Barnes & Noble's new Nook ebook reader, named 'Simple Touch Reader', has outranked its rival Amazon's latest Kindle, according to a new Consumer Reports ranking.

It is the first time that Nook has been ranked higher than the Kindle.

Nook Simple Touch which was launched last month has improved from its previous version, with better touch screen sensitivity, better contrast, and better performance with better design. Additional improvements include very fast page turns with Facebook and Twitter integration.

Consumer Reports said Simple Touch Reader matches or bests - albeit modestly - its Amazon competitor in almost every aspect of performance.

The Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader is more than merely a worthy competitor to the Kindle, as I wrote when I saw the e-book reader demonstrated late last month, Paul  Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports said.

He also added saying B&N has caught up with the Kindle in large part by emulating Amazon's focus on reading with minimal fuss and extra features. Nook and Kindle had around the same battery life.

Nook has made stable improvements since the company rushed out a clumsy first version in 2009.

However, Amazon is not sitting idly as its rival gains a higher ranking. Amazon will launch its next generation Kindle e-reader device this summer.

Simple Touch Reader Wi-Fi only model is selling at $139.