Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet coming Nov 16th for $249

NOOK Family

Update: Barnes & Noble has officially launched the NOOK Tablet, as well as new pricing for the NOOK Color and NOOK Simple Touch. 

Barnes & Noble is expanding the NOOK family with a new NOOK Tablet. According to leaked documents it will go up for pre-order on Monday and ship November 16th. The tablet will run $249.

That’s the same price the Barnes & Noble NOOK Color launched at last year. But instead of discontinuing the NOOK Color, B&N is lowering the price. You’ll be able to pick one up for $199.

Meanwhile, while the NOOK Tablet looks like the NOOK Color, it’s a little thinner and lighter, and packs more horsepower. It measures 0.48 inches thick, weighs 14.1 ounces, and is powered by a 1.2 GHz TI OMAP4 dual core processor.

Update: It’s actually a 1 GHz dual core processor, not 1.2 GHz as originally reported. 

The NOOK Tablet features 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and has a microSD card slot for expansion.

Like the NOOK Color, the new tablet has a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel multitouch IPS display and 802.11b/g/n WiFi.

The tablet is about $50 more expensive than the Amazon Kindle Fire which will also start shipping in the middle of November. But the Kindle Fire has a 1 GHz dual core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and no SD card slot.

On the other hand, Amazon offers movies, TV shows, and other digital content for purchase or rental and not just eBooks. But Barnes & Noble will rely on third party apps to fill in some of those gaps. The NOOK Tablet will come with Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora apps.

A software update for the original NOOK Color will also bring music and video apps as well as a Scrabble app designed specifically for the NOOK Color.

Barnes & Noble is also apparently dropping the price of the NOOK Simple Touch eBook Reader with a touchscreen E Ink screen to $99. That’s the same price as the Amazon Kindle Touch — but to get the Kindle Touch for that price you need to put up with advertisements on the screen saver. The ad-free version runs $139.

Barnes & Noble is holding a launch event for the new tablet in New York on Monday, but a leaked document started making the rounds this afternoon, stealing a bit of the company’s thunder.

You can find more leaked slides at Android Central and Engadget.

  • Nards Barley

    “The NOOK Tablet features 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and has a microSD card slot for expansion.”

    For that, I would definitely pay the extra $50.

    • Anonymous

      The new Nook Color is basically just an update to the original.  So lacks the full set of normal Android buttons, and that doesn’t appeal to everyone who wants to use it as a Android tablet, but if you get ICS on it then it won’t matter and may prove good timing on B&N’s part.

      Though it will have to compete with the growing number of low cost tablets in that price range.

      • Anonymous

        It essentialy has the same specs as the Galaxy Nexus, while its screen resolution is even lower, so it will perform conciderably better then most low cost tablets once it gets an ICS bootable from SD-Card.

      • Anonymous

        Tablets closer to the $300 price range are typically 1GHz already now and many of them are also choosing the TI OMAP 4 solution.  While the introduction of 28nm next gen ARM chips next year and a increased range of offerings of present gen chips should make the competition even more intense.

        So the difference for the increasing range of competition is likely to be closer than you think, at least by the middle of next year, but it’ll definitely perform better than the original Nook Color and the older Single Core solutions.

      • Bob

        >So lacks the full set of normal Android buttons

        Regular users will use the customize B&N UI, and more buttons aren’t needed. For present CM7 users (guilty as charged), soft buttons are already part of CM7, and there is no problem.

        >Though it will have to compete with the growing number of low cost tablets in that price range.

        I wish that were true, but the only one of note is the KF. All the other sub-$200 ones have crappy hardware.

      • Anonymous

        Not everyone uses CM7, it’s not the only choice out there, and the point was for those planning on putting their own OS on the Nook Color and not using the default Nook UI.

        While the new Nook Color is $249, not $200!  In the $250 to $300 price range there are other tablets that will offer similar performance. Though many don’t offer good screens yet and the really interesting ones won’t be out for a couple more months.

      • Bob

         >Not everyone uses CM7, it’s not the only choice out there, and the point was for those planning on putting their own OS on the Nook Color and not using the default Nook UI.

        If you’re not using the default UI, and not using CM, and not planning to use ICS, then what the heck are you using that require physical buttons for the NC? Yours is a strawman argument, especially as going forward, no tablet will have physical navigation buttons.

        >While the new Nook Color is $249, not $200!  In the $250 to $300 price range there are other tablets that will offer similar performance.

        OK fine, tell me of one tablet that’s announced for this year, that will have IPS screen, dual-core OMAP4, 16GB, and 1GB RAM, all for $250. I’m waiting.

        Yes, we’ll see clearance sales for the Tegra 2 crop pretty soon, which’ll see some of them (probably the Acer A500 and Asus TF) dipping below the $300 mark. But those aren’t regular prices, and there’s a reason why new tabs use OMAP4 rather than Teg2 (hint: video playback).

