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Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire & Apple iPad 2 Face-off

As people are stocking up on tech gifts for friends and family, they inevitably will encounter the dilemma of navigating the sea of tablets—one that is only getting deeper with Amazon and Barnes & Noble both releasing tablets this month. On Tuesday November 15th, Amazon puts out its Amazon Kindle Fire for $199 while Barnes & Noble will release its Nook Tablet on November 16 for $249. And the ever-present Apple iPad 2 remains the highest purchase with entry-level models costing $499.

Many features set these tablets apart, each one having an advantage over the other in one area, which makes possible a highly personalized choice for the tablet user. The Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet both offer 7-inch displays with Nook being lighter and Kindle Fire being a bit slimmer. The Kindle Fire is puffing its chest as a general-purpose tablet to challenge Apple’s market dominance, with recent surveys showing that Kindle’s price tag could attract buyers over the iPad2 (in the short term). Still, Apple’s iPad2 gives you cameras, video chatting and a huge online store of apps, an area that other tablet makers—even Barnes & Noble with actual physical stores—cannot compete with.