The bookstore Barnes & Noble isn’t that well known in the UK, as up until September this year, it has never sold any products here. Then it launched its Nook Simple Touch e-readers in an effort to take some of Amazon’s market share, and has now expanded its range even further, with its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets.
They’re very similar to the Kindle Fire range, as they’re well-priced, high-spec tablets running Google Android, but neither offer access to the Google Play app store, instead forcing owners to use the company’s own stores which comes pre-installed.
Here’s what Barnes & Noble has come up with to tempt you away from Amazon this Christmas. The Nook HD has a 7-inch screen with an excellent 1440 x 900 pixel resolution, a 1.3GHz dual-core processor and either 8GB or 16GB of internal memory. This storage space dictates the price, which is £159 and £189 respectively.
The Nook HD+ is considerably more interesting, as it’s closer in specification to the Amazon Kindle HD 8.9, a model that Amazon doesn’t sell in the UK. It has a 9-inch touchscreen with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, a 1.5GHz processor and this time, either 16GB or 32GB of memory. Of course, it’s more expensive than the basic Nook HD, coming in at £229 for the 16GB model or £269 for the top-of-the-range 32GB version.
Barnes & Noble also has its own eBook store with more than 2.5 million titles available, a Newsstand app with newspapers and magazines, plus in December, Nook Video will launch with a selection of films and TV shows for owners to rent or buy.
In addition to selling the new tablets through its website, B&N has signed agreements with retailers including Asda, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Dixons and John Lewis, all of which will be stocking the Nook tablets this Christmas.
There’s a huge amount of choice out there when it comes to cheap Android tablets, can the Barnes & Noble Nook succeed despite being a relative unknown?