The Tablet word was set aflame this morning. It isn’t Amazon’s Kindle Fire that’s the talk of the town but rather, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. At a press conference in Manhattan today (11/7/11) the country’s oldest and largest book retailer announced its foray into the world of “true tablets.” Barnes & Noble has stiff competition from frontrunner Apple, with its iPad, and will go head-to-head with Amazon’s Kindle Fire when both launch on Nov 17th.
The Nook Tablet runs on Wi-Fi and boasts a 7-inch display, with a resolution of 1024 by 600 to match the Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet does top the Kindle Fire in its display however, as it is completely laminated. According to Barnes & Noble, the glare is so reduced as to allow comfortable viewing at an angle of 89 degrees. This means that one can almost see the screen while the device lays flat on a table.
The Nook Tablet looks much like a lighter and thinner Nook Color, weighing in at only 14.1 ounces. That’s where these two products cease to be similar. The Nook Color, even though very succcesful, was never considered to be a true tablet the same way the the iPad is. But now, the Nook Tablet comes stocked with a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and 16 GB of memory, twice that of the Kindle Fire, and will let users add up to 32 GB of memory through an SD card. The Nook Tablet comes with an inbuilt microphone and supports all types of web browsing and email. The Noob Tablet out does Amazon’s Kindle Fire again by offering twice as much RAM, 1 GB.
What’s truly noteworthy in Barnes & Noble’s newest line in the Nook family is the Tablet’s ability to run full HD movies and it even comes preloaded with Netflix, Hulu Plus TV.com, Pandora and many others. Barnes & Noble will also incorporate a “Nook Newstand” that will allow users to subscribe to periodicals. Apparently, the battery life of the Nook Tablet will support 11.5 hours of book reading of 9 hours of movie watching.
Lastly, while users may access the android market it is limited to only those Nook-optimized apps. But Barnes & Noble plans on offering an array of Nook-specific apps made by third party developers in time for the holidays.
The Nook Tablet will cost $249, a $50 increase over Amazon’s Kindle Fire. You can pre-order your Nook Tablet here.
The tablet market is staring to get pretty competitive. But as pointed out at the press conference, the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire might not be direct competitors of the iPad. Not only do the two former tablets not include cameras on their devices like the iPad, but they are designed around a different premise. Barnes & Noble and Amazon have both focused on the changing book industry and are trying to cash in on the trend towards e-book and streaming video. But the infusion of now 3 very good options for tablet will put its strain on these companies to innovate to stay on top. Does Apple have what it takes to remain the front runner, with its high costs, or do these new tablet offer a viable alternative to an ever growing market of tablet users? Only time will tell how the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet fair against each other.