Barnes & Noble held an event today to introduce a new piece of hardware as well as a few software upgrades to their existing eReaders. The first device is a tablet designed to compete with devices like the iPad and to a greater extent, probably the Kindle Fire. The other upgrades are software-related.
Let’s take a look at what’s new.
1) New Nook Tablet
There is a new Nook, and now it’s known as the Nook Tablet. It’s a 7-inch tablet with a 1024×600 screen. It’s roughly the size of a Kindle Fire. As for storage, the Nook Tablet is loaded with 16GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM. It’s said to be much faster than the Nook Color, which is already a few years old (I overshot a tad. The Nook isn’t “a few years old” It was released Oct 2010). The Nook also has a battery that offers 11.5 hours of reading time and up to nine hours of video. The Nook Tablet will launch at $250 on November 18. More about the Nook Tablet at B&N.
2) Hulu Plus
The Nook Color is getting some updates, as well. For one, B&N has managed to get Hulu Plus, Pandora, MOG, Grooveshark and Rhapsody on the device. Not much was said, but according to Barnes & Noble the device will have over 100 enhancements with the latest update. Also coming soon, according to the official Nook Color page is Netflix.
Here are some highlights from the official
Amazon B&N (ED: oops, my bad.) page:
- World’s most advanced VividView™ 7″ touchscreen
- Over 2.5 million books, magazines, interactive kids’ books
- Must-have apps like Angry Birds, top music services, & more
- Tablet essentials–email & Web w/video
- Coming Soon! TV Shows & Movies from Netflix and Hulu Plus™
- Coming Soon! NOOK Comics™ including the largest collection of Marvel graphic novels
- Always free NOOK support in-store
3) Price Cut for Nook Touch and Nook Color
The Nook Touch and the Nook Color also received price cuts. This puts them at the same price range as their main competitor, Amazon’s Kindle line. The Nook Color now runs the same price as the Kindle Fire ($199) and the Nook Touch runs the same price as the Kindle Touch ($99). Funny thing about the Nook Touch is that B&N specifically says “No Annoying Ads” as one of their features. Definitely a shot at the $99 Kindle Touch, which has ad support. For the record, we’ve read that the ads are not a big deal and they never show up while reading.
4) The Nook Simple Touch is still the Nook Simple Touch
The Nook Simple Touch got a minor upgrade as well. The software has been updated to 1.1, which is said to help with battery life. B&N also claims a shaper screen and faster page turns. As for the hardware itself, it seems to be unchanged, inside and out. It’s all about a name change and new software for this little guy.
Two More Tablets Join
For a while the iPad has been dominating the tablet market. Now there are two new competitors: The Nook Tablet and the Amazon Kindle Fire. We’ve heard many good things about the Kindle Fire. It’s budget-priced ($200 compared to around $500 of most current-gen tablets), and despite the fact that it’s not loaded on the hardware front, it’s said to run very smoothly and quickly. Which in the end is what really matters.