Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet
|Operating System||Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)|
|Dimension (in)||5 x .48 x 8.1|
|Resolution (px)||600 x 1024|
Micro SD, Micro SDHC, WiFi
|Battery Life||8 hrs|
Amazon may have the big brand name behind its Kindle Fire, but the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet may best the online merchant giant’s product at its own game. Essentially a sequel to last year’s Nook Color e-book reader with a bigger budget, the Nook Tablet accentuates all the features of that device while making notable improvements across the board in processor, storage, screen and software – and it’s half the price of the Apple iPad 2.
While the Nook Tablet is based in e-book reading, the device definitely plays up its entertainment features. Preinstalled are apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Rhapsody and MOG. With no Bluetooth connectivity provided, videos can only be streamed by WiFi. However, the Nook Tablet’s admirable storage capacity – 16 GB, representing twice as much as available in the Amazon Kindle Fire, that can be expanded through the micro SD card slot – makes side-loading of a few videos possible.
And the best news in terms of video and audio playback is that both screen and sound quality get top marks for the Nook Tablet. Barnes & Noble has consistently topped Amazon in these areas, and the high-resolution touchscreen feels as good as it displays.
Probably the biggest minus in the Nook Tablet is its dependence on the Nook Store for apps, and there the accent is on gaming software. On the other hand, the Amazon Kindle Fire is similarly a slave to its company’s affiliate e-commerce websites.
Will the Nook Tablet capture as much brand loyalty as Amazon has already amassed in Kindle Fire orders? With a product like this, it’s certainly imaginable.