Barnes & Noble announces new NOOK tablets – but do they have what it takes to stay competitive?

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Barnes & Noble announced its new line of NOOK tablets in the face of fierce competition from the new Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. Its top-of-the-line model, the NOOK HD+, has a 9-inch, 1920×1280, 259 ppi HD display; a 1.5GHz OMAP4470 dual-core processor; and a battery big enough to give users ten hours of reading or nine hours of video playback. It is also quite light at only 18.2 ounces. Unlike some of its competition, it includes a microSD slot that supports up to 64GB, along with internal storage options of 16GB ($269) or 32GB ($299).

The NOOK HD has a 7-inch 1440 x 900, 243 ppi HD display; a 1.3GHz dual-core processor; and only slightly more battery life, allowing users to read for up to 10.5 hours (video playback is the same as the NOOK HD+). The 8GB option will set you back $199, while the 16GB option is $229. This one also has two color options: snow or smoke.

Of course, Barnes & Noble also refreshed its traditional ereaders as well – the NOOK Simple Touch with Glowlight will cost $139 and boasts the “fastest, most advanced E Ink® display for seamless page turns” along with the ability to read in the dark. It will last for an entire month with Glowlight on with a single charge, or up to two months with Glowlight off. The NOOK Simple Touch without Glowlight will cost $99.

The NOOK HD+ and NOOK HD will both run heavily skinned versions of Ice Cream Sandwich, contrary to rumors that proposed Barnes & Noble had moved to Windows 8. This is sure to keep the app ecosystem very rich.

Full details can be found at the official NOOK website below, including handy comparisons to the iPad 3 and the Kindle Fire HD. Of course, Barnes & Noble is just a little late to the game, since it has to follow both Google and Amazon. Will this end up hurting the struggling retailer, or are these tablets competitive enough to give Amazon, Google, and maybe even Apple a run for their money? Will you consider picking one of these up for yourself? Time will tell, but let us know what you think.

[Barnes & Noble via Anythingbutipad]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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14 thoughts on “Barnes & Noble announces new NOOK tablets – but do they have what it takes to stay competitive?

  • Avatar of Marvin the Martian

    32GB internal with a 64GB card slot for $299…that’s sweet!

  • Avatar of Nagaraj

    the devices look really nice! but the reach of barnes and noble worldwide is quite poor. not many people will be buying these devices.

  • Avatar of Michael

    Any idea if these new tablets use Gorilla Glass?

  • Avatar of Nick

    Seems like the pricing is competitive for the most part… However, like the Fire, they are a modified version of android and i think that this only appeals to some users.

  • Avatar of Trenton

    I bought a Nook Tablet 16g a while back and it has been perfect for my wife to play games, check Facebook and watch Netflix. I use it to read books, magazines and download PDF catalogs. My wife isn’t very good with technology, wont give up her Blackberry, but the skinned Android works well for her. At these prices it looks like it time to upgrade and give my mom my old one. Why isnt there a 7inch tablet with micro sd slot and HDMI out being made?

  • Avatar of Heather S

    I think for the price it will for sure be a tablet contender. It really comes down to what the user is looking for in a tablet, but I project the new HD’s will do well.

  • Avatar of stradavar

    Wow, B&N is serious about staying competitive.

  • Avatar of Vakeros

    They are offering high res. than the Fire HD or Nexus 7. They also will be available in the UK where as the Fire HD 8.9 inch won’t be. If I wanted a 9 inch device I would probably go for the Nook – but as I only want 7 inch, I am still tempted by the Nexus 7. Need to check out what ports the Nook HD 7″ has.

  • Avatar of Patrick

    Need front and back camera!

  • Avatar of Abraham

    I still dont buy into the heavily skinned devices. I believe most people want an android tablet that allows them to do anything they would in a normal tablet. Or atleast most of the functionality.
    These devices are locked down and limited to use only certain things, etc.

    That is why I think at times Android gets a bad rep, from consumers getting almost ripped off by bad devices that just seems cheap and poorly made, in both software and hardware.

    • Avatar of Nagaraj

      same here. the restriction imposed by amazon and noble is just stifling.
      i wouldn’t go as far as saying that these devices are poorly built or create a bad user experience, but i do hope that they start to relent a little on small things like making the play store completely available, remove or place ads at completely unobtrusive locations, etc. that could go a long way in making things better for the user.

  • Avatar of the larch

    I for one am not liking the new nooks as much as the competition. I do’t like the new fire either with cheap and good android tabs out.

  • Avatar of Jeff

    The best thing about B & N continuing in the tablet/ereader market is that it spurs competition. However, they probably won’t continue to have a stand-alone presence very far into the future. They will likely find it advantageous in the fairly near future to have customized versions of another existing tablet brand. They may also decide to focus on a variety of ereading apps for other tablets.


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