∞ Nook Tablet competes with Kindle Fire, not iPad

Barnes & Noble officially took the wraps off its Nook Tablet on Monday. The new 7-inch color device goes on sale today for delivery in mid-November, for $249. It joins three other Nook-branded devices: the Nook Color, now priced at $199, and the Nook Simple Touch, a basic e-ink reader for $99.

The Nook Tablet runs a customized version of Google’s Android 2.3 operating system. It looks similar to the Nook Color, featuring a 1024 x 600 pixel touch-sensitive display, weighing less. It also features some amenities missing from Amazon’s less-expensive Kindle Fire – a faster processor, more storage capacity, and a microSD expansion card slot. Barnes & Noble is also lauding the Nook Tablet’s “VividView” display, which it says is less-prone to distracting reflective glare than other tablets because of a difference in manufacturing method.

Barnes & Noble doesn’t have the same depth and breadth of integrated services for the Nook Color as Amazon does with its Kindle Fire. But Barnes & Noble has included a number of third-party entertainment apps to make the Nook Tablet a well-rounded entertainment device: Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora are all supported, for example. Web surfing software, and e-mail client and “thousands of high-quality apps” are also available. While it’s Android-based, Nook Tablet customers go through Barnes & Noble’s own app store to download apps customized to work on the device.

Barnes & Noble estimates the Nook Tablet can operate for 11.5 hours at a stretch without needing a recharge. The company counts more than 250 newspapers and full-color magazines available for the device, as well as “Nook Comics,” published from companies including Marvel, Archie, IDW and Dynamite. The Nook Tablet can also read PDF files and e-books from the Nook Store.

For users uninterested in a full-featured tablet, the Nook Simple Touch may offer a compelling alternative to Amazon’s lower-priced tablet – for $99, Barnes & Noble notes that the Nook Simple Touch works “with no annoying ads.” The device sports a new software update that improves performance; existing Nook Simple Touch users can download the software from the Nook Web site, or wait for an Over the Air (OTA) update coming soon.

  • If I were in the market for an eBook reader, I think I would rather have the Nook Tablet over Amazon.  Unfortunately for B&N, I have an iPad.

  • Anonymous

    It depends on how you frame competition.  Competitors to the iPad include laptops, if you want to extend it that far.  It comes down to functionality and features.  The Kindle Fire is cheaper, and has certain features.  The Nook has a few more features, though it might have less downloadable content than Amazon.  The iPad is more flexible than the other two and has more content choices like more powerful games.  The next step up after that is a laptop or desktop which is the most complex but also the most flexible.

    Those who only wanted an iPad to read books, surf the web and watch Netflix will find the Nook a good choice.

    • Peter Cohen

      “Those who only wanted an iPad to read books, surf the web and watch Netflix..”

      It’d be a bit like buying a house just to use the bathroom.

      • Anonymous

        Yes exactly… especially if that’s the only choice you had.  Kindle has no netflix, so your choice for netflix on a device was iPhone, iPad, iPod or PC/Mac.  So Kindle wasn’t even a competitor here if your killer feature was Netflix, but the Nook is.

        As far as iPad vs PC/Mac, it could also be said that if all you want is to surf some websites and email, that owning a PC/Mac to do that was like owning a Semi truck to drive around the neighborhood.  Again, it’s all about the features you need.  This is one reason why the PC market is shrinking, because people are choosing new alternatives when none existed before.

      • Anonymous

        If you gotta go, you gotta go.

      • “It’d be a bit like buying a house just to use the bathroom.”

        By your analogy the Nook would be an outhouse. Sounds about right.

  • Anonymous

    Ultimately, I would go for neither the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet.  I think the Lenovo A1 Tablet is a better deal at the moment.  It’s currently going for $199 on Amazon and while the Fire and the Nook Tablet have a faster processor, the A1 is lighter, has offline GPS, a microphone, and two cameras.  My personal preference is for improved capability over capacity.  There will always be something better.

    If it’s unique content people want, then Amazon has that, as well as their “Silk” browser, which looks interesting.  But ultimately, if you’re really looking for content, you buy an iPad.

  • Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the only Android-based tablet to earn significant consumer interest turned out to be one that Google barely acknowledges in public?

    • Isn’t that already what’s happening? “Android based” is the keyword here. Amazon and B&N are using Google’s OS to build their platform, a platform Google has no control over and gains no revenue from (if you discount searches through Google in a browser).

  • The 11.5 hour battery life is for “reading”. iPad battery lasts 10 hours with VIDEOS.

    • Guest

      Wow!! I can’t believe you just compared this device with an iPad. Obviously this device is to be serve as an ebook reader. Not a video player.