Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet unveiled: "HD viewing experience"

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet unveiled: "HD viewing experience"
Barnes & Noble has just brought another very affordable entrant to the tablet market: the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet takes up the concept of a “reader's tablet” and introduces it to a dual-core processor and a 7-inch capacitive VividView IPS screen. From first sight, you might even confuse the new Nook Tablet with the good old Nook Color as it has strikingly similar looks, but Barnes & Noble promises the best in HD entertainment in a lighter, faster package.

The biggest highlight of the new Nook Tablet is its 7-inch display which comes with low glare and improved, near 180-degree viewing angles. Under the hood, the B&N Nook Tablet comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM, bringing it on par with most other tablets in the Android world. 

This of course means 1080p video playback, which is a treat. In terms of memory, we have 16 gigs on board and the option to extend that by an additional 32GB via a microSD card slot. The new slate can run 9 hours of video and 11.5 hours of reading on a single battery charge. The Nook Tablet is also 0.9 ounces lighter arriving at an under-1lb body, and 0.2-inches thinner.

When it comes to software and content, the slate runs on Android Gingerbread, but B&N has skinned it and integrated Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora on the device. The company actually markets this as the deepest Netflix integration in a tablet - something that might make a difference. But since this is mostly focused on book readers, there are 2.5 million books available along with top 100 magazines and the largest collection of Marvel comics. There are also 250 interactive magazines and periodicals. Additional bonuses, include free cloud storage with B&N's Nook Cloud, and the biggest drawback you probably felt was coming - lack of full-fledged Android Market. What you get is a curated version of Android's application store.

It's clear, though, that the Barnes&Noble Nook Tablet isn't going after the iPad - B&N CEO William Lynch repeatedly compared the new slate to the Amazon Kindle Fire, which will rival it directly. Of course, there's the obvious advantage of in-store customer support, but the price is slightly higher, though - $249 with pre-orders starting now and the first Nook Tablets arriving at stores near the end of next week.

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