updated 06:50 am EST, Mon February 20, 2012
Barnes & Noble set to tackle Kindle Fire head-on
Barnes & Noble looks set to tackle the hot-selling Amazon Kindle Fire head-on by releasing a reduced storage capacity version of its Nook Color sequel, the Nook Tablet. According to the The Verge, it has received documentation purported to be from Walmart showing that it is set to release an 8GB model at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, February 22. Currently, the 16GB version of the Nook Tablet retails at $249, suggesting that Barnes & Noble aims to get close to, equal, or beat the pricing of the Kindle Fire at $199.
Barnes & Noble has watched on as Amazon has sold an estimated 5 million Kindle Fire's over the fall. It has tried to counter the pricing of the Kindle Fire by offering $50 of its 16GB model, although users also have to sign up for a $10 per month subscription to People magazine. The offer continues currently to March 9. Like the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet sports a dual-core processor and runs an Android OS. The most recent sales figures showed that the Nook Tablet shipped an estimated 1.1 million units in its first two months on sale, making it one of the more popular Android tablets, alongside the Kindle Fire.
An 8GB version of the Nook Tablet would make an ideal challenger for the Kindle Fire. While the Kindle Fire is limited to 8GB, it also does not offer the ability to expand its limited onboard storage. The Nook Tablet, in its present 16GB form offers users an SD card for expansion -- if Barnes & Noble retained this feature, it could gain a competitive advantage over the Kindle Fire. It is also arguable that LG Display-made VividView IPS display offers better overall performance, the result of its laminated surface which improves legibility.