Despite making hardware of comparable quality and price for years, Barnes & Noble’s line of Nook readers and tablets has been hard-pressed to compete with Amazon’s Kindle devices. Though the original Nook Tablet launched only 2 days behind the Kindle Fire, it has not been seen as a significant competitor. Part of the reason for this has been the Nook Tablet’s somewhat higher price tag ($249 as opposed to $199).
Now it looks like Barnes and Noble might be preparing to release a tablet that competes with the Kindle Fire more directly. There were hints last month that a new model of Nook Tablet was in the works. Now The Verge has gotten hold of a document from Walmart detailing the February 22nd launch of a Nook Tablet with half the storage - 8 GB, to match the Kindle Fire. The document (picture below, courtesy of The Verge), provides instructions to Walmart for what to do with the shipments that are apparently already arriving at their stores. The tablet is apparently scheduled to launch at 12:01 on Wednesday, February 22, with shipments apparently reaching stores via truck starting on Saturday the 18th, and running through Tuesday the 21st. There is no pricing information on the Nook Tablet, but given the halved internal storage and the need to compete directly with the Kindle Fire, we can probably expect a drop of at least $50, and probably more.
With just two days until the (apparent) launch, look for more information to be available very soon. No formal announcement has been made - or even hinted at - by Barnes & Noble, but we should expect one on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
What do you think? Would you buy a Nook Tablet instead of a Kindle Fire if the price is right? Sound off in the comments.