Barnes & Noble has just unveiled its answer to Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire with its latest addition to the NOOK lineup, the NOOK Tablet.
Not straying far from the NOOK Color design, the NOOK Tablet will sport a 7-inch 1080p (1024 x 600) VividView IPS color touchpanel display. With Netflix and Hulu Plus to come preloaded on the tablet, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch touted this device as having the deepest Netlfix integration of any tablet to date. The NOOK Tablet will be .02 inches thinner and .9 ounces lighter than its Color counterpart, with dimensions of 8.1 x 5 x .48 inches.
Packing a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4 processor, the NOOK Tablet will ship with 16GB of built in storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card, and 1GB of RAM. It runs a heavily customized version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The book retailer also promised a battery life of roughly nine hours of video, with Lynch boasting that users can watch up to five full length movies on a single charge, and 11.5 hours of reading. In addition, the NOOK Tablet will offer 2.5 million titles, thanks to the NOOK Store, and more than 250 interactive magazines and periodicals from NOOK Newstand, as well as the largest digital collection of Marvel graphic novels than any other device.
Like the iPad and Fire, the NOOK Tablet will provide users with a cloud-based environment to store content with NOOK Cloud. Barnes & Noble also promises free in-store support, along with free Wi-Fi in all B&N locations. With 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, the NOOK Tablet will support a variety of file formats, including ePUB, PDF, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, Flash, JPG, MP3, MP4 and AAC.
While rumors of an impending NOOK device surfaced last month, Barnes & Noble did not confirm such reports until its press conference today. With Amazon announcing its Kindle Fire tablet and additional Kindle eReaders, including the new Touch model, in September, it was only a matter of time before Barnes & Noble revealed a NOOK competitor. Both budget friendlytablets, the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet will offer consumers a more affordable option to the iPad, yet which will prevail?
With the Amazon Fire set to ship on Nov. 15, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Tablet will start shipping Nov. 18, with pre-orders beginning today with the tablet priced at $249. Available online, the NOOK Touch will also be sold at several retail outlets, including Best Buy, Target and Walmart, among others. Additionally, B&N took a cue from Amazon and lowered the prices of its NOOK Color and NOOK Simple Touch to $200 and $99, respectively.