The $249 Nook Color has decided its November 19th shipping date wasn't soon enough so it's jumped ahead of it with pre-order deliveries starting today. Barnes and Noble's Nook-with-a-hook will be cheering those who reserved or pre-ordered it as shipping ramps up through this week, and there'll even be some "very limited" quantities that you'll be able to buy at retail locations like B&N, Best Buy, Walmart, and Books-A-Million stores. All of them should be getting live units for the curious to try out the Nook Color as well. As to the older, less chromatically able Nooks, B&N is promising a firmware update next week. Skip past the break for the full PR.
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Customers Begin To Touch the Future of Reading™ As Barnes & Noble Starts to Ship NOOKcolor™, The Ultimate Reading Experience

Initial Devices Shipped and Arriving to Pre-Order Customers Ahead of Schedule

Experience NOOKcolor with Demo Units in Most Barnes & Noble Stores Beginning Today

NOOKsmart, Book Ready Program In-Stores Offers Free Customized NOOKcolor Set-Up Service

New York, New York – November 16, 2010 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, began shipping its highly anticipated NOOKcolor by Barnes & Noble ahead of schedule to customers who pre-ordered devices. The first full-color touch Reader's Tablet will begin arriving today and through the week to customers who pre-ordered the device online and reserved units in Barnes & Noble stores. Live demonstration units that will allow customers the opportunity to touch the future of reading, along with very limited quantities of devices available for purchase, will start arriving in Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart and Books-A-Million stores beginning this week.

NOOKcolor features a stunning 7-inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen and delivers digital books, magazines, newspapers and children's books in rich, gorgeous color – all in one beautiful, thin and highly portable device. Following the product's announcement on October 26, Barnes & Noble began taking NOOKcolor pre-orders for the $249 device at www.NOOKcolor.com and reserving units in its Barnes & Noble stores. The product has quickly become the bestselling product at Barnes & Noble with pre-order volume significantly beyond that of the company's aggressive expectations for the breakthrough new device.

"NOOKcolor is the device for people who love to read everything: books, newspapers, magazines, children's books and more. Beyond being the most full featured reading product on the market, it also offers the versatility of a tablet, enabling wireless web browsing and streaming music. At $249, it represents tremendous value. We're encouraged by the consumer response thus far, and the organization is committed to doing everything we can to meet demand," said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble.

As Barnes & Noble continues to fill pre-orders and in-store reservations for devices, there will initially be a limited inventory of NOOKcolor in Barnes & Noble and partner stores. Those ordering NOOKcolor online this week can expect their device to ship on or around November 26, a date that the company will continue to adjust as it manages supply with high consumer demand.

Given the strong demand for the new product, Barnes & Noble recommends that consumers who want to ensure receipt of their devices in advance of the holidays pre-order in Barnes & Noble stores or online at www.NOOKcolor.com shortly.

NOOK 3G and Wi-Fi Firmware Update Next Week
For book lovers who crave a paper-like reading experience, NOOK continues to be the most full-featured dedicated E-Ink® device on the market at a great value, starting at $149. Barnes & Noble continues to enhance the overall reading experience and performance of its award-winning, best-selling NOOK 3G and NOOK Wi-Fi devices and will offer a major update to customers next week. More information will be available at www.NOOK.com/support.

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Nook Color now shipping to early birds, limited retail