Barnes & Noble unveils new Nook HD tablets

Barnes & Noble unveils new Nook HD tablets
It wasn’t long ago that Amazon unveiled its new Kindle Fires, and now it was Barnes & Noble’s turn to compete with new devices of its own. It’s done just that. Today, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook HD, a family of very affordable tablets with high-resolution screens and upgraded internals coming in a 7-inch and 9-inch flavor.

The Nook HD is the “lightest 7-inch tablet on the market,” and B&N didn’t hesitate to point out why it’s better than the Kindle Fire and the Google Nexus 7. First, getting the weight to merely 11.1 ounces (315 grams) is definitely something you’d appreciate when you have to hold the tablet for longer. In comparison, the Nexus 7 is 12 ounces and the Fire HD is 13.9 ounces.

Next comes the Nook HD screen. HD here stands for the whopping 1440 x 900 pixels of resolution, or 243ppi, definitely beating the Nexus and Fire HD.

The other member of the family is the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+, a 9-inch tablet with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Again, it's the lightest in its class weighing merely 1.13 pounds (515 grams).

Both tablets share a new dual-core TI OMAP 4470 processor. On the 7-inch Nook HD the processor clock speed is set at 1.3GHz, and on the HD+ it’s at 1.5GHz. Both also get 1GB of RAM. The devices also feature stereo speakers with SRS TruMedia audio, which are reportedly blasting at full volume with little distortion.

Battery life also looks pretty solid at more than 10 hours of reading on a single charge, or around nine hours of video playback.

There is one catch, though, and that’s of course the software. The new Nook HD tablets are based on Android 4.0, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell as the Barnes & Noble skin on top of it is very heavy. You’re basically getting a device to access the B&N ecosystem. Sadly, that means no Google Play, but instead a curated B&N app catalog. On the plus side, getting in the ecosystem means easy access to books and other B&N stuff, and on the downside, you don’t quite get the full Android experience.

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Is this tradeoff worth it? The devices defeinitely have luring prices. The Nook HD and HD+ release date is set for the end of October. Here is how the prices break down:

  • Nook HD 8GB (expandable memory with microSD card slot) -- $199
  • Nook HD 16GB (expandable memory) -- $229

  • Nook HD+ 16GB -- $269
  • Nooka HD+ 32GB -- $299

Are you getting one and if yes, which one?

source: Barnes & Noble

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