LOS ANGELES — The Barnes&Noble Nook Tablet was
announced on Monday as the bookseller’s answer to the coming Amazon
Kindle Fire and Kobo Vox tablets.
The Nook Tablet
is now on pre-order and will ship to Barnes&Noble stores and other
retailers (Target, Staples, Wal-Mart, Office Max and many others) late
next week at a price of $249 — about $50 more than the Kindle Fire.
for the extra $50, the Nook Tablet offers beefier specs than the Kindle
Fire that, Chief Executive William Lynch argued in unveiling the new
Barnes&Noble device, will add up to a faster, smoother experience
when reading books, playing games or watching movies.
So just what are those increased specs?
Nook Tablet gets 16 gigabytes of built-in storage and 1 gigabyte of
RAM. The Nook Color, which used to sell for $249 but was cut in price to
$199 on Monday, has 8 gigabytes of storage and 512 megabytes of RAM.
Nook devices feature the same 7-inch touch screen with a resolution of
1024 x 600 pixels and a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to
32-gigabytes of added storage.
The Kindle Fire
features Nook-Color-matching specs with a 7-inch touch screen, a
resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, 8 gigabytes of built-in storage and 512
megabytes of RAM. Amazon’s tablet has no microSD card slot.
The Nook Tablet will offer up to 11.5 hours of battery life, which beats the Kindle Fire’s promise of an 8-hour battery life.
of the three tablets runs on modified versions of Google’s Android
Gingerbread operating system and connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi,
with no 3G or 4G options offered. All three also make use of cloud
storage, with the Nook Tablet and Nook Color syncing to the Nook Cloud
service and the Kindle Fire using Amazon Cloud Drive.
Unlike the Kindle Fire, Barnes&Noble’s Nook Tablet and Nook Color have no built-in storefront for buying movies and music.
said that while Amazon sells those items, Barnes&Noble is focused
on selling digital reading content, while letting others handle the
music, TV show and film side of things — such as Netflix, Hulu and
Pandora, which all come pre-installed on the Nook Tablet.
Kindle Fire is a vending machine for Amazon services, they’ve said it
themselves,” he said at the company’s flagship store in New York’s Union
Square during the Nook Tablet reveal. “In one word, we’re more open” in
allowing users to get their music and video content from wherever they
Amazon, meanwhile, has marketed its services as a strength of the Kindle Fire and not a detractor.
far as styling, the Nook Tablet looks exactly like the Nook Color, save
for a different shade of gray paint adorning the face of the device.
The single black bar home button and rounded hook on one corner remain
in place, as does a soft-touch rubberized back.
%uFFFD2011 the Los Angeles Times
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