Barnes & Noble today introduced its latest tablets. Yep, I said tablets because, instead of introducing just one tab, the company introduced two brand new products today. What are they? Pretty incredible devices, if my early hands-on time with them is any indication. First up, the Nook HD; it's Barnes & Noble's latest 7-inch tablet and it's loaded with amazing features at an awesome price.
The device features a custom 1440 x 900 resolution display, which B&N says is the sharpest available right now. It's certainly the clearest we've seen yet. Text and video are super crisp. What else is on board? Glad you asked. The device features a dual-core 1.3GHz processor from Texas Instruments (the OMAP 4470), 8GB or 16GB of storage (fret not, you can expand it using a microSD card!), a 3.5mm headphone jack and more. The device runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but, seriously don't let it hold you back. Barnes & Noble has created a fresh custom interface that sits on top of it that's amazing. Sure, you miss out on the Siri-like Google Search apps, and there isn't a camera, but Barnes & Noble wants you to focus on reading, not using the tablet as a smartphone replacement. Makes sense. The device is super light – Barnes & Noble made that a huge focus, and it features the rubber back we love from the Nook eReader products.
Barnes & Noble's other tablet, the first 9-inch device from the firm, is known as the Nook HD+. It packs killer features and it's insanely light thanks to the magnesium frame inside of it. The tablet packs a 1920 x 1280-pixel resolution display, not as sharp as the iPad but still solid, a 6,000mAh battery, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 16GB or 32GB of storage (expandable also), solid speakers (we already tested them) and much more into a body that weighs just 18.2 ounces. It's the lightest tablet of its size we've ever felt.
I'll discuss the software further in my hands-on with the device, which we'll publish later in the morning, but you're really going to love it. Barnes & Noble added support for multiple accounts, which means Mom, Dad and the kids can all share a tablet and have different profiles. There's also the company's added support for new video rentals and purchases, recommended books based not only on what you've read before, but on your tastes (it's amazing), an entirely revamped home screen and more.
As for pricing, the HD+ will set you back $269 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB option. The 8GB Nook HD costs $199 and the 16GB option costs $229. All are available for pre-order today and will ship next month.
We can't wait to bring you our full review of both tablets. For now, enjoy the photos and stay tuned for our more in-depth post later this morning.
Spoiler alert: am I excited for these products to hit the market? You bet.