Barnes & Noble has added a new 7-inch color tablet to its Nook line, positioning it head-to-head with Amazon’s recently announced Kindle Fire. For $50 over the Kindle Fire’s $199 price, the Nook Tablet offers double the built-in RAM and flash memory, and adds a microSD slot plus a built-in mic.
The simultaneous arrival of these two new 7-inch Android tablets — both will ship in mid-November — signals a significant expansion in the mid-sized tablet market.
B&N Nook Tablet (upper); Amazon Kindle Fire (lower)
(click thumbnails to enlarge)
The table below compares key hardware features and specs of these two interesting 7-inch Android tablets.
|Barnes & Noble
|Processor:||1GHz dual-core OMAP4 CPU||1GHz dual-core OMAP4 CPU|
|Built-in memory:||1GB RAM; 16GB flash||512MB RAM; 8GB flash|
|Expansion flash:||Up to 32GB via microSD||none|
|OS:||Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)||Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)|
|Display:||7-inch diag, 1024 x 600 px||7-inch diag, 1024 x 600 px|
|up to 11.5 hrs reading or 9 hrs video playing||up to 8 hrs reading or 7.5 hrs video playing|
|Size:||8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 in||7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 in|
|Weight:||14.1 oz||14.6 oz|
B&N and Amazon each will be supporting its respective tablet with an app market containing a subset of Android apps. Only the Nook Tablet has a built-in microphone, theoretically enabling it to run voice communications apps such as Skype, although B&N currently makes no mention of Skype or other VoIP apps at present.
Additionally, neither device includes either built-in cameras or cellular data communications capabilities. Of course, omissions such as these leave room for higher-end models from B&N and Amazon, and enable other companies to stake out unique positions in the emerging 7-inch Android tablet market.
Supported file formats
According to B&N, the Nook Tablet supports the following content formats:
- documents: EPUB (Adobe DRM or DRM-free), PDF, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX
- images: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP
- audio: MP3, AAC, AMR, WAV, OGG (audio Codecs MP3, AAC, AMR, LPCM, OGG Vorbis)
- video: MP4, Adobe Flash, 3GP, 3G2 MKV, WEBM (H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VP8)
And, Amazon says its Kindle Fire is compatible with these content formats:
- documents: Kindle (AZW), unprotected MOBI, PRC (natively), TXT, PDF, DOC, DOCX
- images: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP
- audio: MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, Audible, Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX), non-DRM AAC
- video: MP4, Adobe Flash, VP8
Further information regarding the Nook Tablet is available on B&N’s dedicated Nook Tablet page.
Check out our earlier coverage of the Amazon Kindle Fire for more details on the Kindle Fire. Incidentally, that post also includes a table comparing key features of the Amazon Kindle Fire with those of the Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet are each available now for pre-order, with initial shipments planned for around Nov. 15 — in plenty of time for the holiday season. The Kindle Fire is priced at $199 direct from Amazon.com, here. The Nook Tablet, priced at $249, is available on B&N’s website, here.