Barnes & Noble will debut two new, HD versions of the Nook tablet in time for the holiday season. The 7″ (Nook HD) version is priced at $199, and a 9″ (Nook HD+) version will also be available for $269. The goal is to compete on price with main competitor Amazon’s Kindle Fire versions.
Nook HD (7 Inch)
The Nook HD’s has highest-resolution of any 7-inch tablet out there: 1440 x 900 at 243 pixels per inch. By comparison, the Fire HD and the Nexus 7 both have 7-inch displays that run at 1280 x 800 and 216 ppi.
Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD features a dual-core 1.3GHz Texas Instruments processor that slightly edges out (on paper at least) the Fire HD’s 1.2GHz Texas Instruments processor. The Nexus 7 is powered by Nvidia’s 1.2GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor
Nook HD starts at $200 with 8GB of built-in storage (Amazon’s $200 model features 16GB of space). If you want more internal storage, there’s a Nook HD with 16GB built-in for $230, undercutting the 16GB, $250 Nexus 7 by $20. The $250 Fire HD comes with 32GB of storage, but the Nook HD is the only one of the three that features an microSD card slot (which can handle up to a 64GB card).
Nook HD+ (9 Inch)
The Nook HD+ is built and priced to take on the Fire HD’s 8.9-inch model and Apple’s iPad (which has a 9.7-inch screen). With a 9-inch, 1920 x 1280 display, the Nook HD+ offers just a bit more sharpness than the Fire HD’s 1920 x 1200 screen, and slightly less than the iPad’s 2048 x 1536 screen. Inside of the Nook HD+ is a dual-core, 1.5GHz Texas Instruments CPU.
The Nook HD+ will sell for $270 with 16GB of storage and $300 with 32GB of storage. And like the smaller Nook HD, the HD+ will include a microSD card slot for expanded storage, as well.
Cons: The Nook HD or Nook HD+ do not have front-facing or rear-facing cameras as compare Nexus 7, Fire HD and iPad. Barnes & Noble vice president of device platform engineering Deepak M. Mulchandani told Wired that while cameras might show up in future Nook products, the company decided after talking to its users that, at this point, a camera isn’t an important addition to a tablet.
These devices are an improvement in important ways over the previous generations of the Nook, and they one-up Amazon in some areas” According Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps.
While the new products are thinner and lighter than rivals and follow a few months after Microsoft said it would invest $605 million in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader and college business, the bookstore chain still faces a daunting task.