By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Barnes & Noble is adding its first two HD-resolution tablets to the tablet market’s fourth-quarter competitive fires.
One is the company’s first 9-inch model. Both Wi-Fi tablets increase their processing power over B&N’s existing models and will be compatible with the company’s new Nook Video service.
Their introduction follows the introduction of Amazon’s expanded selection of Kindle Fire tablets, Kobo’s latest tablet, and the first house-brand tablet from retailer Toys “R” Us. The Amazon and Kobo tablets also offer HD display.
The two new B&N models are the 7-inch Nook HD, priced at $199 for the 8GB version and $229 for the16GB version, and the 9-inch Nook HD+, which is priced at $269 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB version. The price of the Nook HD+ undercuts the price of Amazon’s new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire tablet, which starts at $299 for the 16GB version with HD display.
Both models ship in late October and be available in stores in early November.
Both will be compatible with B&N’s new Nook Video service, which lets consumers purchase or rent movies and TV shows for downloading or streaming. The two tablets are also UltraViolet-enabled, so users who buy physical DVD and Blu-ray movies will be able to link their UltraViolet locker-service accounts to the Nook Cloud service to view the purchased movies on the Nook HD, Nook HD+, and Nook Video apps running on other mobile devices.
B&N is touting the Nook HD as the industry’s lightest and highest-resolution 7-inch tablet and the 9-inch NOOK HD as the world’s lightest FullHD tablet.
Nook HD’s 7-inch IPS display features 1,440 by 900 resolution with 243 pixels per inch (ppi) and HD 720p video playback. Its display is promoted as offering 25 percent more pixels than the Kindle Fire HD. Optical bonding technology with no air gap is said to deliver low glare and a wide viewing angle.
The Nook HD weighs in at 11.1 ounces, said to be more than 20 percent lighter and almost a half-inch narrower than Kindle Fire HD. It’s only 5 inches wide.
The Nook HD also features dual-core 1.3GHz high-speed processor, up from the Nook Tablet’s dual-core 1GHz CPU and the Nook Color’s 800MHz CPU. The Nook HD’s speed is said to be 80 percent faster than the Kindle Fire HD for graphics processing. It offers 1GB of RAM.
B&N’s second new tablet, the 9-inch Nook HD+, features a FullHD 1,920 by 1,280 resolution with 256 ppi for playback of 1080p video. It weighs in at 18.2 ounces, said to make it the lightest FullHD tablet announced to date. The tablet also features 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM .
Both new tablets also feature expandable memory via a 32GB MicroSD slot.
B&N also launched new e-readers.
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