      • Anonymous

        Like it or not people do choose a wide range of OS when rooting their Nook, not every choice has to make sense to you.  So not a strawman argument, just a complaint that has been around since they started rooting the original Nook Color, but I never said it would be a big problem and specifically stated it wouldn’t matter with ICS.

        You just added CM7 would also work well, not 100% for everyone but it does work well, but that’s just 2 of many available mods.  Android still has a very fragmented app market and people who root also like to experiment.

        Though ICS is still not available and won’t be for awhile yet. So buyers may still have to wait a bit for that option.

        While IPS screens are still rare, they either offer the screen or higher performance for below $300.  But I did specifically state that “many don’t offer good screens yet and the really interesting ones won’t be out for a couple more months”.

        However, there’s are comparable tablets in the price range like the Archos 80 G9 that can be found for $250-$299, which is also TI OMAP 4 and they’re coming out with the Turbo version for 1.2GHz and later next year will see 1.5GHz to possibly 1.8GHz. 

        Only the 101 G9 seems to have the IPS screen but the 80 G9 still has the performance and has more features than the Nook Color to make up for the screen.

        Then there’s the upcoming TMobile SpringBoard, which will with contract can be had for as little as $200, and offers similar 1.2GHz dual core processor.  Among others coming to Carriers that can be sold in the price range with a contract, which also of course offers 3G service.

        While Tegra2 is perfectly capable of video playback.  The MX Video player will even take advantage of both cores for high performance. There are just suppose to be some h.264 advantage to TI OMAP but it’s not a consistent advantage.

        Though TI OMAP does support 3D displays, but that’s hardly what most devices will be using.

        So main reasons to choose TI over Nvidia is because it’s cheaper right now, and after 4430 TI made some good improvements to power efficiency for better run times.

        While as you stated we’re expecting to see the price drop for Tegra 2 soon and that may reverse the trend.

        Graphically the TI OMAP 4’s are still only using the PowerVR SGX540 chip, which only beats the Tegra 2 by a hair (don’t forget Nvidia has the Tegra Zone to help promote their graphics), and it’s just the high end 4470 that will be getting the much better SGX544 but that won’t come out till next year and then it’s only months till they start releasing OMAP 5.

        Also other lesser known companies, Renasas, Velocity Micro, etc, are selling dual core tablets for low pricing.  They just presently mostly offset cost with lower build quality, but it’s not like B&N isn’t making cuts as well.  You won’t get all the features found in higher end tablets.

        While other low end processors are getting more powerful and may appeal were it counts.  Like Rockchips are generally very good with media.  So tablet users expecting to consume mostly media can find them just as appealing as a TI OMAP 4 product, but can be found for even cheaper pricing.

        Like the Viewsonic 7e, may have some lower specs but it still performs well.  The default UI offers a custom 3D theme and adds features like low res but still usable dual cameras, GPS, 3.5G capable, Google GMS, micro HDMI port, RiteTouch screen for both capacitive and stylus use, out of box bluetooth.  All of which the Nook Color lacks and it sells for $200 price point that will be $50 cheaper than the new Nook Color.

        So while there is still only limited direct competition, there are comparable models that will compete for the price range and just offer different balance of features and specifications.

      • Bob

        Re: Physical buttons – Like I said, no Android tablet going forward will have them, so not sure why you chose to flog this dead horse. Good luck sticking with craptabs that have the 2.x physical buttons arrangement.

        Re: “Comparable” tablets for $250-300 – I’m very well aware of the Archos 80 G9, as well as Archos tablets in general. It’s a craptab. The MVA screen has “ripples” whenever you touch it the wrong way, the 3G dongle doesn’t work in the US, it has 8GB storage and 512MB RAM, etc etc. If you want the gory details, go visit Archosfans.com. I did.

        >Only the 101 G9 seems to have the IPS screen

        Nope, sorry. They all have MVA screen. The 101 G9 may not have the same “ripple” defect, but it has all of the other ailments, especially the 512MB RAM bit. And it’s definitely not under $300. Oh yeah, good luck trying your “alternative OS” on the Archos. It’s heavily customized, and the bootloader is signed.

        >Then there’s the upcoming TMobile SpringBoard, which will with contract can be had for as little as $200

        Oh, puh-leeze. Are you this ignorant to think that “$200 under contract” fits into your “under $300″ criterion?

        >While Tegra2 is perfectly capable of video playback.  The MX Video player will even take advantage of both cores for high performance.

        You keep talking out of your behind. I’m very well aware of what the Teg2 can and can’t do, having wrote a encoder/converter specifically targeted for it. It cannot play most 720p high profile H264 videos, no matter what player you use.

        >While other low end processors are getting more powerful and may appeal were it counts.  Like Rockchips are generally very good with media.

