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While Microsoft is busy showing off the latest and greatest its Windows Phone platform has to offer, Barnes & Noble is across town getting ready to take the wraps off its brand new NOOK eReader. Tablets like the Apple iPad 2 and BlackBerry PlayBook are taking center stage right now, but these jacks of all trades have a long way to go before they can even come close to matching the reading experience afforded by dedicated eReaders. Avid readers and casual readers alike can appreciate the remarkable battery life and unique features that only a dedicated eBook reader can afford, and good luck trying to soak up the sun while reading a book on your iPad — right now, only an E Ink display can remain perfectly visible and glare-free while combating the sun’s rays. So what new features does Barnes and Noble have in store for its latest NOOK eReader? Hit the break for our live coverage of the unveiling, which will begin just before 10:00 a.m. EST, and don’t forget to refresh the page often for all the latest updates!

 

9:43AM:All right — everything looks like it’ll kick off on schedule at 10:00 a.m. We’re inside and sitting while the rest of press/bloggers start funneling in.

9:51AM:In case you’re still not convinced that a new NOOK will be unveiled today, I think the t-shirts might be a pretty good sign that the rumors were right.

9:57AM:The room is getting pretty full now, as is the Wi-Fi, so we should be getting things started any minute now.

9:59AM:Switched over to our Verizon 4G LTE MiFi. The rest of these suckers can have fun on Wi-Fi.

10:00AM:Ok, they just announced that we’re about to get this party started.

10:02AM:Two minute warning has been issued.

10:04AM:Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch just took the stage.

10:05AM:B&N now owns over 25% in the eBook market — and it’s still the leader in the physical book market with 17%

10:06AM:B&N is the leader in the Android tablet market here in the U.S., Lynch claims.

10:08AM:Lynch is talking about B&N’s successes with NOOK apps. The company has millions of users and its app platform has seen great success thus far.

10:09AM:Lynch is also stressing B&N’s stellar customer service, which is definitely a huge advantage over the competition.

10:10AM:B&N is the clear leader on the product side as well, Lynch claims. The NOOK was the first eReader to support lending, for example, and B&N is the only company that lets users read full books for free while in a book store.

10:11AM:NOOK Newsstand features 160 top publications, and the company has surpassed 1.5 million single copies sold — more than Apple or any other digital newsstand.

10:12AM:NOOK Color has been a home run, but there are still customers looking for a pure reading experience. I think we all know where this is going…

10:14AM:The all-new NOOK!

10:14AM:They’re playing a video now — man, this little guy is sleek.

10:15AM:The all-new NOOK is the easiest eReader on the market to use. If features a 6-inch touchscreen display and it weighs just 7.5 ounces.

10:15AM:Battery life? How about up to 2 months on a single charge. Damn!

10:16AM:The display is an E Ink pearl display that eliminates the weird eReader page turns and replaces it with a proprietary transition.

10:17AM:The new NOOK will cost just 9 when it launches later this summer.

10:17AM:It sports just one button — 37 fewer than the Kindle, Lynch joked.

10:17AM:He’s stressing the simplicity of the interface, and it definitely looks easy to use.

10:19AM:This thing makes the Kindle looks like a beast — and it has the same-sized screen.

10:21AM:B&N’s President of Digital Products is on stage now to go over the NOOK’s features.

10:21AM:The new NOOK has 80% less flashing during page turns than the Kindle. That might sound insignificant, but any eReader user will tell you how annoying the seizure-inducing page turn flashing can be.

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10:22AM:The NOOK can hold 1,000 books with 2GB of internal storage, but is also supports SD cards for another 32GB of storage.

10:24AM:The touchscreen really enhances the experience. It makes looking up words in the integrated dictionary or making notes a breeze.

10:26AM:Of course the NOOK aslo features built-in Wi-Fi and B&N’s great digital book store for buying new books right on the device. Wi-Fi is free in Barnes and Noble locations and any AT&T hotspot.

10:26AM:The new NOOK features "NOOK Friends," a book recommendation-based social network. Users can also share recommendations via Facebook or Twitter right from the device.

10:27AM:mynook.com will launch next month, as well, giving users another way to browse and buy books.

10:27AM:The new NOOK is "the simplest eReader ever created."

10:28AM:William Lynch is coming back on stage now to wrap things up.

10:29AM:"It’s the best dedicated eReader on the market," Lynch said. The new NOOK is available for pre-order immediately for 9, and it will begin shipping on or around June 10th.

10:29AM:That’s it folks! Time for some hand-on with the new NOOK.

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