Another day, another dual screen Android ebook reader

Coincidence? Or CONSPIRACY? Just a day after the announcement of Spring Design's double display Alex ebook reader, Barnes & Noble launches the sim

Coincidence? Or CONSPIRACY? Just a day after the announcement of Spring Design's double display Alex ebook reader, Barnes & Noble launches the similarly styled but far more ridiculously-named nook.

Like Alex (we're on first name terms already), nook has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen beneath a more traditional 6-inch E Ink display, and has Google's Android OS roiling around inside. Unlike Al's full web browser though, nook's mini-screen is used only for flipping through book covers, adjusting settings and as a virtual keyboard for searching.

Priced head-to-head with Amazon's Kindle at $259 (about £160), nook has some other intriguing features. LendMe allows you to digitally share purchased ebooks (even those with DRM) with friends and family for 14 days - they can read them on other nooks or using the free B&N reader software for PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPod Touches and BlackBerrys.

There's wireless downloads, natch, via 3G or Wi-Fi, of over a million books, mags and papers from B&N online, including about 500,000 free, out of copyright titles courtesy of Google Book Search.

And just to make sure you don't abandon real bookstores forever, Barnes & Noble says that taking a nook into one of its shops will activate special offers, discounts and free browsing of complete ebooks.