Barnes & Noble this morning took the wraps off of a new, 8GB version of the Nook Tablet set to compete dollar-for-dollar with the Kindle Fire. The 8GB Nook Tablet is packing slightly less impressive hardware than its 16GB brother, as B&N cut both the storage and RAM (512MB in this version) in half for this little guy, which puts it on par with Amazon's supercharged e-reader. The Nook Tablet still has one clear advantage, however: a microSD card slot.
Leave it to the New York Times to stuff a zinger like this in a three-page piece on the future of the publishing industry; it looks like Barnes & Noble is set to announce a new Nook device come this Spring. This will be B&N's fifth Nook device, following the Nook Tablet.
From the New York Times:
Barnes & Noble announced today that it is considering selling its NOOK business, citing significant shortfalls in sales and cutting its full-year forecast.
B&N also cited NOOK sales which fell below expectations, and investments in advertising and expansion as reasons for a predicted shortfall in fiscal 2012 sales of between $200 million and $320 million less than average estimates of $7.32 billion.
The major bookseller indicated that it plans to market the NOOK for "years to come," but that it "over-anticipated the growth in consumer demand for single-purpose black-and-white reading devices this holiday," as the company's simplest e-reader lagged far behind in sales compared to other members of the NOOK family.
Amazon started pushing an update to the Kindle Fire yesterday, and two words that no Android geek wants to hear were muttered shortly after: breaks root. Unlike the previous update to the Fire, this update can't be re-rooted using SuperOneClick.
It's not all bad in Fire-world, though; for the un-rooted, this update brings a number of fixes and performance enhancements to the sub-$200 device:
If you're looking to get a NOOK Color this holiday season, and have an appreciation for hot discounts (who doesn't?), today's your lucky day. Barnes & Noble is now selling manufacturer refurbished units on eBay for just $129.99 with free shipping.
For those not familiar, the NOOK Color features a 7" VividView IPS display, an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and of course, access to over 2.5 million titles in "the world's largest bookstore."
While the NOOK Color may have recently been overshadowed by B&N's NOOK Tablet, it's still being supported, and is a great solution for the money.
Things are getting a bit more interesting in the ongoing fight between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble. You'll remember that earlier this year, Microsoft began suing B&N for refusing to fork over Android-related fees from the Nook Color. Barnes & Noble has responded, alleging in its motion that Microsoft "is using its licensing practices to improperly broaden the scope of its patents in an attempt to dominate mobile operating systems such as Android that threaten Microsoft's monopoly in personal computer ("PC") operating systems." It may sound odd at first that Microsoft would be at Android's throat over PC operating systems, but indeed, it was recently discovered that Microsoft attempted to compel Google to provide its Android strategy, including information about Android's current abilities as a PC platform.
It sure seems that way, according to Android Guys. They claim competing eBook apps such as Kobo and Aldiko don't appear in search results when using the Amazon Appstore on a Kindle Fire tablet. Additionally, eBook reader developer BlueFire claims that while his app is listed as Kindle Fire-compatible on the Amazon Appstore, it too fails to show up in search results on the device.
We've not heard of many apps mysteriously not showing up in the Fire's app list (presumably Amazon had lots of time to work on ensuring most apps on its store would be compatible) for a lack of compatibility, so if this does turn out to be true, we can probably assume that Amazon made a conscious decision to keep competitors' apps out of the hands of users.
Looking to keep pace with Amazon, it seems Barnes & Noble has something up their sleeve this month - the Nook Tablet. Coming to market in just under two weeks, the Nook Tablet is a dead ringer for the Nook Color, but it brings to the table substantially pumped up specs that, in some ways, surpass its nearest competition - the Kindle Fire.
A nice set of photocopied documents leaked out today, giving us all the details we need about the Nook Tablet - it's set to launch November 16th at a cool $249.
It seems earlier suspicions that Barnes & Noble would be unveiling a replacement for the NOOK Color on November 7th have been all but confirmed by an e-mail invitation the company has sent out to major tech outlets:
There has been no reliable information about the next NOOK Color leaked at this point, though with a week to go, we won't be surprised if the device gets an unauthorized blurrycameo before its official unveiling.
If you're looking to get a decent Android tablet, but don't want to break the bank, then little compares the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. Sure, it may take a bit of hackery to turn this e-reader into a full Android tablet, but for the price, it gives you the most bang for your buck than pretty much anything on the market. It has modest specs, comparable to most mid-range smartphones (on the inside, that is):
- 7 inch 1024x600 display
- 800MHz TI Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 8GB built-in storage
So, if you want to pick up a super-portable tablet on-the-cheap, hit the link below to grab yours before they run out.