Nov 07 AT 11:08 AM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

Nook Tablet attempts to one-up Kindle Fire, but is it worth the extra $50?

Nook Color

Can Barnes & Noble launch a device that can compete with Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle Fire? Today the oldest and largest book retailer in the US announced the Nook Tablet, which launches next week and will retail for $249. That’s a $50 premium over the $199 Kindle, so let’s take a closer look at the specs to see how they match up.

Hardware highlights of the Nook Tablet include:

  • 1 GHz dual-core OMAP4 processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage with expandable memory slot
  • 7-inch “VividView” IPS display developed by LG

That means the Nook Tablet tops the Kindle Fire with a better display, twice the RAM (1 GB vs 512 MB), twice the internal storage (16 GB vs 8 GB) and expandable memory.

For those of you thinking about gifting an Android tablet for a friend or family member, the Nook Tablet comes with free in-store support. That could come in very handy for those who don’t want to play the role of tech support for their friends.

Like millions of you out there, I already handed over my $199 for the Kindle Fire pre-order, and I’m not regretting it yet. Barnes & Noble clearly offers slightly superior hardware, but we will have to wait and see which device has the best user experience.

For hands-on impressions, check out Joanna Stern’s take on The Verge. More as it develops…

Show Press Release

Barnes & Noble Introduces NOOK Tablet, Its Fastest, Lightest Tablet with the Best in HD Entertainment

Everything You Want in a Reading and Entertainment Tablet — a Great Value at $249

Popular Movies, TV Shows and Music from Top Services Including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora; Plus Thousands of High-Quality Apps, Web Browsing and Email

Largest Digital Catalog: Books, Newspapers, Interactive Magazines and Children’s Picture Books, and Introducing NOOK Comics

Under a Pound, Breakthrough Battery Life, Best-in-Class Display and Plenty of Memory

Award-Winning NOOK Simple Touch and Highly Popular NOOK Color: Greatly Enhanced and Now Offered at New Incredibly Low Prices

New York, New York — November 7, 2011 — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the leading
retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today expanded its portfolio of
bestselling NOOK devices with the introduction of NOOK Tablet, the company’s fastest and lightest tablet with the best in HD entertainment. NOOK Tablet offers access to popular movies, TV shows, music and more through the top entertainment services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and others, plus a collection of high-quality apps, fast Web browsing and email. NOOK Tablet features Barnes & Noble’s award-winning color reading experience, with access to the world’s largest digital bookstore via Wi-Fi. Now available for pre-order at and at Barnes & Noble stores for just $249, NOOK Tablet will be in stores and in homes on or about November 17. Find NOOK Tablet in the newly announced NOOK Digital Shops, which feature the full portfolio of NOOK digital devices and FREE NOOK Reading Appsâ„¢ at neighborhood Barnes & Noble stores.

Barnes & Noble also announced enhancements and incredibly new low prices for NOOK Color, the first-ever Reader’s Tablet, and NOOK Simple Touch, the first breakthrough touch E Ink device. The critically acclaimed NOOK Color will be even better next month, with more than 100 feature enhancements, access to top video and music services, popular apps, comics and more — and an even better value at today’s new incredibly low price of $199. The new and improved NOOK Simple Touch features the world’s fastest page turns and longest battery life, and an amazing new price of $99 — with no annoying ads.

“In NOOK Tablet, we’ve created the best wireless media tablet in the portable 7-inch class.
NOOK Tablet’s VividView display has been designed to be the world’s finest screen for
readability and viewing content. We’ve utilized that breakthrough display technology to bring
consumers the largest digital catalog of color and interactive books, magazines, children’s books and high-quality apps through our NOOK Store. Additionally, we’ve seamlessly integrated today’s top entertainment services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora in a product that’s powerful, easy-to-use, under a pound, and a tremendous value at only $249,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “We’re also excited to announce that we’ve lowered the price of our award-winning and recently improved NOOK Simple Touch to just $99, ad-free. Lastly, our incredibly popular NOOK Color has a new low price of only $199, giving customers the ability to enjoy its unparalleled reading experience, apps, Web and email. These three products, at these super-low prices, represent the highest-quality portfolio of reading and entertainment products on the market at the best value. We welcome customers to learn more about our bestselling NOOK product line from our friendly and well-trained NOOKsellers at our new NOOK Digital Shops at their neighborhood Barnes & Noble.”

