I've taken a less conventional path into the world of Android. I owned a Honeycomb tablet long before I finally got my hands on my first smartphone, and before that, my first Android device was a Nook Color (I booted CyanogenMod from a microSD card, so it was legit). It is due to this background that I am sad to see Barnes & Noble end in-house development of its Nook line of tablets.


Barnes & Noble debuted the Nook Color back at the end of 2010. Since the device was so easily hacked, it became an affordable means of running stock Android on a 7-inch device months before the Motorola Xoom arrived with Honeycomb, which would eventually solidify Android tablets as a thing. The Nook brand took off, but it never managed to close the gap with Amazon, who would sell far more Kindle Fire tablets a full year later. The subsequent Nook Tablet and Nook HD models were all rated favorably against Amazon's hardware, but they did little to turn the tide.

While Barnes & Noble will no longer develop Nook tablets, it will continue to produce e-ink devices. The company also still intends to grow its digital catalog and develop its apps currently available for a wide range of platforms. The Nook brand itself will eventually appear on new tablets developed by a third-party manufacturer that has yet to be announced.

In the meantime, the Nook HD and HD+ models are currently on sale for just $129 and $149 respectively. Now that both have full access to the Play Store, they make for a cheap way to get your game on. And yes, they're still good for reading.

Source: Barnes & Noble, Via: Liliputing

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mike Bates

    I too was initially introduced to Android through the Nook line, although I jumped aboard the Nook Tablet. I followed it from the early days of rooting and sideloading launchers to current day where it's finally officially supported by CM. I'm sad to see them go and I probably will hang onto mine for a long time.

    • Ben

      I just got a NT on eBay for cheap to replace a dead Nook Color. Lovely device with 10.1 stable release yesterday, and a custom kernel that helps with idle battery life. I really dig it.

  • Jean-Pascal

    Nothing beats a Nook HD+ with emmc CM10.1 for $149 + tax.
    Get a microSD card, head to XDA and 1h later you have full HD "pure Google" tablet that barely lacks a camera or ambient light sensor.

    • Zach Mauch

      Just picked one up. I think the only thing I'm gonna miss is the light sensor. Can't image why they left that one out. Seems that it would be a major feature for an e-reader.

  • SlenderSniper

    Fellow Nook Color owner here. Started my android experience with it. I wish they would give it one last update.

    • h4rr4r

      Just install CM 10.1, it really is great on the old girl.

      • Simon Belmont

        Exactly. It's amazing how well CM10.1 runs on 3 year old hardware.

        Mine is still a daily driver for my wife. She can still play a huge array of games and so forth on it.

  • Jon Butler

    I hope this means a renewed focus in improving their core -- i.e. the eInk segment. While their foray into tablets was interesting, I could never understand why they chose to do so ... it just didn't seem to fit the rest of their market. They really need to touch up a bit on the seemingly forgotten Simple Touch lines.

  • RichardCurtis

    Seems like this is how Microsoft are spending their money these days, buying into companies and forcing them to shutdown Android development of products.

    Microsoft really are evil scumbags.

    • lljktechnogeek

      I honestly doubt Microsoft is to blame here. As much as I loved my old e-ink Nook, Amazon was just too entrenched in the market for B&N to really take off. The tablets were just an extension of it.

      • ScottColbert

        Agreed, this is not a MS issue, but a BN issue. A meager eco system had no chance against Amazon, Play store or Apple. The content wasn't there.

        As a writer, Most of my sales came from Amazon and Kobo-BN is never a first choice, more like just in case someone buys an ebook from BN. Pretty much Borders all over again.

  • David Margolin

    nook color was my first android tablet... its really a shame... they produced some of the best hardware per dollar but no one really paid enough attention

  • ArberBeq

    Sadly they don't ship the nooks to Canada......

  • TheKaz1969

    weird to think of a company that was once a giant like B&N being the underdog, but I really wanted them to come out on top in the e-Reader race...

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    It's a classic example of over-estimation of itself. Put it simply, B&N did not have the money and skills to develop a complete ecosystem. If Google Play was there from the beginning, it may still have a chance to compete with other Android tablets maker, but then it will also be categorized as another cheap tablet maker, and their Nook branded services would never take off. Unfortunately, they had no choice but to enter the digital content delivery market back then because Amazon was basically digging a highway for B&N's extinction.

  • Simon Belmont

    I've been an owner of a B&N Nook Color since Christmas of 2010. I've literally had every version of Android on it since Android 2.1, all the way to Android 4.2.2.

    It's still used daily with CM10.1. What an awesome tablet. The HTC HD2 of tablets, if you will. Cheers.