Barnes & Noble today unveiling its new Nook Tablet, the follow-up to its modestly successful Nook Color tablet. Like the Nook Color and Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire, the device is being marketed as an e-reader that can also stream video, download apps, and view full-color magazines and comic books. The new tablet debuts for $249, $50 more than Amazon's upcoming tablet.

The Nook Tablet takes most of its design cues from the earlier Nook Color, right down to the cutaway corner - it's a 7" inch touchscreen tablet constructed mostly of plastic, is 8.1 inches high by 5.0 inches wide by 0.48 inches thick, and it weighs 14.1 ounces (a little less than a pound). The 1024x600 screen is the same as the one used in the Color, but it features double the memory (1GB) and storage space (16GB, along with a microSD slot), a 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core SoC, and improved battery life (with wireless turned off, B&N rates it at 11.5 hours for reading and 9 hours of video playback). It will run a customized Android Gingerbread distribution similar to the custom Froyo release currently used by the Nook Color.

The E ink Nook Simple Touch and older Nook Color tablet are still around - the new Simple Touch uses a combination of hardware and software improvements to increase page refresh speed (existing Simple Touch owners will get the software improvements via an update). The Nook Color has had its price dropped to $199 from $249, and will be getting a software update to bring it up to speed with the new Nook Tablet.

Tablet Specification Comparison
  Amazon Kindle Fire Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet Apple iPad 2 Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
Dimensions 190 x 120 x 11.4mm 203.2 x 127 x 12.2mm 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm 230.9 x 157.8 x 8.6mm
Display 7-inch 1024 x 600 IPS 7-inch 1024 x 600 IPS 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 IPS 8.9-inch 1280 x 800 PLS
Weight 413g 400g 601g 447g
Processor 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 (2 x Cortex A9) 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 (2 x Cortex A9) 1GHz Apple A5 (2 x Cortex A9) 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (2 x Cortex A9)
Memory 512MB 1GB 512MB 1GB
Storage 8GB 16GB 16GB 16GB
Pricing $199 $249 $499 $469

The new tablet is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping on November 18.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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  • uhuznaa - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    Does the thing come with a camera and a microphone? Doesn't look like it from the picture. What a pity, these things would make perfect home video phones.
  • djc208 - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    This kind of muddies the waters. You will most likely have a much more open platform than Amazon is giving you as far as access to apps and content (which might not be a plus to everyone), however B&N also doesn't have as much content to offer either. So other than some additional memory it's hard to justify the extra $50.

    Is the Kindle price add supported or not? That would be the only other piece that might play here. Otherwise B&N needs to show better content availability if they want people to start spending the extra $50.
  • Bateluer - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    B&N has a larger ebook store than Amazon, so they have the edge. Plus wider file support means you can get more books from more places as well. From what I've read on Android Police and Droid Life, the Nook Tab has Hulu and Netflix integration, so right there, they offer more content than Amazon.

    They claim longer battery life than the Fire, but we'll need to wait until they both hit the market to see numbers to back that up.

    So far as I know, the 200 dollar Kindle Fire is not ad supported.
  • Camikazi - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    I am pretty sure someone will get the Amazon app running on the Nook negating any real advantage the Fire had (aside from Silk, but that probably won't last long either).
  • Mugur - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    I just hope it's as easy to install a full Android distribution as on the old Nook Color... :-)
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    Word to this. A hacked and OCed Nook Color was a nice cheap alternative to the $400+ Android tablets. If B&N keeps that wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude towards hacking, these things will fly off the shelves.

    $250 for a dual-core A9 with 1GB and a quality IPS screen? Sold.
  • teng029 - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    agreed. the nook color also booted from the SD card by default. here's hoping that is the case with the tablet as well..
  • jed22281 - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    Screen doesn't look that awesome compared to some of the best tablets out there now.
    But everything else is pretty solid, and if the price is much better than those others, then it's a "no brainer".

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