The Nook Color is ingenius.
Not because a backlit LCD screen is better for reading than e-ink — it isn’t.
And not because the Kindle’s grayscale screen is often a problem for what most people read — it isn’t.
But because anyone comparison-shopping between the Nook and the Kindle, who has never owned either, will assume that color is better and choose the Nook, putting Amazon in the unenviable position of trying to explain why their screen is better to people who probably haven’t seen one in real life.
Fortunately for Amazon, there aren’t likely to be many people who actually see both devices and comparison-shop, since there probably isn’t a lot of overlap between the two retailers’ respective customers. And those who do see both aren’t likely to appreciate the Nook Color’s $249 price over the Kindle’s $139.
To give B&N credit, though, they did solve a significant usability issue from the original Nook: on the Color, the two screen types won’t be confusingly competing for your attention and touches. (The case-strap issue persists.)