The Barnes & Noble v. Amazon slap-off continues, this time with the brick-and-mortar book giant’s launch of the Nook HD and HD+ Android tablets. The smaller Nook HD ($199+) maintains a similar form factor to its predecessor, the Nook color, with some noted improvements, including a 1440 x 900 display, which gives it the temporary title of the world’s highest resolution 7-inch tablet with 243ppi. B&N also isn’t sheepish about drawing lines in the sand versus the competition, pointing out that the new screen has 25% more pixels than the Kindle Fire HD, and since it weighs a feathery 11 ounces and is just 5 inches wide, it’s also 20% lighter and nearly a half-inch narrower than Amazon’s champion. A dual-core 1.3Ghz processor, 1GB RAM, 8 and 16GB storage options and a microSD slot round out the hardware goodies. The bigger 9-inch Nook HD+ ($269+) tablet features a 1920 x 1280 full HD (256ppi) display that’s nearly a match for the pricier 264ppi “resolutionary” competition; at 18.2 ounces, it’s supposedly the “lightest full HD tablet ever invented”. Beside tweaks in stature, the HD+ packs a faster, 1.5GHz dual-core processor in addition to 1GB of RAM.
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As the market has proven, though, great hardware means nothing without content. B&N has answered that call with a new NOOK Video store, offering HD movies and TV content from major studios and networks including HB0, STARZ, Disney, and Warner Bros. Additionally, they’re the first to boast UltraViolet support — meaning they’ll sync and play those digital copies of DVDs and Blu-rays in consumer’s existing video libraries. New NOOK profiles make personalizing the content experience between various family users easy as well.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be a fight without competitive pricing. The 7-inch Nook will start at $199 with 8GB of storage, while the 9-inch HD+ will cost slightly more, at $269 for the 16GB version. Each are available in colors of “Snow” or “Smoke”, and are up for pre-order now with an expected ship date of November.