NOOK Tablet: Built for Speed … and Beauty

NOOK Tablet was designed for customers who want to read and be entertained with a variety of apps and media. Barnes & Noble designed the device for power, speed and responsiveness using the latest and most advanced technology. With a highly tuned 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, there’s plenty of memory to stream HD videos smoothly, browse the Web, and switch between books, magazines, videos and apps effortlessly. Barnes & Noble developed revolutionary battery life with NOOK Tablet, enabling 11.5 hours of reading time or nine hours of video viewing — the equivalent of five full-length movies. Everything looks stunning on NOOK Tablet, which features the world’s most advanced VividView display for viewing content, with 16 million colors and a resolution purity that’s simply gorgeous. Barnes & Noble invested in full IPS lamination to reduce reflection and glare and offer extra-wide viewing angles — perfect for sharing.

Best in Entertainment

NOOK Tablet gives customers the best names in entertainment so they can choose the TV shows and movies they love from leading services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, both pre-loaded on NOOK Tablet and offering free trials. Customers can instantly stream brilliant HD-quality
videos. Also coming soon to NOOK Tablet: Flixster with UltraVioletâ„¢, for newly released
movies and TV shows from Warner Bros. and other leading studios. NOOK Tablet owners can listen to millions of songs using the hottest music services, including Pandora, pre-loaded on NOOK Tablet, as well as Rhapsody®, Grooveshark and MOG, all available with a free 14-day trial. NOOK Tablet owners can also listen to their own songs wherever they go with the built-in music player.

Your Reading and Entertainment Content — Anywhere

A powerful HD entertainment machine designed for maximum portability, NOOK Tablet is well under a pound (14.1 oz.), making it one-third lighter than the leading tablet and 10 percent lighter than the award-winning NOOK Color. Sleek and thin with a soft touch back design, NOOK Tablet can be held comfortably for extended periods with just one hand and slips easily into a pocket or purse for reading and entertainment on-the-go. And with 16GB of storage — double the space of some other tablets — plus expandable memory, customers have ample space for their reading and entertainment content, regardless of Wi-Fi availability.

Customers can also access their personal NOOK Libraryâ„¢ through the free, stable and secure
NOOK Cloudâ„¢ service, which also powers the seamless integration and synchronization
between devices, as well as NOOK’s best-in-class shopping experience and social features.

Thousands of Must-Have Apps, Web & Email

Barnes & Noble offers NOOK Tablet customers a wide array of top-rated NOOK Appsâ„¢ to play, learn, organize and explore with must-haves like Angry Birds Rio and Seasons, SCRABBLE, Epicurious, My Cast Weather, Taptu,, Spanish for Dummies, Bejeweled® 2, Ms. Pac Man and more. There are hundreds of popular apps for kids, including Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, Drawing Pad and Pop Up Peter Rabbit. All NOOK Apps are the best, highest-quality versions available, optimized for NOOK Tablet’s beautiful and ultra-responsive 7-inch color touchscreen. By the holidays, Barnes & Noble will offer thousands of high-quality NOOK Apps from leading third-party developers and content providers that can be enjoyed on NOOK Tablet, as well as NOOK Color.

NOOK Tablet also features lightning-fast Web browsing so customers can surf their favorite
sites, from Facebook to YouTube, and stream brilliant HD videos. NOOK Tablet’s built-in email also makes it easy to stay connected with friends and family.

Barnes & Noble’s Award-Winning Reading Experience

NOOK Tablet customers can shop the world’s largest bookstore, featuring more than 2.5 million books, enhanced books, interactive magazines, newspapers, comic books and children’s books. Content downloads lightning-fast, usually in less than 10 seconds over Wi-Fi.

