Nook Tablet – Amazon’s Competition by Barnes and Noble

I knew it was around the corner, Barnes and Noble finally announced today its follow up to their Nook Color. The creatively named Nook Tablet. I’ve been wondering what they had up their sleeves, since I figure they couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and let Amazon roll over them with their Kindle Fire. So, does it hold up? Will it give Amazon a run for their money? Read on, and let me share my thoughts.

The new Nook Tablet, really doesn’t look that different than the original Nook Color, except that it’s lighter. At least, that’s what the pictures make it seem. The Nook Color has always stood out from other tablets and eReaders with their hollow lower left corner design, which the Nook Tablet retains. The differences, like the iPhone 4S, are all under the hood. It boasts a more powerful processor, more memory and longer battery life. But all that said, how does it compare to Amazon’s Kindle Fire?

Well, for starters here are the similar items:

  • Screen Size, both are 7″ Tablets
  • Screen Resolution, both are 600×1024
  • Processor, both are 1Ghz Dual-Core processors
The big differences come in the form of memory and expandability. The Kindle Fire doesn’t sport much expandability, having only 8GB of Storage, and 512MB of Memory, The Nook Tablet doubles this, 16GB of Storage, 1GB of memory. Off the shelf, the Nook Tablet can hold more and run more then the Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet also has an expansion slot so you can further extend the device if needed. The Nook Tablet also boasts 11.5 hours of battery life vs 8 hours. The additional items here costs $50 more than the Kindle Fire, which isn’t a bad deal.
Now all that said, Amazon still has a big advantage to the Nook Tablet, and that’s its ecosystem. Amazon has a very robust ecosystem, ranging from their own streaming movie service, their own app and music store, and their library of Kindle books, all in one convenient location. Barnes and Noble hasn’t obtained this robust ecosystem yet. Amazon Prime users, get plenty of benefits, and the paltry storage of the Kindle Fire is augmented by the virtually unlimited space offered by Amazon’s Cloud. Amazon will also offer a better web browsing experience by leveraging their Cloud system as a proxy to speed up your web surfing experience, something that, right now, sounds excellent on paper until I see it for myself. Right now, my wife has a Kindle Fire on preorder. I’ll offer my thoughts on the device after I get my paws on it. As it stand right now though, the Nook Tablet looks like it could be do well, but remember though, the original Nook Color became popular not because people wanted eReaders, it’s because it was a cheap, easy to root, Android Tablet. It will be interesting to see what the Android community will do when they unlock the potential of this new Tablet. Doing so may make this a more attractive tablet than the Kindle Fire, at least for me.
If you want to read up a little more, here are a few places talking about the Nook Tablet:
  • CNet 
  • Engadget – has a hands on with the device
  • Gizmodo – also has a hands on with the device
  • The Verge – has a nice spec comparison