Barnes & Noble fires a shot across Amazon's bow this week, dropping the price of it's popular Nook Color $50 and introducing the new Nook Tablet.
The tablet wars are heating up and just in time for holiday shopping. You might remember my blog last month titled "Amazon's Kindle Fire Will Ship With A Free Puppy" where I talked about how the Kindle Fire was not a iPad2 competitor but a Nook Color competitor. Well this week Barnes & Noble fired a shot across Amazon's bow. Not only did B&N drop the price of the Nook Color to $199, but they announced the new Nook Tablet which will carry a price tag of $249.
When you start comparing features and specs for the Kindle Fire verses the Nook Tablet, it's a pretty even playing field. Both feature 7 inch 1024 x 600 resolution 16 million color touch screens. Amazon and Barnes & Noble both offer millions of books, tons of popular apps, play movies and music, plus web browsing and email. With the Kindle Fire shipping November 15th at $199 and the Nook Tablet shipping November 18th at $249, wouldn't it be safe to say the Kindle Fire wins? The Technosaurus answer is no.
Three things stand for me with the Nook Tablet. First it has longer battery life. 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video playback, with the Amazon piece at 8 hours of reading and 7.5 hours of video playback. Second is memory. The Nook Tablet has 16gb and the Kindle Fire 8gb...but the Nook Tablet adds a micro SD card slot for adding photos, movies, or music (up to a 32gb card). This is great when you are away from a Wi-Fi hotspot, like in a plane for example or maybe the back seat of a car on a long road trip. The third thing that jumps out at me is Barnes & Nobles "Read In Store" feature. This cool feature allows you to read any e-book or periodical available for the Nook Tablet (or other Nook) for one hour each day while you are in a B&N. So let's say you pop into the store to get a Starbuck's everyday anyway...now you can have a seat and read a while on Barnes & Noble's dime! (I would like to note that Amazon does offer a free book each month, but only to paid Amazon Prime service members)
So get those letters to Santa out, and add the tablet of choice. Will you put the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, or an iPad2 on your list? I believe they are all good choices, just buy early this year because the tablet wars have begun!!