Don't you love these tech wars?
First it was every smartphone maker vs. Apple iPhone 5.
Now, it's an e-reader tablet tussle.
Three weeks after Amazon grandly announced its new Amazon Kindle HD e-reader tablets and a week after Kobo quietly made known its tablet reader intentions with its Arc, Barnes & Noble today struck back with its own upgraded Wi-Fi e-reader tablets, the 7-inch Nook HD and the 9-inch Nook HD+.
The bookseller says its Nook HD sports the "world's highest resolution display ever on a 7-Inch Media Tablet" – 1440 x 900 pixels and 243 pixels per inch (PPI), 25 percent more pixels than the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (1280 x 800 pixels), which had boasted IT had the world's most advanced 7-inch display.
At 11.1 ounces (315 grams) and 5-inches wide, the HD is 20 percent lighter and nearly a half-inch narrower than the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Nook HD's brain is a 1.3 GHz processor, a smidge more powerful than Amazon Kindle Fire's 1.2 GHz brain. It'll be available with either a "snow" (white) or "smoke" (gray) bezel.
But B&N has failed to match the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD's price. For $199, Nook HD includes 8 GB of storage memory while for the same price you get 16 GB in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD; you'll pay $229 for the 16 GB version of the Nook HD while for $20 more for the 32 GB 7-inch Kindle Fire HD
9 Inches Competition
The company also claims its 9-inch Nook HD+ is the "world's lightest full HD tablet." It also has Amazon's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD beat on specs and price.
On the weight claim, Nook HD+ notches in at 18.2 ounces (515 grams) vs. Kindle Fire HD's 20 ounces (567 grams).
Nook HD+'s display packs in a full HD 1920 x 1280 pixels; Amazon Kindle HD 1900 x 1200.
On price, Nook HD+'s 16 GB version is $269 (vs. Amazon Kindle HD's $299) and its 32 GB version is 32 GB (vs. Amazon's Kindle HD at $369).
Both Kindle HD and Nook HD+ run on 1.5 GHz processors. B&N says the Nook HD+ will run for 10 hours for reading, nine hours for video viewing; Amazon hasn't yet rated the battery on its 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.
All the Nook HDs also include a microSD card slot, lacking in the Amazon Kindle Fire HDs, which opt for cloud storage.
Competition for content
Along with the new Nooks, B&N also has created its own video store, Nook Video, with streaming or downloaded movies available from HBO, STARZ, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Instead of storing video locally, B&N also will offer cloud storage.
The Nook's also will be the first UltraViolet-compatible tablets – you'll be able to access your UltraViolet video collection from B&N's cloud server.
But like Kindle, the Nook's are compatible only with Nook-specific Android apps, which includes Nook versions of the 100 most popular tablet apps.
All the new Nooks are available for pre-order now and will ship in late October – just in time for the slew of expected Windows 8 tablets, Apple's expected iPad Mini but a month before Kobo's Arc and Amazon's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDs hit store shelves.
Yeah, this is going to be a fascinating fall, tablet-wise.