Barnes and Noble in the US have announced the release of the Nook Color, a 7-inch colour ebook reader that will go on sale in the US before the end of the year, at an event in New York City.

But rather than opt for Qualcomm's colour capable Mirasol technology, the US bookstore has gone for a standard backlit colour touchscreen display with 16 million colours, and a resolution of 1024 x 600 delivering 169 pixels per inch (PPI).

Roughly the size of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the new eReader will have a microSD card for expandable storage, a built-in mono speaker, universal 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and the ability to play back over 100 hours of audio from a single charge, if you really can't be that bothered to read.

Out of the box it will be able to hold over 6000 books, magazines, and newspapers on its 8GB of storage.

The Nook Color will come with Wi-Fi connectivity and access to the company's extensive ebook store.

However unlike the Amazon Kindle that can go weeks without needing a charge, the Nook Color will last just 8 hours without recharging with wireless off.

Other features of note, include the ability to share notes and comments via Facebook and Twitter. Users will also be able to use the internet connectivity to search as well.

The new ebook reader will be on sale in the US from 19 November and cost $249.