Jon unboxed his earlier, and I took mine out for a spin just now: Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet is basically a successor to last year’s sleeper hit, Nook Color. Where Nook Color was sort of an e-reader on steroids and sort of a tablet, B&N says the new model is a tablet through and through. Priced at $249, Nook Tablet is ready to take on Amazon’s new $199 Kindle Fire in the battle for your low-cost tablet dollars.

Running a heavily customized version of Android 2.3, Nook Tablet sports a dual-core 1GHZ processor, 7″ IPS display, and a lighter overall design than Nook Color. While the company is advertising the device’s ability to handle “HD video,” the display’s resolution is only 1024 x 600 so you’re not actually going to see 720p, let alone 1080p, resolution on the thing. Still, the UI is intuitive and user-friendly (if a touch more complicated than Nook Color), and on first impression performance is responsive and smooth.

But don’t take my word for it – watch my video tour instead! Click play for Part 1 of a two-part tour of the Nook Tablet OS.