Feb 21 AT 12:31 PM Taylor Wimberly 16 Comments

Barnes & Noble releases cheaper Nook Tablet to compete with Kindle Fire

nook-tablet-630

Last year Amazon and Barnes & Noble released their low-priced Android tablets to for $199 and $249 respectively. The $199 Kindle Fire sold an estimated 3.9 million units while the $249 Nook Tablet sold 1.92 million units. Seeing that customers were responding to the lower price point, Barnes & Noble quickly decided to roll out a cheaper Nook Tablet priced at $199.

The latest addition to the Nook Tablet lineup includes all the same features as the original $249 Nook Tablet with 16 GB storage, but with 8 GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and a lower cost of just $199.

“For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Office of Barnes & Noble.

Starting today, the 8 GB Nook Tablet is available for purchase at nook.com. In the coming weeks the newer Nook Tablet should also be available in Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores. Barnes & Noble also announced that the older Nook Color had been reduced to $169.

Now when customers are looking to purchase an entry-level Android tablet at $199, the choice becomes a little tougher. Both devices feature 7-inch ISP displays, 8 GB storage, 512 MB RAM, heavily customized versions of Android, and their own app stores. They also have their own development communities and we have seen custom ROMs that offer the stock Android experience on both devices.

The only advantage I can see with the Nook Tablet is the inclusion of a microSD card slot for expandable storage, while I believe the Kindle Fire offers a better overall ecosystem of content.

It will be interesting to see if Barnes & Noble can catch up to Amazon in terms of market share. Offering a $199 tablet with competitive specs is a nice start, but they will need to do more to sway customers away from Amazon’s Kindle.

Via: Barnes & Noble PR

Source: Nook Tablet 8 GB

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • redman618

    I can only hope that Amazon may do something to strike back (price war maybe). This is a prime example of why competition is so good for the consumer. Also why apple doesn’t want anyone competing with them, hence they sue the crap out of ya. Also if I’m the commenter, sweet!!

    • jonathan3579

      I think B&N really lost a good opportunity here. They should have dropped the Nook Color to $99-129, dropped this version to $169, and dropped the 16gb version to $199. That’d be a price war and I can guarantee they’d hit it off with flying colors.

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        Except reports have already shown that the Kindle Fire is being sold at a (very minor) loss on the hardware, but they can definitely afford that with their ecosystem. If B&N held the same price point for mostly equivalent hardware, except for double the storage, just how big would the per-unit loss be? Would it make business sense? I’d guess that *someone* at B&N probably thought the same thing, ran the numbers, and couldn’t justify them.

  • David

    As someone running a triple booting (Nook/GB/ICS), overclocked Nook Color, I’d honestly say that buying a Nook Color now, even at only $170, is a waste of money. It just doesn’t have the specs.

    • David

      Not to mention the much more capable Nook Tablet at $199, although I’m not sure about its rooting capabilities.

  • rojo623

    This is going to fail. Its great that these options exist out there… but are so minimally functional. Just save ur bucks and get the iPad 3. As much as I hate to rep an Apple product…. the iPad 3 is going to blow our socks off.
    I just hope a the first Nexus tablet (mentioned at the G-nex launch by Schmidt) is a viable competitor.

    • thekaz

      Just so I understand correctly… this is marketed as an e-reader, correct? seems to me it does its job pretty well…

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        Agreed. I mean, if you’re in the market for a bicycle to get you to and from the grocery store, the bus stop, and other local destinations, why not just buy a Ferrari?

  • spazby

    The introduction of Memo will put tremendous downward pressure on tablet prices going forward, I hope at least…

    • cwjones4

      Agreed. It’s hard to even take these entry level, heavily skinned tablets seriously when the memo is just around the corner launching with android 4.0. I just want a date so i know when to pre-order mine!

      • honourbound68

        for people that want an e-reader first and tab 2nd, this works. let me explain, not all e-books work with the kindle, nook apps. some e-books (multimedia ie kids titles) are specifically designed for kindle/nook tablets. I have a 10 & 8 yr old that love using my evo view but miss their mom’s kf because some of their books won’t work on the kindle app. so, while I would prefer having the Memo (and will buy one), I may also pick up the cheaper NT for my kiddies.

  • Norma Lane

    Hold it! Hold it! When the iPad 3 comes out, we won’t be satisfied until we buy it – no matter what we now own! Let’s face it – We are GULLIBLE!!

    • ArticulateFool

      This is not meant to compete against the iPad.
      The iPad is a much more expensive device and is more compatible to the galaxy tab and maybe the transformer prime.

  • aranea

    It’s not only the price of the tablet itself but also the supporting ecosystem. I think BN needs to invest in content. Amazon prime is a big seller for the Kindle.

    Disclaimer: I don’t own either tablet and I own a Nook touch ereader.

  • txbluesman

    These price ranged tablet/readers are good for the entry level consumers. My daughter loves her kindle. You got to start getting tech savvy pretty early in life now days or you will fall behind.

  • Johnathan Prochaska

    I have a kindle fire that I got last week (typing on it now) and I have to say that it does the job well. It has thousands of apps and because I have amazon prime I have a bunch of free streaming videos and borrowed books. Apps that I have so far mostly includes facebook, Pandora, netflix, quick office, sudoku, weather, alarm clock and one that has different sounds to fall asleep to. Planning on getting a lot more as well. I have everything storing on the cloud and this weekend ike gonna try out the amazon cloud music service. Balling!

    That being said I love the competition B&N is throwing out.