NEW YORK — A year after the release of the Nook Color, Barnes & Noble returns to a market suddenly crowded with “reader’s tablets,” including the red-hot Kindle Fire from its top competitor. B&N is firing right back at Amazon with a high-powered new multimedia Nook Tablet and competitive price cuts to the current Nook Color and Nook Simple Touch e-reader.
“Nook Tablet is our lightest fastest, media tablet,” said Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch. Lynch presented the $249, 7-inch Nook Tablet at a press event Monday morning. It will be available on Nov. 16, just in the nick of time for holiday shopping, with preorders beginning Nov. 7.
On the outside, the new Nook Tablet doesn’t look radically different from the current Nook Color. Internally, though, its guts more closely resemble that of an iPad 2
On the outside, the new Nook Tablet doesn’t look radically different from the current Nook Color. Internally, though, its guts more closely resemble an iPad 2’s. With a 1.2 GHz processor, 16 GB of storage and a full 1 GB of RAM, the Nook Tablet is half again as fast and packing twice as much memory and storage as the Nook Color, Kobo Vox or Kindle Fire. In fact, that’s the same storage, twice as much memory and a faster-clocked processor than the $499 iPad.
The new tablet needs serious internal hardware because it’s serious about video, supporting streaming apps from Netflix and Hulu Plus, plus sideloaded video content. Nook Color could easily handle web video, but processor- and memory-intensive HD content will benefit from the beefed-up specs.
“With almost double the RAM, Nook Tablet owners will have no problem zipping back and forth between multiple apps,” Lynch said.
Barnes & Noble is also promising that the tablet will deliver up to nine hours of battery life of video playback, and 11.5 hours of reading time. This is a lot of power from a lightweight, one-hand device handling resource-intensive content.