Barnes & Noble today took a direct shot at Amazon, debuting its latest Nook mini-tablets, the Nook HD and Nook HD+. The tablets are close in specifications and competitively priced to Amazon's recently released Kindle Fire HD tablets. It seems the earlier announcement of Barnes & Noble's new streaming video service was a prelude to this larger announcement.
The Nook HD is Barnes & Noble's new 7-inch tablet. The company is pointing out the features the Nook HD has that beat the Kindle Fire HD: resolution and weight. The Nook HD has a 1440 x 900, 243 ppi HD screen and weighs only 11.1 ounces. It is also boasted that, because the tablet is only 5-inches wide, it can fit into the pocket of a men's suit coat. The rest of the tablet's hardware features are nearly identical to the Kindle Fire HD, though the tablet does feature a microSD card slot and the 16GB version of the Nook HD will have a full 1GB of memory.
The Nook HD will come in two sizes, 8GB and 16GB. The 8GB version will be available for $199, same as the Kindle Fire HD. The 16GB version will be available for $229. The tablet will be available in either "snow" or "smoke" colors, and can be pre-ordered starting today on Barnes & Noble's website.
The Nook HD+ is where Barnes & Noble is really striking at Amazon. At 9-inches, the tablet is aiming for Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet. The Nook HD+, however will sell for $269 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB version. Amazon is selling its 8.9" tablet for $299, or $ $499 with $G LTE. The Nook HD+ doesn't have 4G LTE capabilities the way Amazon's tablet does, but the cost savings from that omission are obvious.
As with the Nook HD, at 18.2 ounces the Nook HD+ is lighter than its Kindle counterpart and it also has a microSD card slot. It's battery, however, is not up to par with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9", and will only last for up to 10 hours of reading.
Both the Nook HD and Nook HD+ are expected to ship in late October and be available in Barnes & Noble stores in early November.