NOOK Newsstandâ„¢: Choose from more than 250 newspapers and full-color, interactive magazines, delivered like magic to NOOK Tablet’s Active Shelf on the Home screen as soon as they become available. Barnes & Noble offers the largest digital collection of top 100 magazines, including PEOPLE, Food Network Magazine, Us Weekly, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME, National Geographic and many others. Colorful interactive magazines offer Barnes & Noble’s ArticleViewâ„¢, new animated page turns and smooth pinch, zoom and panning. Many special edition NOOK Magazinesâ„¢ feature videos, quizzes, image galleries and more.
New NOOK Comics: Barnes & Noble is offering a vast new collection of full-color comics, graphic novels and kids’ comics in high resolution that virtually make the action jump off the page. NOOK Comics will feature the world’s greatest superheroes with the largest digital collection of Marvel’s graphic novels available through a third party, as well as titles from other leading publishers, including Archie, IDW and Dynamite.
. NOOK Kidsâ„¢: This holiday’s largest collection of more than 1,000 interactive children’s picture books and more than 12,000 chapter books just got even better. Bestselling books feature animation and engaging activities. With the new Read and Recordâ„¢ feature, parents and grandparents can use NOOK Tablet’s built-in microphone to record and save their reading of any NOOK Kids picture books so children can listen to their favorite storytellers anytime.
More to read: Barnes & Noble continues to expand its NOOK Bookstoreâ„¢ with the vast majority of books available for $9.99 or less. New PagePerfectâ„¢ NOOK Booksâ„¢ feature cookbooks, craft and art books rendered with rich precision to retain all the beauty of their stunning print versions.
Enhanced reading: Reading is even more dynamic with PDF thumbnail page views, and image pinch, zoom and pan in books and PDFs.
Unparalleled recommendations: Learn what to read next from Barnes & Noble’s knowledgeable booksellers, from must-read new releases to up-and-coming authors. Barnes & Noble’s personalized recommendations are based on what customers already love. In any book a customer is reading, a simple tap on the new NOOK Discoverâ„¢ icon offers instant recommendations.
Get more social: NOOK Tablet now makes it easier than ever for customers to share their reading experience with friends. They can connect with Facebook friends and others through NOOK Friendsâ„¢, and find out what they have to say about their books, magazines and newspapers. Customers can also share their thoughts about the books they’re reading via email, Facebook and Twitter. Owners can share books, as well as browse and borrow books, from NOOK Friends using Barnes & Noble’s exclusive LendMe® technology.
Continuous reading: Read what you love, anywhere you likeâ„¢ on NOOK devices and with FREE NOOK Reading Apps. NOOK Cloud automatically syncs a customer’s library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across all of their devices, so a customer can start a book on NOOK Tablet, and dive back in on their computer or smartphone.
NOOK Color: Even Better, Now $199

The highly acclaimed, bestselling NOOK Color will be even better starting in December with
Barnes & Noble’s largest software update ever and a new low price of just $199 starting today. The first ever Reader’s Tablet, NOOK Color combines an award-winning reading experience with tablet essentials including apps, Web and email. The millions of existing NOOK Color customers will automatically receive the update at no cost via Wi-Fi, beginning in early December. Highlights, also available on NOOK Tablet, include:

More entertainment and apps: NOOK Color customers will be able to download Netflix to watch movies and TV shows. Hulu Plus will also be available for NOOK Color in the coming months. Customers will enjoy top music services and thousands of apps including games, children’s apps and many others.
Read your way: Customers requested the flexibility to read books in portrait or landscape and adjust the text with even more font sizes to choose from. The most user-friendly library: Customers will have faster, easier access to all of their content. NOOK Library is organized with tabs for books, magazines, newspapers and apps. The magazine display shows virtual stacks of covers with dates so customers can just tap on the issue they want and dive in.
Enhanced shopping: NOOK’s amazing new Shop experience makes it easier than ever for customers to find their next great book, kid’s book, newsstand title or app. The NOOK Storeâ„¢ is even easier to use, and more social and streamlined to show the breadth of content.
Customers get suggestions based on their favorite authors, reviews and recommendations
from their NOOK Friends plus top NOOK Newsstand picks, free trials and new NOOK
Daily Finds.

