Before the Kindle Fire, the only real tablet worth considering on the market for ~$250 was the Nook Color. Now, with the launch of the Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble have upped their game and released a newer version, called the Nook Tablet.
Both of the devices share some similar specifications, such as a 7″ IPS display, 1Ghz dual core processor. This is where the similarity ends however. Due to the higher price ($249) for the Nook Tablet, Barnes and Noble have included 1GB of RAM whereas the cheaper Amazon Fire ($199) only offers 512MB. This might be alright for the moment, but it will affect multitasking. The Nook tablet also has 16GB of internal storage whereas the Kindle Fire only has 8GB. However the Nook Tablet also has a MicroSD slot which means it can have up to 48GB of internal storage. The Kindle Fire lacks this so 8GB is all your going to get. The Nook Tablet (400g) is also 13g lighter that the Amazon Kindle (413g) although this is quite insignificant so you probably wouldn’t notice it.
Of course, both devices haven’t even been released so as such we are basing this comparison on manufacturer claims. Barnes and Noble claims their device is superior thanks to its fully laminated display.
However, Amazon claims their Kindle Fire features a chemically strengthened display, which makes is 20-30 times harder than plastic. Both impressive claims although we won’t see if this is actually the case until they end up in our hands.
With this one its much the same, provided rumors are correct. Barnes and Noble haven’t mentioned what processor is in the device, all we know is that it is a 1Ghz dual core. However rumors suggest that it is a OMAP4, which is the same as the processor in the Kindle Fire. So, really they are the same.
This one is clear – The Nook Tablet has twice as much RAM as the Kindle Fire and as they both run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, they have the same memory management. So the Nook Tablet wins this by a large margin.
As we mentioned earlier, the Kindle Fire only has 8GB of internal storage whereas the Nook Tablet sports 16GB of internal storage as well as a MicroSD card slot. However, don’t be too quick to judge – the Kindle Fire has been touted as a cloud based device, and so won’t be too constrained by the 8GB of internal storage, provided you frequently will use the device with a WiFi connection. Personally, I’d still rather have the Nook Tablet – you can access the data anywhere, at no cost and quicker compared to the cloud.
Barnes and Noble have claimed their Nook Tablet will last 9 hours of video playback (for comparison the Kindle Fire offers just 7 and a half hours video playback) and read time is 3 and a half hours more than the Kindle Fire. Now, this might not turn out to be correct; manufacturers often exaggerate their battery life, so this might be a comparison best done properly.
Amazon’s services are vast – The Amazon Cloud Player, Kindle Reader, Prime, Amazon Appstore and so on. If you use these services then the Kindle Fire is the obvious choice. Likewise if you are a fan of Nook Comics, Nook Newsstand and use Netflix then the Nook Tablet maybe the better choice.
With the devices offering near identical specifications, it really comes down to brand loyalty and value for money. If you multitask extensively and regularly go days without having access to a power outlet then maybe the Nook Tablet is worth the extra $50. However, for most the Kindle Fire is the better device, once you consider the $50 price difference. Both tablets are great in their own right and represent excellent value for money; it’s just a case of what you need.
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