Feeling the heat from Amazon's new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD models, Barnes & Noble responded today by announcing a pair of next generation tablets of its own, the Nook HD and Nook HD+ . The Nook HD is a 7-inch slate that will cost $199 for the 8GB model and $229 for the 16GB model, while the Nook HD+ sports a 9-inch display and starts at $269 for 16GB or $299 for 32GB.
B&N is pitching the Nook HD as the lightest and highest resolution 7-inch tablet in the world. Compared to the Kindle Fire HD, the Nook HD is 20 percent lighter and nearly a half-inch narrower at 11.1 ounces (315 grams) and 5 inches wide, the company says. As for the display, it rocks a 1440x900 resolution "with an unprecedented 243 pixels per inch" and support for HD video playback up to 720p. That works out to 25 percent more pixels than the Kindle Fire HD.
Rounding out the hardware specs is a dual-core 1.3GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and that all-important microSD card slot that's too often neglected. You can pre-order a Nook HD now in two color choices -- Snow or Smoke -- and it will ship November 1.
The Nook HD+ is a larger, sharper, and faster tablet, and also the lightest, lowest priced Full HD slate, according to B&N. It's 9-inch display features a 1920x1280 resolution and 256 PPI, which is just a hair under the third generation iPad's 264 PPI, and two more than the Kindle Fire HD (254 PPI).
At 18.2 ounces (515 grams), the Nook HD+ is the lightest of the bunch. It does, however, share the same 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP 4470 processor as found in the Kindle Fire HD. Like the Nook HD, the Plus model has 1GB of RAM and a microSD card slot.
"With the combination of the highest resolution screen, lightest weight and expansive access to content rendered in a digital quality never before seen, Nook HD is the world’s best 7-inch media tablet," said William J. Lynch , Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. "We designed our larger format tablet Nook HD+ because we think there’s big demand from customers for a super-light, extremely high quality 9-inch tablet, at half the price of the iPad. Both our 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+ deliver an exceptional customer experience and we enthusiastically encourage customers to go to nook.com and learn more about them."
The Nook HD+ is also available for pre-order today and will ship November 1.