B&N Goes HD and Big for New Nooks

Watch out Kindle Fire. Barnes & Noble is hot on the tail of Amazon’s recently announced HD tablets.
Posted September 26, 2012
By

Pedro Hernandez


Hot on the heels of Amazon's refreshed Kindle Fire line comes Barnes & Noble's latest stab at the media tablet market. The bookseller today unveiled a 7-inch Nook HD tablet and the new 9-inch Nook HD+ model.

Underscoring the must-have nature of HD visuals on modern mobile devices, Barnes & Noble boasts that at a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels, the Nook HD has 25 percent more pixels than Amazon's recently announced Kindle Fire HD. And the Kindle comparisons don't stop there.

Nook HD packs a dual-core, 1.3 GHz OMAP 4470 processor versus the Kindle HD's dual-core 1.2 GHz OMAP 4460 chip, adding an extra dash of responsiveness to the tablet, according to the company. Nook is also a little easier to hold and carry. Connectivity is provided by built-in Wi-Fi (b/g/n).

At 11.1 ounces, Nook HD is 20 percent lighter than the Kindle Fire HD. The mini tablet is also a half-inch narrower (5-inches) than its competitor for a more comfortable grip, claims Barnes and Noble.

Another feather in its cap: microSD expandability for up to an additional 32 GB of storage. Out-of-the-box storage options include 8 GB and 16 GB. Upgrading to the 16 GB version doubles the amount of RAM to 1 GB.

Roomier Nook

The big news, however, is Barnes & Noble's first full-sized tablet, the Nook HD+.

Available in 16 GB or 32 GB versions, the Nook HD+ houses a dual-core, 1.5 GHz OMAP4470 dual-core processor and a 1920 x 1280, 256 pixel per inch (PPI) touchscreen for full HD (1920 x 1080) video. The unit weighs 18.2 oz, slightly less than the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablet.

Apart from these features, the company is banking on the Wi-Fi tablet's low price to lure consumers. The 16 GB version costs $269. Stepping up to the 32 GB model requires only a $30 outlay for a total of $299.

And while the Nook product line is directly aimed at consumers, there are hints that Barnes & Noble doesn't want to get left behind during the BYOD craze.

Despite all the media consumption fun and games, the company points to the unit's new built-in email app as a sign of the Nook's new work ethic. The app not only sports a clean, touch-friendly interface, it also supports enterprise email platforms like Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.

Both Nook HD and HD+ go on sale on November 1st. The 7-inch Nook HD tablet is available in "Snow" and "Smoke" with prices that start at $199 for an 8 GB unit and jump to $229 for the 16 GB model. Preorders are open now.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: tablets, HD, Nook


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