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First impressions Barnes Noble Nook tablet

first_imgB&N officially unveiled the Nook tablet today. Last week’s leaks took some of the excitement out of the day, despite it being a relatively major Android tablet launch and a direct competitor to the already-popular (but yet-to-be-released) Kindle Fire. At the event there was a chance to, briefly, go hands-on with the Nook tablet.If you are at interested in how the Nook tablet looks on paper, we’ve done a comparison between it and the Kindle Fire. There is no clear winner between the two, and each has its advantages. Basically, the Nook tablet is $50 more expensive, but it has more storage, twice the RAM, in-store support (if you live near a Barnes & Noble), and it probably has a nicer display than the Fire. What the Nook lacks is Amazon’s ecosystem, the Silk browser, and Amazon’s app store. Overall the Nook tablet has better hardware, but the Fire looks like it will beat it on the experience.When handling the Nook tablet, the device feels quite nice. At 14.1 ounces it’s a good deal lighter than the iPad and 10 percent lighter than the Nook Color. The tablet is easy to hold thanks to its small size (it’s based on a 7-inch screen) and soft touch back. Sure, it looks a lot like the Nook Color, but the Color is a handsome device thanks to the design work by Yves Behar. The Nook tablet is simple, streamlined, and free of annoyances.Two features really stood out when using the Nook tablet. The first was the display. At seven inches it’s not large but the 16M color, IPS panel features what B&N calls “full lamination” which will supposedly reduce glare and improve clarity. Regardless of the tech, it’s an attractive display, though it did seem to have a lot of glare in the brightly lit room. It operates at 1024×600 so while the tablet can playback HD content, take B&N’s talk about it being a “powerful HD entertainment machine” with all due skepticism.The second notable feature was the speed of the UI. As you can see in the video B&N put the tablet’s extra RAM to good use. The UI was smooth, and not just when sliding around on the homepage. It was fast when opening up magazines (like National Geographic) and loading video as well. My time with the tablet was limited but I really enjoyed this aspect. The UI is not unlike that of the Kindle Fire and while it feels rather cluttered it’s easy enough to navigate.I didn’t get enough time with the Nook tablet to form a complete opinion, but it is clear that Barnes and Noble’s upped their game with this one. They delivered a compelling tablet with a strong feature set that ranges from solid hardware to fast components to assorted niceties (like Pandora, Netflix, and a countless number of Nook-branded services). B&N comes packing a lot of hype too, like their highly touted version of Netflix… which doesn’t seem any better than the other tablet versions of Netflix I’ve used. But, past that, the hardware is quite good and the tablet is pleasant to use.So Kindle Fire or Nook tablet? There is no clear winner yet, but the Nook is no pushover. Amazon might have the price advantage and more forward-thinking technology, but the Nook tablet is a nice overall package. If you need more storage, extra battery life, and a (for some reason) microphone the Nook tablet will have you covered. We’ll have a better idea of how they stack up on the 15th when the Kindle Fire lands.nook tablet – side 2098nook tablet – side 2098nook tablet – frontnook tablet – display and UI 002nook tablet – display and UInook tablet – backnook reader – $99nook color launch – pricenook color – display and pricelast_img read more