By Anu Passary | Sep 27, 2012 10:48 AM EDT
Barnes & Noble has upped the ante in the tablet race with the introduction of its new 7-inch NOOK HD tablet on Sept. 25. The high-resolution, lightweight tablet scores on quite a few counts over rivals Amazon (Kindle Fire HD) and Google (Nexus 7), and it is set to stake its claim in the hotly-contested 7-inch tablet space.
"We believe we'll gain significant share in the tablet category, and we've planned for that from a production standpoint. I believe these are going to be hot holiday gifts," said Barnes & Noble Chief Executive William Lynch in an interview with Reuters.
Here's a round-up of the NOOK HD tablet's features.
The NOOK HD measures 7.65 x 5.00 x 0.43 inches. At 11.1 ounces the tablet is much lighter than the 13.9 ounces and 13.4 ounces of the Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7, respectively. Barnes & Noble has surrounded the tablet's screen with a grippy plastic, which make it easier for users to hold the device and also reduces unwanted fingerprint marks.
Processor and OS
A dual-core OMAP 4470 processor clocked at 1.3GHz powers the NOOK HD tablet, compared to the 1.2GHz dual-core processor of the recently-released Kindle Fire HD. The tablet will come pre-loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Display and Resolution
Barnes & Noble included HD in the tablet's name since the device features high-resolution display. The NOOK HD tablet, a follow-up to the original NOOK tablet, boasts of the highest-resolution ever on a 7-inch tablet. At 1,440 x 900 pixels resolution with 243 ppi, the NOOK HD betters the 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution of both Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 (216 ppi). Additionally, the tablet supports HD video playback of up to 720p and according to Barnes & Noble, the NOOK HD has 25 percent more pixels than the Kindle Fire HD, which makes for a better overall viewing experience.
The NOOK HD features an advanced IPS display, coupled with "fully laminated screen with no air gaps," which enables an 80 degree viewing angle and reduces glare.
"NOOK HD's display is best-in-class, with brilliant color, ultra-crisp definition, and minimal glare. Pictures and video look spectacular from every angle and each word is crystal clear," states the official Web site.
Unlike its challengers, the NOOK HD does not come with a camera.
"When you're making a device light and inexpensive, you have to make decisions," justified Lynch. "We felt like 99.9% of people who own a tablet will have a smartphone in their pocket with a better camera."
Memory and Storage
The NOOK HD has 1GB of RAM and will be available in 8/16GB variants. The tablet also includes an expandable memory option of up to 32GB thanks to the microSD slot.
The rechargeable battery offers up to 10.5 hours of reading time and nearly 9 hours of video streaming.
The ultra-portable NOOK HD offers new interfaces that look nothing like the existing Android ones on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Google's own Nexus 7 tablet.
The new "NOOK Profiles" personalizes the tablet according to a family's needs. Users can create profiles for different family members. A tap on the profile at the top of the screen enables users to transform the look and feel of the tablet to meet their needs. The content of the tablet, e.g., bookshelves, can also be customized.
Additionally, the tablet supports Barnes & Noble's recently released "NOOK Video" service. Users can now purchase or rent movie and TV shows via the service. The "NOOK Catalog" service also lets users choose from more than three million books, a large selection of magazine and apps.
The "Your NOOK Today" feature on the homescreen displays suggested reading/viewing when clicked.
Pricing, Colors, and Availability
The 8GB and 16GB models of the tablet will set users back by $199 and $229, respectively. The tablet is available in two colors: "Snow" and "Smoke". Additionally, the Wi-Fi only NOOK HD will come with an AC charger, unlike the Kindle Fire 7's AC adapter, for which Amazon charges extra.
Barnes & Noble is expected to start shipping the tablet by October end. The NOOK HD is currently available for pre-order on barnesandnoble.com.
© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.