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Barnes & Noble’s $50 Nook fights Amazon’s Fire tablet for your holiday dollars

Barnes & Noble’s Nook division might not be in the best financial standing it could be, but the company’s new Nook tablet hopes to go toe to toe with Amazon’s budget offering and revitalize the struggling division.

As far as looks are concerned, the Nook’s mission is to be a very basic, yet practical, tablet. To that end, the front features a 7-inch, 1,024 x 600 resolution IPS display and VGA selfie camera, while the rear features a 2-megapixel sensor. The Nook branding on the back is the only thing keeping the Nook from looking like generic Android tablets you might find at a Walmart or gas station, but, again, it aims to fill basic tablet needs and nothing more.

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That theme continues under the hood, where you will find an unnamed quad-core processor and 8GB of storage, though the MicroSD card slot lets you add up to an additional 128GB of memory. As a small bonus, you can save most Nook books to your MicroSD card. Since the Nook is an Android tablet, the tablet runs a seemingly stock version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. More specifically, even though there are plenty of pre-loaded Nook-related apps, the Nook also has access to Google Play and Google’s slew of Android apps.

There are a few key features Barnes & Noble points out with the Nook, the first being Readouts. The feature lets users read brief excerpts from new books, as well as a number of articles from different magazines. Furthermore, anyone who buys the Nook can get free support from physical Barnes & Noble locations. Finally, the Nook will be sold for just $50, putting the tablet in direct competition with Amazon’s own cheap Fire tablet.

The two tablets are very similar to each other, down to the amount of storage, so buyers will need to weigh whether Barnes & Noble or Amazon will best fulfill their needs. If you find that the Nook is the tablet for you, it is currently available for pre-order online, with in-store availability slated for Black Friday, November 25.