Perfect timing for holiday shopping season, Barnes & Noble is set to announce its next version of the Nook on Monday with an expected release date of Nov. 16. Called the Nook Tablet, leaked documents indicate that the device will look and feel just like the Nook Color but with a few internal and external changes. But with the Kindle Fire also coming into the fold a day earlier on Nov. 15, which portable tablet/ereader combo should you choose? We'll look at the pros and cons of each and help you decide.
The Kindle Fire will sell for $200, while the Nook Tablet will be priced at $249.
Both the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire will come with a seven-inch touchscreen display at 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, and WiFi connectivity, but the Nook pulls ahead in processing power. The Nook Tablet will come with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor compared to the Kindle Fire's dual-core 1GHz, but let's face it — they're both going to be plenty fast. The Nook will also come with more storage space with 16GB on on-board and expandable with a 32GB SD card, while the Kindle Fire is limited to 8GB of on-board storage space. The Kindle Fire is integrated with Amazon's free cloud storage, however, so data space becomes a nonissue with the Fire. As far as battery life goes, the Kindle Fire will last up to eight hours with the WiFi turned off, while the Nook Tablet is expected to run for a full 11.5 hours while reading, and nine hours while watching video with the WiFi off.
Both the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire will be able to stream music, videos, and books, but where the content comes from is where these two differ. The Nook Tablet will be able to stream shows and movies from Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Pandora, while the Kindle Fire will be jacked into Amazon Prime, which offers free (as well as paid, and rental) streaming movies, TV shows, and music from its online store. Kindle Fire customers will get a free 30-day Amazon Prime membership to test out the benefits, but from there it comes with a $79 a year price tag. As far as books go, you'll obviously get the choice of choosing between Barnes & Noble's online selection and Amazon's. In addition, Amazon's app store is brimming with fun and familiar apps, which could woo customers to the Fire.
See our final thoughts and verdict after the break.
Shoppers who are already ingrained in the Amazon ecosystem will have no problem choosing between these two devices. Amazon Prime is well worth the $79 price it comes with for free two-day shipping and free streaming of movies and shows, which will come in handy for taking the Kindle Fire on the go. Amazon's new Silk web browser, which claims to cut down on download times due to a dual cache system, might be a selling point as well. Those looking for an affordable and accessible Android device will find love in the Nook Tablet. With Hulu Plus and Netflix, your bases are covered in terms of entertainment. But — you'll be spending more in the long run. Amazon Prime offers unlimited streaming of movies and TV, with rental prices starting at just $1.99. Considering that you're spending over $200 a year on Netflix and Hulu Plus alone (and renting those you can't get on the two channels), you'd be saving some cash by getting the Kindle Fire and paying that $79 Amazon Prime membership.
The Kindle Fire wins for unlimited cloud storage, Amazon Prime integration, and affordability.
Update: This post has been updated with new information provided from the official Nook Tablet launch.