price: $249

arrival date: April 26

Barnes & Noble's new color Nook runs on



Android 2.2, which means it now supports Android-style e-mail, music and Web browsing apps, as well as a slew of specially-designed titles that take full advantage of the wide-viewing angle capable 7-inch color touchscreen. Add Wi-fi (802.11b/g/n), a full Android Web browser and music playback, and you have a modern-day book reader computer.

Even though Android's inside, Barnes & Noble is really running the show. This is not a $250 Android tablet; it's a robust e-reader that allows readers to download popular mobile apps -- from the Nook e-store, not the Android Market. That means that users must pay for popular app favorites like

Angry Birds,

which is free for download in the Android Market.

The Nook is all about a full-color book experience. In addition to the two million or so books and dozens of newspapers and magazine subscriptions that adults can download/purchase, there is a load of stuff for children as well. Kudos for some of the kids' titles ("Go, Dog, Go!," "Splat the Cat," "Little White Rabbit"), which allow children to read and/or listen to the book being read to them.

The Nook's battery life averaged six to eight hours, depending on how much music we streamed in the background, how many videos we watched or how much Web browsing we engaged in.

The only minus we found was the tablet's weight: 15.6 ounces. Nearly a pound. While we realize that the color screen needs a powerful battery, the weight could be a bit much for small hands.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is


senior technology correspondent.