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Barnes & Noble fights back

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Jim Sulley/HOEP/Barnes and Noble/AP

(Read caption) Barnes and Noble's current tablet device, the Nook Tablet, could be getting an update, or a new e-reader from the company could be on its way.

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Ever since a provocative New York Times article ran this Sunday proclaiming Barnes & Noble to be publishers’ last hope against Amazon, rumors have been circulating that the bricks-and-mortar retailer is set to release a new Nook this spring. 

Buried amidst apocalyptic talk of the end of bookstores and Barnes & Noble’s valiant effort to take on books behemoth Amazon in a David v. Goliath fight, was this little gem: “At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring.”

That was it. No further details were mentioned, and a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to comment further, according to the article. It was barely a mention, but the tech world – and the publishing industry – took notice, firing off reports speculating on the newest device.

“Another tablet, perhaps a larger model (think iPad size but with a $300-$350 price tag)?” asked CNET. “An even more affordable e-ink e-reader that might allow the company to break the sub-$50 barrier? Or perhaps something more exotic….” 

Whether the new device is an e-reader, a tablet, or something else entirely isn’t yet clear. What is clear, “Barnes & Noble is trying to strike at Amazon with another device,” as the NYT states.  

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