A new gadget from Barnes & Noble
There has been a lot of talk around the Nook tablet from Barnes & Noble, but for good reasons though. The new gadget looks similar with the Nook Color, but otherwise the two slates are very different. Once you get to put your hands on the Nook, you can see what a great tablet this is. It is obvious that Barnes & Noble really wanted to make a hit of the new release and seeing its specs there are no reasons not to be.
A lower price
Of course, its worst nightmare is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which also comes with attractive features and price, and this is the reason why the majority of comparisons in this review will aim the Kindle Fire.
First of all, before starting the test for this review, we have to mention that although B&N calls the Nook a tablet, it doesn’t actually behave like a full-featured one. It lacks for example the 2 cameras, rear and front, the built-in Bluetooth, GPS and the stereo speakers, features that are now very common among tablets. But other than that we must admit that the Nook is impressively smart and lower priced than the iPad. The Kindle Fire on the other hand is even lower priced, making the decision between the two quite hard to take.
Dual-core 1GHz OMAP 4CPU
What does the new Nook offer? Well, many, from hardware to software. The new gadget comes with a very powerful dual-core 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4CPU with 1GB of RAM. The Kindle Fire also packs a Texas processor, but comes with only 512MB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage, while the Nook has 16GB plus a microSD card slot that will allow you to expand the memory up to 32GB.
Using the company’s VividView laminated and bonded IPS display, the Nook’s 7 inch screen is always very bright and clear.
Text to speech
The Nook tablet keeps the Home button, always a good thing to hear, and once pressed it will introduce you to seven main options like Home, Library, Shop, Search, Apps, Web and Settings. There is a very rich Kid’s content on the Nook, and the company supports this features. If you don’t have time to read a certain book to your kid, the tablet will read it itself, but it also offers the possibility of recording your voice while reading, a nice feature for those always on the road.
Watching movies or listening to music on the Nook is not that easy as on the Kindle Fire. This gadget gives you the possibility to store your own content on the tablet, via USB, or use the Netflix, Pandora, Rhapsody and Grooveshark services.
7 inch display
As for games, the Nook has some offers but doesn’t stand at the same level with the Kindle. It has Gameloft, Rovio and EA games, but lacks the graphic-intensive ones like “Asphalt” and “Dead Space”.
Being more a reading tablet, you shouldn’t home much for web browsing or e-mail. They exist and are of course usable, but the 7 inch display is not really a web-content friendly, to put it this way.
Reading however is very pleasant on the Nook, as you would have expected. We tried it outside in bright light and it did well, though we must admit it’s better to read indoors if you want to enjoy the full quality. Very bright and crisp content, while the formatting is impeccable. We tried out some magazines also and we liked how bright the colors were displayed. The battery life took up to 9 hours of video or up to 11 hours of reading with power save mode on and wireless off.
To sum up, the Nook Tablet looks like a very well equipped e-reader. It is far better than the Nook Color and allows more flexibility as an e-reader. Making a decision between the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire is difficult even for us, as both feature almost the same hardware and only small differences in features. We suggest you tested both before deciding on one, because you always know better when you see by yourself how it works.
|#OS: Android Gingerbread|
|# Connectors: Charging port, Expandable microSD slot, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack.|
|# Power: 1GHz TI OMAP4 (dual-core) processor with 1GB RAM|
|# Memory: 16GB built-in memory|
|# Load photos and create personal wallpaper: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP|
|# Expandable memory up to 32 GB with microSD card|
|# Internet Browser – Over Wi-Fi, enjoy enhanced Web browsing experience to access even more content. NOOK Tablet supports Adobe® Flash® Player.|
|# Connectivity: Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi® (802.11b/g/n) FREE Wi-Fi® in all Barnes & Noble stores|
|# Display: World’s most advanced 7-inch VividView Color Touchscreen 16 million+ colors, high resolution IPS display – 1024×600, 169 PPI Fully laminated with no air gaps for remarkable clarity and minimal glare – read indoors or outside.|
|# Microphone: Built-in microphone for Read and Record stories and more|
|# Read NOOK Books seamlessly across your NOOK® devices, smartphone, computer or other mobile device, with FREE NOOK Reading App software. These include iPad, iPhone®, iPod touch®, Android devices, Mac® computers and Windows-based PCs, laptops or netbooks. NOOK Tablet syncs last page read, highlights, notes and bookmarks. For more information on free NOOK software, please visit|
|# Watch videos in: MP4, or Adobe Flash Player format, 3GP, 3G2 MKV, WEBM (Video Codecs: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263,VP8)|
|# Pre-Loaded NOOK Apps – Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora®, Chess, Crossword, Sudoku, Media Gallery, NOOK Friends, Email Book Reading and Sharing on Other Devices|
|# Play audio on built-in mono speaker: MP3, MP4, AAC, AMR, WAV, OGG (Audio Codecs MP3, AAC, AMR, LPCM, OGG Vorbis)|
|# Supported File Types: Load ePub (including Non or Adobe DRM) or PDF file types from your computer or microSD card Other documents: CBZ, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX|
|# Extra-Long Battery Life – Installed rechargeable battery, Charge from a wall outlet using in-box power adapter and USB cable.|
|# Size: 8.1 inches (H) x 5 inches (W) x 0.48 inches (D) Weight 14.1 ounces (400 grams)|