The Nook Tablet Review reveals a great competitor to the Kindle Fire

This Nook Tablet Review cannot start without mentioning Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble, Inc. is a company that was founded in 1873 and is regarded as the largest book retailer in the United States, operating more than seven hundred stores in all of the fifty States, as well as almost seven hundred college bookstores.

 

With yearly revenue surpassing five billion US dollars and more than forty thousand employees, Barnes & Noble is more than an ample competitor to Amazon.com, but only in regards to the domestic US market.

This competition is mainly the reason why people regard the release of the Nook Tablet as the direct answer to the release of the Amazon Tablet PC the Kindle Fire, which only continues an already existing feud that started with eBook readers years ago. 

On first glance, there is not much difference between the Nook and the Fire, both being 7 inch tablets and featuring a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4 processor. The Nook has 16 GB storage capacity, expandable to 32 GB, whereby Amazon’s Fire has only 8 GB with no expansion capabilities. The RAM memory in the Nook is 1 GB, Fire has only 512 MB, and both run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. While the Amazon tablet has the Silk internet browser, the Nook runs a customized Android browser, which is interestingly enough regarded as a point for the Amazon Fire, despite the non-existent privacy of the Silk browser being a major concern. But to continue with the actual Nook Tablet Review, a look deeper into the Nook is required. 

The Nooks and Crannies

If you are living in the United States and Canada, then you may have a problem deciding which tablet to pick. Since that both tablets are unavailable elsewhere and at some point only the Kindle Fire will be made available in Europe and anywhere Amazon does business, it is not really worth comparing. As a bare-bone tablet, the Nook is way more interesting than Fire, in terms of performance and hardware. The biggest surprise is again the barring of access to the Android Market, which was also a point of concern in regards to the Fire. Why would you deliberately bar people from accessing such a major marketplace, alienating the owner of your operating system as well as forcing the user to do some fiddling with the system, in order to gain access to something that should have been native?

To be honest, Apple did force plenty of users to jailbreak their devices, so why complain if Barnes & Noble do essentially the same? The answer of this Nook Tablet Review is more than simple: competition does not sleep. Quad-core tablets are being announced left and right , prices are being slashed for existing products, the Motorola Tablet PC the Xoom is down 25%,there is a Lenovo Tablet PC for$200, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is down 30%, and now there is also the Kobo Vox, which appears to be much more than just an eReader. So what would make a prospective user choose the Nook instead of any other tablet? 

Barnes & Noble without the Starbucks

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With all due respect, bear in mind that the list price for this tablet is just below $250, with probable price reductions to be expected. The Nook is first and foremost a colorful media reader, eBooks, eMagazines, videos, music, up to games; all is easily done with this tablet and the integrated dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, paired with the expandable 16 GB storage, in addition with the free Nook cloud storage for the Barnes & Noble stuff you have purchased. There seems also to be a possibility to store other content there as well, but only once you own a Nook tablet.

Okay, so you get whole bookstore at your fingertips, with magazines and all. But besides that point, our Nook Tablet Review requires a look at all the other features, including the internet experience. Wi-Fi, offered for free in all Barnes & Noble stores, allows the user to connect to any Wi-Fi hotspot in order to gain access to the world of the web. The integrated battery is a pretty powerful one, it allows for more than 11 hours of reading and up to nine hours of video watching. It can be charged per USB or per the provided charging power adapter. 

Little things that make life easy

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Almost any conceivable document can be loaded into the Nook, including Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets, ePub and PDF files, but also plenty of video formats, including HD video but no DivX. Audio files – a must for all audio book aficionados – are playable through the headphones or the built-in speaker. There is an application store within the Barnes & Noble store, where most of the popular applications can be downloaded. If you cannot function without access to the Android Market, there are ways how to circumvent this problem, even without voiding your warranty.

Pre-loaded applications are sparse; most of them function only to lure you into purchasing more content from the store. Nevertheless, there is Netflix and Hulu Plus that give you access to a lot of movies and video content, the Pandora internet radio, some forgettable games and NOOK Friends, which allows you to swap some purchased books with your friends and thereby save each other a buck or two. If you are into music, there are free trials for Grooveshark, Rhapsody and MOG. All downloaded or uploaded books can be resized; actually the font size can, in six different font styles. There is no 3G connectivity, nor is there a Bluetooth port. 

Breakdown on the Nook

To sum up this Nook Tablet Review, Barnes & Noble provides here a fine eReader with added tablet features, but barely more than that. Just like the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook is targeting former users of their Nook eBook readers and in a logical step extends the usability of such a device to the more popular tablet field. Plenty of tablet PC defining features are missing, but on the other hand, such devices cost still almost double and feature similar hardware. If you are primarily looking for an eReader that can also mimic a tablet, than you cannot go better than the Nook Tablet. If you are shopping for a low-price tablet, you are still going to fare quite well. Keep in mind, though, that quad-core tablets are coming and that prices for other tablets are falling on a weekly basis. What looks like a bargain today, may not be such a bargain on the day it is actually being delivered. 
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