Just in time for the holiday season–and conveniently in time to compete with new offerings from competition–Barnes & Noble has announced two new tablets for your viewing and reading pleasure. The Nook HD and Nook HD+ are ready for pre-order starting September 26. They will hit store shelves in late October.
The Nook HD is being dubbed the “lightest and highest resolution 7-inch HD” tablet in the world. While that is a bold — if not extremely specific — claim, Barnes & Noble aims to back it up with the Nook HD’s specs. The 7-inch tablet weighs in at only 11.1 ounces while packing in 243 pixels per inch. For comparison’s purposes, that’s just short of the third generation iPad’s 264 ppi and about half of the Apple tablet’s weight. With a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 8GB or 16GB of built in memory — expandable to 64GB with a microSD card — and 1GB of RAM, there should be no issues with powering the pixel-heavy screen. The battery promises 10.5 hours of continuous reading or 9 hours of video, making it almost directly comparable to the new iPad’s battery. The Nook HD starts at $200.
While the Nook HD should please fans of smaller tablets, the HD+ is looking to prove size matters with two extra inches. The 9-inch tablet features a full HD display with a 1920 x 1280 pixel resolution and 256 pixels per inch, making it a great home for 1080p content. The “+” in the devices title also denotes an upgraded dual-core processor, clocking in at 1.5GHz. The HD+ will come in 16GB and 32GB models and feature two color options: Smoke and Snow (gray and white, if you’re not into fancy titles). Owners of these models will also get a little more weight in their hands as the Nook HD+ weighs in at 18.2 ounces — still slightly lighter than the latest generation iPad. The starting cost for the Nook HD+ is $270.
The HD focus on the latest line of Nook tablet offerings places emphasis on another new product from Barnes & Noble. The book and media company is expanding their empire to the video world with Nook Video. The newest service will be added to the Nook Store premiere this fall and will feature content from major media partners like HBO, Sony, Starz, Disney, Viacom, and Warner Bros. TV shows and films will be available for streaming or for download once the shop opens its doors to the public. An especially enticing selling point of the service is the ability to integrate physical copies of DVDs and Blu-Rays you already own into your virtual library through UltraViolet. Of course, what better device to watch Nook Video content on than a brand new Nook HD or HD+?
One of the big points that Barnes & Noble seems to be hammering home with these HD offerings is the fact that there are no ads, calling advertisements “distracting” and “annoying” — a clear jab at Amazon, which puts ads on its Kindles. The company doesn’t appear to be pulling any punches when it comes to marketing their products. Will it put up as much of a fight in sales figures when put up against the revamped Amazon Kindle Fire’s and theoretical new iPads of the world? Check out our hands on for some first impressions of the products.