The 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.