Tablet Wars Heat Up as Barnes & Noble Prepares New Nook

National bookseller juggernaut Barnes & Noble is rumored to be planning a new tablet version of its Android-powered Nook Color e-reader.

So far, Barnes & Noble hasn’t announced any new Nook tablet plans, but the Web is buzzing with speculation that it’s all heading that direction after the bookstore chain and e-reader maker invited the media to a Nook-related event in New York on Monday.

The moves as a greater effort to compete with’s recently unveiled Kindle Fire and Apple’s hugely popular iPad.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Barnes & Noble will likely formally unveil the device during a Nov. 7 media event. The event’s invitation, which sports a nook logo, reads: “Please join us for a very special announcement.”

Currently, the Nook comes in several iterations. A black-and-white touch screen reader dubbed The Simple Touch Reader starts at $139 and its Nook Color reader, which has a web browser and supports apps and email, starts at $249.

In terms of eReader dominance, Amazon’s Kindle retains a 51.7 percent share as of the second quarter of 2011, with the Nook trailing significantly behind at 21.2 percent.