Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+ Review

Introduction and Design

So the Barnes & Noble NOOK HD isn’t enough of a tablet for you, huh? Well, you’re in luck because Barnes & Noble has a full-sized tablet offering in the NOOK HD+, which is expected to tangle against some of the big names in the category – like the Google Nexus 10, Apple iPad 4, and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9. Recognized as being the lightest 9-inch tablet with a 1080p display on board, its other main attraction is no doubt the immaculate $270 price point attached to it. Based on that, it’s undeniable that it’ll turn heads everywhere, but as always, it’ll require a good balance between features and functionality to stay afloat as a respectable contender.

The package contains:

  • Proprietary USB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide


Strange to say, the NOOK HD+ looks more like the NOOK TABLET from last year than its 7-inch sibling in the NOOK HD. In fact, it’s employing some of the distinct design characteristics from last year’s model – such as the lanyard spot on the lower left corner. As much as it’s a unique characteristic that defines it as a NOOK, we find it rather impractical because its larger size doesn’t fit the mold of something we’d want to tether to us. Still, we’ll admit that it’s extremely light weight (1.13 lbs) and comfortable to hold on its side with a single hand. And just like its sibling, it’s utilizing an all-plastic construction, which is decent at best, but maintains a clean appearance thanks to the soft touch matte casing of its rear. Overall, there’s a bit more appeal with its design over the NOOK HD, but it’s nothing spectacular to tell you the truth over other things.

Yet again defining it as a NOOK, there’s a physical “n” button below the screen, which is responsive and gets you back to the homescreen when pressed.

On one hand, the power button is located in an ideal spot on the right edge of the tablet, but it’s a bit awkward to find the volume control located in close proximity on the top edge. Even though they’re springy in response, they’re rather indistinct to the touch due to their flat looks. Along the top trim as well, we spot its 3.5mm headset jack and microphone – while on the bottom edge, we locate the LED charging light, proprietary charging/data port, and microSD card slot that’s hidden behind a plastic flap.

In the rear, there’s a single speaker grill that’s located on the bottom left corner – with the giant sized “n” logo etched squarely in the middle. Unfortunately, there are no cameras whatsoever with this one too, which means it’s lacking video-chatting functionality at the very least that many of its closest rivals offer.


When NOOKs are known to be reading devices first and foremost, the NOOK HD+ surely lives up to that notion with its display. Specifically, it’s donning a 9-inch 1920 x 1280 IPS LCD display, which puts out a very respectable pixel density figure of 256 ppi – inching out the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, but still not toppling the Nexus 10. Regardless of that, it’s undoubtedly detailed enough to visibly make out fine text from a good distance away. And of course, it works wonders with reading too, seeing it’s able to produce a good look at the lowest brightness setting, thus, reducing eye strain in low light conditions. Conversely, it’s still a marvel to look at in direct sunlight, as its warmer color reproduction and full lamination enables it to remain clear and visible in all viewing angles.

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