Amazon may have just given you one less reason to consider a NOOK Tablet or NOOK Simple Touch over a Kindle Fire or Kindle Touch. During yesterday’s launch event for the new NOOK Tablet, Barnes & Noble pointed out that you could walk into a bricks and mortar store to try out a NOOK before buying it. But Amazon’s working pretty hard to make sure the same is true of its Kindle devices.
Starting November 15th, over 16,000 stores across the US will be carrying Amazon Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, and Kindle Fire devices for prices ranging from $79 to $199.
Partnering stores include Best Buy, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Staples, Target, and Walmart.
Of course, Barnes & Noble will also offer NOOK users free WiFi at any of its bookstore locations, as well as technical support. But Amazon’s partnership with retail stores eats into B&N’s competitive advantage a little bit.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Tablet both feature 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel displays and 1 GHz TI OMAP4 dual core processors, as well as customized versions of the Google Android operating system. Amazon’s tablet costs $199 while Barnes & Noble’s runs $249 — but the NOOK Tablet has twice as much RAM and twice as much storage as the Kindle Fire, as well as a microphone and SD card slot, both of which the Amazon tablet lacks.
On the other hand, Amazon has its own digital music store and digital video store, as well as a pretty strong eBook platform for reading books and keeping them synchronized across devices. Amazon Prime members can also stream thousands of videos and borrow one book a month from the Kindle Lending Library for $79 per year.
It’s tough to decide which tablet is a better deal — so far Liliputing readers seem to be leaning toward the NOOK Tablet, but it’s only leading our poll by a small margin.