Barnes and Noble has shocked the ereader loving community by announcing the “Nook Tablet”, a beefed up version of the Nook Color. This all while the ground is still smoldering after Amazon dropped the Kindle Fire bomb on the world earlier this fall. Which is going to be the better value this 2011 Christmas season for the shopper? Let’s compare the Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire and see.
Nook Tablet vs Nook Color- What’s the Difference?
The obvious question when taking a look at the new Nook Tablet is, what’s the difference between this device and the Nook Color?
The big differences between the Nook Color and Nook Tablet are in the memory, weight, faster processing speed and increased battery life.
Memory Difference- The Nook Tablet has 16 GB of memory on the device out of the box, with an SD card slot that can increase the memory to 32 GB.
The Nook Color has 8 GB memory, with expandable memory SD card slot.
UPDATE: The Nook Tablet allows for 1 GB of your own content to be put onto the device, and 15 GB of Barnes and Noble content. If you want to put more of your own content on the device, you’ll need to purchase an SD Card.
Weight Difference- The dimensions of both devices are identical at 8.1″ x 5″ x .48″, but the weight of the Nook Tablet is less, at 14.1 ounces versus 15.8 ounces for the Nook Color.
RAM Difference- The Nook Tablet has been upgraded to a 1GHz TI OMAP4 (dual-core) processor with 1GB RAM, and the Nook Color has the 800 MHz TI processor with 512 MB RAM.
Increased Battery Life- The Tablet has a battery life of 11.5 hours (wireless off), increased from the Nook Color battery life of 8 hours.
Nook Tablet Vs. Kindle Fire
Now that’s we’ve established the difference between the Nook Color and Tablet, let’s take a look at how the Kindle Fire stacks up against the Nook Color and vice versa.
Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire Side By Side Video
Memory Differences between the two- Amazon and Barnes and Noble are taking a completely different approach to on-device memory. The Nook Tablet has 16 GB of memory, whereas the Kindle Fire has 8 GB, only half.
UPDATE: Now that people across the nation are receiving their Nook Tablet, it’s immediately apparent that one can only load 1 GB of personal (non- Barnes and Noble) data on the device. This is a small blow to the Nook Tablet in the Kindle vs Nookbattle of the tablet readers.
If the Nook Tablet (or any Nook device) owner wants to expand memory, or add more of their own content than 1 GB, it can be done by purchasing an SD card and inserting it, thus effectively increasing memory up to 32 GB.
If a Kindle Fire (or any Kindle device) owner wants to increase memory, this is achieved by using free storage on Amazon’s “Cloud Drive”. The storage on the cloud is free, so long as it is content purchased from Amazon. One needs to be connected to the internet to access the content that is stored on the cloud. Simply swap the content back and forth from device and cloud mode as seen in the above video.
NOTE: Amazon’s Cloud Drive allows up to 5 GB storage for free (i.e. non-Amazon stuff), and unlimited free storage of Amazon content.
Processing Speed- Despite the fact that the Nook Tablet has 1GB RAM and Kindle Fire has 512 MB, this does NOT mean the Nook Tablet is faster. This is dependent on many factors, including software.
Both the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire have the Texas Instruments OMAP 4 Dual Core 1 GHz processor in them.
This is plenty of processing speed for both devices to play any game or app available on the market today.
Again, just because a dual core processor device has more RAM, doesn’t mean the device will be faster. Just to give the reader an idea, the processor and RAM specs of the Kindle Fire are exactly the same as an iPad 2.
The bottom line is, both devices will have a robust system that should give a great user experience.
Battery Life Compared- According to Barnes and Noble, the Nook Tablet will allow up to 11.5 hours of usage on one charge with the wireless off. The Kindle Fire allows for up to 8 hours.
Display Screens- Both devices have a 7″ IPS display with 1024 x 600 resolution- 169 pixels per square inch.
Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet- Other Features and Considerations
Nook Tablet Pre-Loaded Apps- The Nook Tablet will come with a few standard apps pre-loaded on the device like Pandora Internet Radio, Hulu Plus, and NetFlix. There are thousands of additional apps to be added to the Nook App Store according to Barnes and Noble. Right now the Amazon App store offers a much larger and more established selection, rivaling that of the Android App Store.
Amazon App Store- The Amazon App Store currently offers a much larger selection of apps than the Nook App Store. Barnes and Noble at the moment is at 1,110 + apps for the Nook wheras Amazon is currently over 17,000.
Amazon Prime For Kindle Owners- A recent announcement by Amazon has Kindle owners taking advantage of a number of benefits if they sign up for Amazon Prime. These benefits include free ebook borrowing from Amazon, up to one title per month from the Amazon ebook store. Also, there is access to millions of TV shows and movies with the addition of this $79 per year service by the Kindle Fire owner.
So one can see the Nook Tablet offers a few apps included out of the box, and Kindle offers Amazon Prime to take advantage of even more content than that of the Nook Tablet. Of course, Amazon Prime comes at a $79 price tag, however the Nook Tablet is $50 more.
Dimensions and Weight-
Kindle Fire- 4.7″ x 7.5″ x .45″ at 14.6 ounces.
Nook Tablet- 5″ x 8.1″ x .48″ at 14.1 ounces.
Amazon’s Silk Browser- The Kindle Fire boasts an ultra-fast mobile browsing experience on the device with the new “Silk” browser. This takes advantage of Amazon’s cloud service to speed up page load times.
Nook Tablet Microphone- The Nook Tablet has a built in microphone for this version and Amazon’s device does not.
NO 3G For Either- Both the Fire and Tablet are lacking a 3G feature on the new devices.
Amazon vs Barnes and Noble Online Stores
One needs to look the company behind the device to get a sense of how using the product will be. Amazon is a much larger online marketplace for digital content, so therefore more content will be available for use on the Amazon Kindle Fire. Barnes and Noble is still growing with it’s App Store, and online selection of digital content. In the meantime, finding ways to offer more content through third party apps such as Hulu Plus, NetFlix and Pandora Internet Radio.
Of course, Barnes and Noble has a brick and mortar system in the United States that Nook Tablet users can visit for hands-on support and an in-person shopping experience.
Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet- And The Winner Is?
In the end, it’s going to be a heated battle between the two devices, as has been between every other Nook and Kindle version in the last 3 years. Nook users are fiercely loyal, and the Kindle has a massive and growing fan base as well. The differences in memory, pricing, RAM, and the online store experience at Amazon and Barnes and Noble are going to have consumers thinking hard.
Comparing the Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet shows there are some subtle differences, but they are both extremely capable and interesting devices that have surely shaken other Tablet PC creators to their core this 2011 Holiday Season. Tell us what YOU think below! What’s the better device? The one that allows for unlimited cloud memory, however keeps you tethered to the internet? Or the Tablet, which you’ll need to purchase more memory if you want to add a massive library of content, but you’ll be free from needing to be plugged into WiFi to access it?