Barnes & Noble Fights Amazon Kindle Fire with Their Nook Tablet

Nook TabletThe eReader tablet field just got a little bit bigger, as Barnes & Noble launched the Nook Tablet. The new tablet seems to be an upgrading of last year’s Nook Color, but it brings several features that will compete favorably with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Both products will be hitting the market in the same week.

As expected, the Nook Tablet looks very much like the Nook Color. It’s a 7-inch tablet with a 1024 x 600 VividView touchscreen. At 14.1 ounces, its weight is very comparable to the Fire’s 14.6. It runs a 1GHz TI OMAP4 dual-core processor with 1GB RAM, and has 16 GB internal memory with an option to add another 32 GB on a microSD card. Battery life appears to beat the Fire, at least in stated specs, with the Nook delivering up to 11.5 hours of reading time, or 9 hours of video, and the Fire giving 8 hours reading or 7.5 hours of video. Connectivity is by Wi-Fi, and other than the microSD slot, the only other ports are for charging and a headphone jack. It runs on the Gingerbread variety of the Android OS.

The Nook Tablet is definitely aimed at being a media consumption rather than creation device. It has no cameras (although it does have a microphone), and no mention is made of productivity apps. Included apps do lean toward the media capabilities, with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora. You’ll also be able to play games in addition browsing the web, doing email, and of course reading books, magazines, and comics.

Amazon still has a price edge – the Nook Tablet is $249, while the Fire is $199. For that difference you’ll get more RAM and storage and the convenience of just taking the tablet to a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble store if you need help with it. The Nook Tablet is available for pre-order now and ships November 18.


  1. Mogelijk says

    Nook has some definite advantages with the extra RAM and the SD card slot. The SD card really comes in handy if you want to be able to dual boot the Nook between Android and the standard Nook software.

    A disadvantage of the current Nook, oddly enough, is that the reading software isn’t great (odd, since it is designed as an E-reader); the Android or iOS Nook readers give more settings for book reading (though you can’t read magazines, which you can on the Nook Color software. For example, changing the background color and landscape mode aren’t available under the current Nook Color software. It will be interesting to see if the reading software is improved on the new Nook Color, as well as if the new options (Netflix, Hulu Plus) will work on the original Nook Color.