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.