NOOK Simple Touch: Best Reader, Best Price

The award-winning NOOK Simple Touch now has the most advanced E Ink display with
lightning-fast page turns — 25 percent faster than any other E Ink product on the market. Best-
Text from Barnes & Noble meticulously optimizes each letter so words are ultra-crisp and
clear, even in bright sunlight. NOOK Simple Touch has an ergonomic, contoured design with a soft-touch back that makes it easy and comfortable to read, even with just one hand, and for
extended periods of time. And Barnes & Noble has extended NOOK Simple Touch’s best-in-
class battery life even further for its customers who love to read for long stretches. On a single
charge, customers can now read for up to 2 months for one hour a day. NOOK Simple Touch
also puts the focus on reading with no annoying ads, and instead lets customers personalize their screensaver with their own photos.

Now just $99, still with no ads, NOOK Simple Touch is the world’s best reader at the world’s
best value and a must-have this holiday season for anyone who loves to read. Existing NOOK
Simple Touch customers can also enjoy these new benefits through a free v1.1 software update available today for immediate download at Customers can also receive the free update over the air when connected to Wi-Fi in the coming weeks.

Give the Gift of Reading

This holiday, Barnes & Noble will make it easier for customers to give the gift of reading.
Whether shopping in a Barnes & Noble bookstore, or beginning next month, online at, customers can give any NOOK Book or NOOK App as gifts. NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color customers will also be able to apply their Barnes & Noble gift cards — physical or digital — while shopping on their devices.


NOOK Tablet can be pre-ordered for $249 today and is expected to be in stores and in homes
late next week, in plenty of time for the holidays. Experience NOOK Tablet, NOOK Color and NOOK Simple Touch at or at the NOOK Digital Shops and displays in one of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 bookstores and other leading retailers. Barnes & Noble offers Always Free NOOK Support in all of its neighborhood bookstores, with more than 40,000 NOOKsellers across the country ready to assist customers with setting up their NOOK devices or choosing their next great read.

About NOOK from Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble’s NOOK brand of eReading products makes it easy to read what you love, anywhere you like with a fun, easy-to-use and immersive digital reading experience. With NOOK, customers gain access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive NOOK Store of more than 2.5 million digital titles, and the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices. The new NOOK Tablet is Barnes & Noble’s fastest, lightest tablet with the best in
HD entertainment from top services and everything you want in a tablet at a great value ($249). Both NOOK Tablet and the award-winning NOOK Color ($199) feature a stunning 7-inch VividView Color Touchscreen to read all of the content you love, shop popular apps, connect via email, browse the Web and more. The NOOK Simple Touch ($99), is the fastest, easiest to use reader with the world’s best reading screen and the longest battery life.
Barnes & Noble offers NOOK owners Always Free NOOK Support in any of its more than 700 bookstores, as well as free Wi-Fi connectivity to enjoy the Read In Storeâ„¢ feature to read NOOK Booksâ„¢ for free, and the More In Store program, which offers free, exclusive content and special promotions. Barnes & Noble was the first company to offer digital lending for a wide selection of books through its LendMe technology, available through NOOK
eReading products. Find NOOK devices in Barnes & Noble stores and online at, as well as at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples, Target, Radio Shack, Books A-Million, OfficeMax, Fred Meyer, P.C. Richard & Son stores, Fry’s Electronics and Systemax Inc. retailers.

In addition to NOOK devices, Barnes & Noble makes it easy for customers to enjoy any book, anytime, anywhere with its FREE NOOK Reading Apps, available at Customers can use Barnes & Noble’s free eReading software to access and read books from their personal Barnes & Noble digital library on
devices including iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android smartphones and tablets, PC and Mac. Lifetime Library helps ensure that Barnes & Noble customers will always be able to access their digital libraries on NOOK products and software-enabled devices and Barnes & Noble also offers NOOK Study (, an innovative study platform and software solution for higher education, NOOK Kids
(, a collection of digital picture and chapter books for children, and NOOK Books en español (, the first-ever Spanish language digital bookstore in the United States.

