Most of the tech writers and reviewers have noted that the extra $50 cost of B&N’s Nook Tablet is more than justified by it’s beefed-up hardware and better performance. But, it is more than once proved that the consumers are not tech geeks and they look far beyond the tech-specs when they open up their wallet.
Before I cummarize some of the reviews of Nook Tablet compared with Kindle Fire, let me list the difference/similarities in the base models of the two tablets.
- Price (base model) – Nook $249 and Fire $199
- Screen – both 7" color
- Processor – Both 1 GHz dual core processor
- RAM – Nook 1GB and Kindle Fire 512 MB
- Memory – Nook 16GB and Fire 8GB
- microSD slot – only in Nook Tablet
- microphone – only in Nook Tablet
- weight – Nook 14.1 ounces
Enagdget (Brian Heater)
Both devices rock 1GHz dual-core processors, but the Nook has an edge here, with its 1GB of RAM to the Fire’s 512MB — and certainly the difference is noticeable, even when booting up something as simple as a game like Angry Birds. Things are even more pronounced during video playback….
Ultimately, this is a pretty tight race between the two devices. Spec-wise, the Nook Tablet has the Kindle Fire beat, but between Amazon’s pricing and suite of service, the Kindle comes out ahead on this one, if only just barely.
I compared Netflix streaming on the Nook Tablet with Netflix streaming on the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet clearly wins… There’s no camera, Bluetooth, or GPS, and likes but more storage–both onboard (16GB) and via microSD expansion–and the ability to read EPUB files could be big news for those who want flexibility. There’s plenty of expansion room, and you’ll have a hard time running out of space for your apps or your magazine downloads.
Bloomberg (Rich Jaroslovsky)
Barnes & Noble’s one-year head start in developing software really shows: scrolling is smoother, the screen reorients itself faster and the device just generally feels zippier… Ultimately, the choice between these two devices comes down to Amazon’s lower price and ecosystem versus Barnes & Noble’s polish and network of brick-and-mortar stores to provide in- person support. In either case, paying half what an iPad costs will require you to decide which half of the iPad experience you’re willing to do without.
I like the Nook Tablet a lot. Yes, it’s $50 more than the Kindle Fire. This is the price you pay for the extra memory, storage and microphone. It may also be so Barnes & Noble doesn’t lose money on every device. I’m disappointed that Barnes & Noble didn’t understand the magic price point of $199. But if you can look past that lost fifty bucks and do not care too much about first-run movies and your music, this is a very good tablet.
Though the Nook Tablet has slightly better specs than the Kindle Fire (including 1GB of memory versus 512MB), they didn’t deliver dramatically different performance, and both have their share of glitches.
PC World’s Test Results:
- Reading (Winner: Nook Tablet)
- Physical Design (Winner: Nook Tablet)
- Navigation (Winner: Kindle Fire)
- Web Browser (Winner: Kindle Fire)
- Multitasking (Winner: Neither)
- Personalization (Winner: Nook Tablet)
- Buying or Renting Books, Music, and Video (Winner: Kindle Fire)
- Music Player (Winner: Kindle Fire)
- Speakers (Winner: Kindle Fire)
- Email (Winner: Nook Tablet)
- Pictures and Personal Video (Winner: Neither)
- Apps (Winner: Neither)
… In Nook Tablet "switching from app to app a breeze, with little lag or stuttering." The Nook Tablet’s display was dazzling overall. The screen’s glare was minimal, thanks to what Barnes & Noble calls its VividView display. The IPS display is laminated and bonded; so unlike on other tablets’s displays–including the Kindle Fire’s–there’s no annoying, visible air gap between the glass screen and the LCD beneath.
Although Blackberry Playbook is currently being sold in $199, the tablet is a different creature, originally sold for $500 and the $199 price point is temporary sale price.