Just a month after releasing a major update to the Nook Color, Barnes & Noble announced today a smaller, more simplified version of the original black-and-white Nook. At $139, the device will compete better with the Amazon Kindle, which retails for the same price with its Wi-Fi only version, and the just-released $129 touch-enabled Kobo e-reader.

Like the latest Kindle, the new Nook has a 6-inch E Ink Pearl display, but that’s where the similarities stop. The new black-and-white Nook is setting itself apart by removing the physical keyboard to make the device smaller and it claims a staggering two months of battery life on a single charge against Kindle’s one month of battery life.

Another big change is the move to a touch-enabled screen, which makes it possible to eliminate the physical keyboard in place of a digital one. The new Nook will use an infared ring around the screen to detect finger input rather than using a capacitive touchscreen. B&N says the new screen has “80 percent less flashing” during page turns as well.

Other specs include a weight of 7.5 ounces, 2GB of onboard storage, a microSD slot that can add up to 32GB more space, Wi-Fi connectivity, and an 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor. Notably, the device is Wi-Fi only and no 3G-enabled version will be available. The device will operate using Android 2.1, but will not support apps.

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It will also support Nook Friends (which lets you connect socially with friends over Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail) and an in-store reading program that lets you preview books at B&N locations. And soon, B&N will launch myNook.com, an online portal for shopping and connecting with friends from any computer.

The new Nook can be pre-ordered online and in-stores right now. It will be sold in-store at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and Staples and will ship on or around June 10. The original Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the Nook will have their price lowered to $119 and $169 until supplies run out.

During today’s launch presentation, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch claimed the company had captured over 25 percent of the e-book market since releasing the first Nook 22 months ago. Another eye-catching number was the Nook ecosystem now has over 2 million e-books with more than 50,000 publishers pushing out content.

The new Nook will help better position B&N with two competitive products. The Nook Color will act as as the company’s do-everything color tablet with apps, games, and more and it can compete well with the Apple iPad with its $249 price tag. Meanwhile, the new black-and-white Nook acts as B&N’s simple, book-focused offering that can put up a decent fight against the Kindle and Kobo.

With today’s announcement, we certainly look forward to seeing how Amazon responds to this new value-focused offering.