For more information on NOOK devices and eReading software, updates, new NOOK Book releases, Free Fridayâ„¢ NOOK Books and more, follow us on and

Source: Barnes & Noble

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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  • Will F.

    Thank you for doing the comparison I wanted, even if it is just a barebones specs comparison. Everyone else is stating the news; AAM is going in-depth as usual.

  • AppleFUD

    I would buy the Nook Color II over the Kindle Fire IF the NC II had the PlayBook’s/Kindle Fire’s design.

    After using a TouchPad for some time I’ve learned that it’s very very important to have a tablet that is very comfortable/easy to hold. The PlayBook is, IMO, the easiest/most comfortable tablet to hold on the market right now. It just feels right in the hand.

    The extra $50 for what the NC II offers is justified, easily. . . but the smooth curved edges and wonky all around design make it. . . not to attractive.

    • WarDrake

      Nook’s are usually shaped like that, and i can say from experience, they are very easy to hold if a little on the heavy side.

      i’d rather get a nook than a kindle to be honest.

  • Chris

    Just saying…even if both devices are just as hackable…this one’s a bit more bang for your buck IMO…get better hardware for ICS roms…it’s worth the extra 50 bucks for me.

    not to mention for friends and family…the in store support is really handy…just ask apple fans.


    Hmm, you forgot to compare the battery power of each device. I think the kindle fire has more battery juice compared to Nook Tablet.

    • Chris

      incorrect sir….the color tablet has a longer battery life as well…like B&N said…you get what you pay for in that regard

  • triangle

    I think I would rather buy the fire because of the growing amazon ecosystem, but I don’t think I’ll buy a fire until they either increase the onboard storage or add a micro-SD card slot. One of the things I would want to do is have access to a decent amount of video, but the 8 GB storage is too little to be able to watch a lot of video on the go. Maybe they’ll add the micro-SD card slot with the 8.9 inch model that’s rumored to being coming.

    • David

      Sure the fire has that ecosystem behind it in the cloud but that means you gotta have that wifi connection. Now sure most everyone has wifi at home, but what about when you are out and about? On a plane, train, or automobile(er a bus)? Sure planes might get wifi, but you going to pay for it? The nook is built with the idea of no connection in mind thus the storage and micro-sd slot. Thats why I’d pick the nook over the fire because I don’t have to worry about the tether to the cloud.

  • Greg Bulmash

    I don’t want a tab that tries to lock me into one retailer’s store for content. I want to load it up with my already downloaded content from my laptop and have access to my content caches from various vendors. If I have to buy a retailer-agnostic tablet and spend a few more dollars, I will.

    I think the question will be how hackable the B&N tab is for sideloading apps or putting Ice Cream Sandwich on.

  • 666

    I’m getting the one that has a more stable build of stock ICS. Though the 512 MB of RAM on the Fire is near a deal breaker for me.

  • CTown

    I understand that mostly likely neither will ship with the Google Apps (like Market) but isn’t the Fire going to at least come with an alternative for those apps to provide a realer Android experience? But if they hoped end up getting hacked (and loaded with CM7 like those two non-Android tablets)…

    • CTown

      Sorry, I meant to say “But if they both end up…” not “But if they hoped end up…”.

  • TechnoSTIG

    Nook Tablet just extinguished the Fire! The $50 premium is definitely worth it! The 1GB is worth it alone, everyone knows how 1GB RAM phones compare to 512MB RAM phones. The Nook Color already has one of the most popular hacking communities, and when Google officially releases ICS code, you know it’s going to get a port.

    The only question that remains is…which tablet has a better GPU?

  • thaghost

    Taylor, you’re working pretty hard today. It seems like you wrote all of the articles, lol. We definitely appreciate it tho.

  • Julio Chavez

    I think the Amazon Fire will sell better anyway. Think of all the people that have seen the Kindle Fire ad on, and its cheaper too.

  • Ben

    Im a bit more tempted by this one than the Kindle fire. Hoping this is easily hackable

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  • pritams

    Save money Prime…