Need a sexy, practical, affordable last-minute gift? Barnes & Noble has you covered with the Nook Simple Touch e-reader for $74.99. And that includes expedited shipping, so it should arrive no later than December 22.
More good news: the Simple Touch is new, not refurbished--unlike the Nook Color I've been pimping for what seems like months.
There is, however, one small catch: This deal is available only through eBay, so you'll need an account there. Also, the auction page is currently showing "Limited quantity available," meaning this will likely sell out soon.
Actually, it appeared to sell out earlier today, but a short while later it was up for sale again, suggesting Barnes & Noble made more inventory available. So, if you click through and find an "out of stock" message, try again in a little while. According to the eBay rep who contacted me about this deal, it's scheduled to run all the way through tomorrow (December 17).
The Simple Touch is a 6-inch e-reader with a touch-screen interface, e-ink display, and ultraslim, ultralight design. It beat Amazon.com's touch-screen Kindle to market by about five months, and has received widespread praise (including a CNET Editors' Choice).
Interestingly, it was $139 when it debuted back in June, and is currently on sale for $99. At $74.99, it's $25 less than Amazon's non-touch-screen Kindle. Game, set, match.
Seriously, if you know someone (or are someone) who doesn't already own an e-reader and wants to know what all the fuss is about, this is a fantastic place to start. My advice: grab one while you can.