updated 10:25 am EST, Mon November 7, 2011
Nook Tablet confirmed at event
Barnes & Noble at its special event confirmed the rumored launch of the Nook Tablet. The seven-inch sequel to the Nook Color is now much more of a media tablet with a dual-core processor and a doubled 1GB of RAM. The speed upgrade lets the Android 2.3 device handle 1080p video along with new Hulu Plus and Netflix apps and newer games.
The screen itself is also an upgrade, Barnes & Noble said: the LG Display-made VividView is considered a breakthrough in color and a laminated surface that improves visibility. It and the processor also help improve the battery life, which now equates to nine hours of typical video as well as 11.5 hours of reading.
Storage has been doubled to 16GB, along with an SD card slot that can take 32GB more for particularly heavy use. Emphasizing the use for kids, storybooks now have a read-and-record option that lets parents record their spoken version of the story so that their children can read again with the same experience.
Barnes & Noble's magazine and comic library is getting deeper, with over 250 magazines and newspapers as well as a deal with Marvel Comics. The collection will be larger than on "any other tablet," the bookseller promised.
The Nook Tablet should be in stores on November 17 at the old price of the Nook Color, at $249. Existing Nook Colors are still on sale and have already been dropped to $199. The earlier slate is getting a 1.4 update that brings in many of the non-hardware feature upgrades of the Nook Tablet.
In launching the Nook Tablet, CEO Bill Lynch called the device the best tablet in its class and also launched a full attack on the Amazon Kindle Fire. "The Kindle Fire is deficient as a media tablet" because of the 8GB storage, he said.
Amazon's device will be cheaper at $199, although it's also known that the Kindle Fire is being sold at a loss to build market share and hopefully make profits back on Amazon Prime and content sales.