Mobile Technology

Barnes & Noble launches NOOK HD tablets

Barnes & Noble launches NOOK H...
Barnes & Noble has hopped on the HD bandwagon with the launch of the NOOK HD and HD+ (pictured)
Barnes & Noble has hopped on the HD bandwagon with the launch of the NOOK HD and HD+ (pictured)
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NOOK HD+ from the front with its new interface
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NOOK HD+ from the front with its new interface
NOOK HD from the side
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NOOK HD from the side
The back of the NOOK HD
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The back of the NOOK HD
NOOK HD from the front with its new interface
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NOOK HD from the front with its new interface
NOOK HD+ from the front
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NOOK HD+ from the front
NOOK HD+ is incredibly thin, as seen in this side view
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NOOK HD+ is incredibly thin, as seen in this side view
The back of the NOOK HD+
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The back of the NOOK HD+
The NOOK HD
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The NOOK HD
Barnes & Noble has hopped on the HD bandwagon with the launch of the NOOK HD and HD+ (pictured)
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Barnes & Noble has hopped on the HD bandwagon with the launch of the NOOK HD and HD+ (pictured)

Barnes & Noble doesn't want to be left behind with Amazon announcing HD versions of its popular Kindle tablets, so it's bringing the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ to market. The NOOK HD is Barnes & Noble's entry into the seven-inch tablet market and the HD+ is its nine-inch version.

The big selling point with these tablets is their weight. Barnes & Noble claims they are "the lightest HD and full HD tablets." The NOOK HD weighs in at 11.1 ounces (315 grams). This makes it 20 percent lighter than the Kindle Fire. The larger NOOK HD+ weighs 18.2 ounces (515 grams). This extra size comes from the two-inch screen difference and more powerful components contained within the tablet.

The NOOK HD's resolution is 1440 x 900, which is, according to Barnes & Noble, the highest resolution ever on a seven-inch tablet. It is able to play video in resolutions of up to 720p. The NOOK HD+ offers full HD resolution of 1920 x 1280. This means it is capable of handling video at up to 1080p.

As far as internals, Barnes & Noble is touting the HD+ as having a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The smaller NOOK HD has a dual-core 1.3GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. They are both quite powerful when compared to some of the other tablets on the market.

The NOOK HD
The NOOK HD

A feature Barnes & Noble seems quite happy to point out is the lack of ads, which is an obvious dig at Amazon. That company recently announced that Kindle Fire users can get rid of ads, but it will cost them US$15. NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ have no ads out of the box.

Some other highlights of the new NOOKs include improved battery life, expandable storage, a new easier to use interface, and an improved email app.

The last thing that Barnes & Noble is using to put it ahead of its competition is the price. The NOOK HD costs $199 for an 8GB model and $229 for a 16GB version. The larger, higher resolution NOOK HD+ is available in a 16GB model for $269 and a 32GB version for $299.

Source: Barnes & Noble

3 comments
Nick Guzzardo
I just had a "live chat" with a B&N person and found 3 VERY GOOD reasons for the low price: 1) No option for 3G/4G 2) No GPS built in 3) No access to the Android Play Store. Sounds like a very nice reader, but for a lot of the fun stuff you will have to hang close to wifi.
Jon A.
Sadly, these feature proprietary connectors, instead of the standard USB ones on previous Nooks.
Charles Bosse
The Nook Reader is one of the worst apps I have on my Galaxy Nexus. It's a constant battery suck, leaks connectivity even when I'm not reading, and is 10x as large as any other readers. More confusing yet is why anyone would buy this instead of a Nexus 7 or Eee-pad, given those products lower price and proven superior performance.