Introducing: the $199 NOOK Tablet

Barnes & Noble had lots of good news to announce today, from positive third quarter sales and earnings to the introduction of a $199 NOOK device.

Reported sales and earning for the third quarter, ending Jan. 28, revealed a 5-percent increase in total sales, compared to the prior year, from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion.

BN.com sales increased 32 percent, and retail sales rose 2 percent. Their only business sector that decreased was Barnes and Noble’s “College” chain, which saw a 3-percent decrease from last year, due to a shift from textbook purchases to cheaper, textbook rentals.

The most noted increase was in the consolidated NOOK business across all segments, including hardware, accessories, and digital content sales, which saw a 38-percent increase to $542 million.

Today, Barnes & Noble introduced its latest NOOK device – the 8 GB, $199 Nook Tablet –  which is comparable in price and storage capacity to Amazon’s 8 GB, $199 Kindle Fire. The company also announced that they’ve reduced the price of the NOOK Color to $169.

As the Barnes & Noble versus Amazon war carries on, we want to know what side you’re on.