Amazon has just refreshed their Kindle Fire line, so it was expected for Barnes & Noble to react accordingly. And they did, and in a pretty shocking way. They’ve announced two new tablets with some surprisingly fantastic specs and prices. And two important notes: Kindles don’t come with wall charges, while Nooks do, and most importantly, none of the Nooks have ads!
The first one is the Nook HD. It’s a 7″ tablet, like the Kindle Fire HD 7″ and Nexus 7. But unlike the others, it boasts a 1440×900 display, instead of the standard 1280×800. All I have to say is: impressive! At 243 ppi, that’s a damn good display density. It also has a 1.3 GHz dual core TI OMAP 4470, which is more powerful than the Fire HD’s processor and more powerful in most benchmarks than the Tegra 3 in the Nexus 7. It’s also lighter than a Fire HD, at 11.1 oz.
It will come with 8GB of internal storage paired with 512MB of RAM for $199, or 16GB of storage with 1GB of RAM for $229. Very impressive pricing. But there is one more detail. Unlike either the Fire HD or N7, it comes with a microSD card slot. This might be the differentiating factor they need for a big portion of the population.
Next up is the Nook HD+. This one packs a 9″ 1920×1280 display, very similar to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. Also an impressive display on paper. It packs a 1.5 GHz dual core TI OMAP 4470, a microSD card slot, 1GB of RAM, and weighs in at 18.2 oz. The 16GB model will be priced at $269, and the 32GB will be $299. Can I just say how amazing that sounds on paper? We have yet to see if they will be just as good as they sound, but we have hope!
Of course, the biggest issue could be the user interface. It is based on Android 4.0, but just like with the Kindles, it has a custom overlay. From what we’ve seen, it looks laggy and slow, despite being designed well. But pre-release software never shows off how the device will perform when released. Still, we worry. Hopefully it’ll be bootloader unlocked out of the box so we can throw some Jelly Bean ROMs on there!
All the new Nooks are now available to preorder right here, if you’re interested. They will be coming out in November. We’ll bring you more coverage as it comes in! But tell us, are you impressed with these new tablets?