Good news, bad news time. The good news is that if you missed out on the big Nook HD and Nook HD+ sale for Father’s Day that had Barnes & Noble’s tablets discounted to $129 and $149, respectively, there is still hope. Today B&N announced that they are extending that sale and did not give an end date. Hooray! Everyone loves an inexpensive tablet that isn’t crappy, and the Nooks fit that bill. Between the solid design, good hardware, and access to the Google Play store these are two of the best low price tablets around.
The Nook HD+ in particular is a really good buy since the 9-inch display has one of the highest resolutions around, is gorgeous, and is perfect for reading magazines and comic books and surfing Flipboard. The HDMI out dongle also turns it into a decent media steamer thanks to the access it gives to your Ultraviolet account, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and more. Not bad for $149.
Now here comes the bad news. This extended sale is already making people murmur about whether or not this indicates a fire sale of a sort. Is Barnes & Noble clearing out inventory because they’re about to shut down the hardware side of the business? Brad has written before about rumors surrounding a sale of Nook Media to Microsoft (yes, they denied the rumors) and what could be in the future — i.e. a focus on the apps themselves while shuttering the hardware business. Those of us who like the Nook tablets and eReaders and ecosystem (that would be me) would be very sad to see all of that go away.
Perhaps not so sad that we won’t go scoop up some inexpensive tablets while we have the opportunity.
Even if this is nothing more than a clearance and a harbinger that a big change is coming to Nook, you should still buy the HD or HD+ if the tablets interest you. Worst case scenario is that down the line B&N stops offering support for them. If you’re the type of person to root a device out of the box, anyway, that might not be as big a deal for you. That’s not going to happen right away, at any rate. (Famous last words, I know. I’m tempting fate.)
You can get the discounted Nooks via Barnes & Noble’s website and physical stores or wherever the tablets are sold, such as Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.