        The RK29xx series have better video playback perf than the Teg2, but general performance sucks, which is why it’s not used in anything other than Chinese craptabs (reason: it’s cheap). Ditto for the Renasas that keeps being touted as “1GHz”, whereas in actuality it’s a 512MHz dual-core (have to love the creative advertising).

        >Viewsonic 7e

        You keep forgetting the “comparable” part. The 7e, along with the Leonovo A1, use outdated single-core SoC, no IPs screen, low-res, etc, ie all the hallmarks of craptabs running 2.x. But hey, if you must have your physical buttons, then I guess that’s your gig. Good luck with your “alternative OS.”

      • Anonymous

        I flagged the lack of buttons for those still using older releases, just because ICS is coming out doesn’t mean everyone will immediately get it.

        Things like people’s favorite apps all need to be updated as well and that takes time.

        While others like the buttons for custom functions and not the Android defaults.  Also smaller than 10″ screen means softkeys take up screen real estate that some may prefer be kept out of the way.

        For Archos, sorry but they’re addressing those issues.  Besides, it’s not the only one coming out.

        While for the others, like rather specifically pointed out, raw performance isn’t the only factor.  They can offer other features the Nook Color doesn’t and still run ICS well.

        And for your information the newer Rockchips are starting to offer good all around performance and not just media anymore. Along with solutions from Freescale coming out soon.  So let’s not pretend the industry isn’t moving towards providing a lot more options.

        Really, why are you so set to make the new Nook Color seem better deal than it is?  And why do you think mentioning what others may want has to directly compete with what you want? 

        Besides trying to make things personal with the insults.  You tried to say the reason for TI OMAP use over Tegra 2 is because of video, you made no other distinctions, which I correctly pointed out wasn’t the case.

        Less support for range of h.264 is not a deal breaker for most people and Tegra can play h.264 encoded for it at full HD.  Besides that only matters to people who will only use their tablets for watching videos but there are all types of users and as pointed out Nvidia is one of the few pushing optimized apps like through their Tegra Zone for gaming.

        While you, yourself pointed out the pricing for the Tegra 2 is expected to drop soon.  So stop trying to make it sound like I’m knocking down the new Nook Color when all I did was put it into perspective.

      • Bob

        >For Archos, sorry but they’re addressing those issues.

        Please, stop the tired sales pitch. I’m intimately familiar with Archos’ “issues”, many of which are still “being addressed” going back to Gen8 and Gen7.

        >Besides, it’s not the only one coming out and Archos, as mentioned, are also coming out with higher spec’ed versions within similar price range and you also get more features supported.

        The 1.2GHz will certainly cost more, have the same MVA screen, the same crappy build quality, and will still have 512MB RAM. I doubt you can call these “features.”

        >And for your information the newer Rockchips are starting to offer good all around performance and not just media anymore. Along with solutions from Freescale coming out soon.

        You keep spouting platitudes like “future chips will be better”. Well, no shit, Sherlock. What I’m interested in is the here and now, not what “better stuff will be coming next year” BS. Specifically, tablets that one can buy for this year, not about future chips that may make it into tablets or whatever.

        >Really, why are you so set to make the new Nook Color seem better deal than it is?  And why do you think mentioning what others may want has to directly compete with what you want?

        Thanks for setting up another strawman argument and avoiding the question. But to answer it at face value, the NC (presumably NC2 as well) has the best bang/buck at the moment, assuming it is converted to full-tablet use. It is indeed stripped down, but when it comes down which is better to have, beefy SoC + IPS screen + 1GB RAM, vs camera/GPS but crappy screen & SoC, there’s not much of an argument.

        No, I’m not a brand fanboy. I’d jump on the KF if it had a SD slot. And I well recognize that there are many different use cases and personal preferences, many of which favor the larger 10″ size. But here we are specifically testing your assertion that “there are comparable products at the same price point as the NC2″. You’ve yet to proffer any, aside from platitudes and craptabs. That’s the crux.

        >Less support for range of h.264 is not a deal breaker for most people and Tegra can play h.264 encoded for it at full HD.

        I tend to be short with people who pretend to know what they’re talking about, but in reality keep talking of their ass, like this statement above. The Tegra2 can only play H.264 baseline profile at 1080p, and which most fullHD videos don’t use. Only a tiny portion of users would bother “encoding for the Tegra2″. It defeats the purpose if you have to re-encode videos just so you can play them.

        >So stop trying to make it sound like I’m knocking down the new Nook Color when all I did was put it into perspective.

        I wouldn’t care if you knock down the NC, if you would only make sense. Sadly, you don’t.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry but you obviously do care otherwise you wouldn’t have tried to argue so much for how it compares to others.  You’ve yet to really show where anything I’ve said was wrong, but rather seem to keep harping on just what things you seem to care about that appeal to you in the product. 

        Like I specifically only stated videos encoded for the Tegar 2 will play with full HD, which for these small screens is more than they even need. I also stated it doesn’t support the full range but that isn’t a deal breaker for many, which is true.  But you still want to harp a small advantage of the TI OMAP and make it sound like it has to be deciding factor when for most users it’s not!

        All you’re doing is emphasizing what you care about but I’m pointing out not everyone will have the same preferences and there are other things that make the other solutions stand out in their own way that others can prefer.  There are no absolutes in the market that one product will be clearly better than another when there are a whole range of specs and different reasons to want and use these devices.

        I’ve actually made no sales pitches, I’ve just used many of these tablets, and I’m aware of their limitations but also how they can appeal to different users.  I’ve even argued quite a bit with reviewers like Charbax on Archos and other ARM tablet limitations.

        Being inclusive of how other people will view the product is not making stuff up or distorting any facts.

        But if you want to be a jerk and want things only seen in the way that suites you then that’s your problem.  No one is stopping you from caring about the features you care about, just realize your preferences are not everyones!

  • chapelhillice

    wow … Keep my order for a fire or switch to the nook?

    • Nards Barley

      Switch to the Nook.  Double the Ram, more flash, and a slot. They will probably root it easily and you will have access to to the Google market in no time.

      • Anonymous

        I agree completly. What made the original nook color so apealing is a combination of relativly low price and the fact that you can boot a custom full fledged android off of an SD-Card without alterting the original nook software on the device, so you don’t void the waranty.

        That will not be the case with the Kindle Fire, as it lacks an SD-Card Slot.

        Also of note is that the TI-OMAP4 is the refrence platform for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so the nook tablet using this platform aswell means it will most likey be very easy to get a fully tablet optimised custom Rom on SD-Card to take full advantage of the hardware, for prices that are conciderably lower then competing 7 inch tablets.

    • Ken

      I wouldn’t preorder a Kindle Fire without seeing how well it works. Hardware specs isn’t everything either.

      Amazon’s tablet ecosystem may be very successful. Of course, it could be a flop and riddled with bugs. That’s why I’m waiting until the Fire is actually in people’s hands before buying it. I’d rather wait than potentially waste a few hundred bucks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RVGGZ4GVYI4H76AJCH25QKHQQI Mike W

    There’s no real way to tell which is the better deal yet — not until the hardware has all be put through its paces. Battery life and build quality are very important, as well as the screen quality and overall experience with the heavily tailored Android interfaces they have.

    For the power user, I suspect the Nook Tablet will be much more moddable (and I doubt B&N will be doing anything to deter that!) and you should be able to install the Kindle app, if you want to buy from Amazon, but Amazon has been clever in tying the new Prime library feature to a physical Kindle device, so you won’t be able to read borrowed books from Amazon on a modded Nook.

    I have no idea what tablet I will be getting, but it’s nice that there are so many choices becoming available, and that the price point is no longer being driven by the top end of the market — i.e. the iPad.

    I will already have a Kindle Touch in my grubby little hands by the end of the month, so if the Nook Tablet turns out to be as good as the Kindle Fire, it might be worth going with that just to have a foot in both camps…

    • Anonymous

      The battery life on my nook color is insane, at least when idling. I’ve been only occasionally using my NC since the last time I charged it (a week ago) and it was at 90% when I looked this morning. I leave wifi off when reading, and while I don’t know exactly how long it can go, but it’s definitely never died on me while reading. 

      Hopefully the NT will have a proportionally better battery situation to handle the better specs. 

  • Bob

    As somebody else said, it’s a no-brainer for the techies. 1.2 vs 1.0GHz SoC, 16 vs 8GB flash, 1GB vs 512MB RAM, SD slot vs none. All those are easily worth the extra $50.

    And for all the talk of Amazon’s vaunted “ecosystem”, most of it are already available to any tablet running Kindle Reader and Amazon App Store. The only thing exclusive would be the video content, and I’ve not seen any evidence that it’s anything more than some old movies.

    Sure, the KF will sell well based on the Amazon brand alone. Nothing wrong with that. I hope both the KF and NC2 will sell well. That’ll help bring prices down faster. And more choices are always a good thing.

    I think a more serious competitor for the NC2 isn’t the KF, but the old NC. At the clearance price of $130-150, one can conceivably get two NC for the price of one NC2. The NC can do most of the things the NC2 can. Let’s face it, you don’t need a dual-core for an e-reader, or for 90% of the apps presently available.

    • Nards Barley

      Yeah, if the refurb Nook drops another $25 or more I will probably go with it since I don’t need the extra horsepower for my needs.

      P.s.
      If they can improve the multi-tasking capabilities of the Android OS, I can see myself benefiting from the dual core.