Barnes & Noble has announced the 7in Nook HD as well as the 9in Nook HD+ which will launch in the UK in November costing from £159 and £229 respectively.
Barnes & Noble have been selling its Nook range of tablets and ereaders in the US since 2009 and have had some success in the crowded Android tablet market.
Like Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets, the Nook HD and Nook HD+ are both very much focused on content consumption. As well as a large library of ebooks, Barnes & Noble has launched a video and TV store including HBO shows like Game of Thrones and True Blood as well as films like Toy Story 3 and The Artist.
The Nook HD is a 7in tablet with the headline feature of having the highest resolution display on any 7in tablet. The 7in IPS screen has a resolution of 1,440 x 900 giving it a pixel resolution of 243 pixels per inch (ppi).
This compares to the 1,280 x 800 resolutions on the Google Nexus 7 and the new Kindle Fire HD. We were shown the Nook HD side-by-side with the Nexus 7 and the screen looked significantly brighter and sharper. It is among the best screens we've seen on any tablet.
The Nook HD is seen here lying on top of the Kindle Fire HD, which is significantly wider, despite having the same screen size.
The Nook HD is also lighter than both the Kindle Fire HD (385g) and Nexus 7 (340g), weighing in at just 315g and is easily usable with one hand. When we compared it to the Kindle Fire HD in a brief hands-on test, the Nook HD was must easier to hold with one hand at just 127mm wide
The Nook HD comes with a dual-core 1.3GHz Texas Instruments processor and 1GB of RAM. It will come in versions with 8GB or 16GB of storage, and is expandable by up to another 64GB via a microSD card slot
The Nook HD will cost £159 (8GB) and £189 (16GB) which is the same as the Nexus 7 for the 8GB model and £10 cheaper than the 16GB model. The Kindle Fire HD will cost £159 for a 16GB model and £199 for a 32GB model.
While the Nook HD is challenging the new crop of budget 7in tablets from Google and Amazon, the Nook HD+ is going head-to-head with the king of the tablet market, the Apple iPad.
The Nook HD+ has a 9in screen with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,280 giving it a pixel resolution of 256ppi, which is just shy of the 264ppi of Apple's Retina display on the iPad 3.
The Nook HD+ will show off magazines in much more details thanks to a new file format developed specifically for these tablets.
Again in our brief time with the tablet, the screen looked excellent, and the tablet is considerably lighter than the iPad, though doesn't use the same premium materials as Apple's product, with the bezel and rear finished in a soft-touch plastic.
The 9in tablet is powered by the same Texas Instruments chip as the 7in Nook tablet, but the processor is clocked at 1.5GHz, again paired with 1GB of RAM.
The Nook HD+ will go on sale in November, with pre-orders beginning in October, with 16GB or 32GB of storage - again expandable by up to 64GB via a microSD card slot.
The Nook HD+ will cost £229 (16GB) and £269 (32GB) which significantly undercuts the price of comparable iPads, which cost from £399 for the 16GB version.
Like the Kindle Fire range, Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets used a forked version of Android, which bears very little resemblance to the traditional UI of Google's operating system. For example, there is no access to Google Play, with Barnes & Noble providing access to its own app store.
This app store has only around 10,000 apps available but Barnes & Noble says these apps have been specifically chosen for quality and to suit the 7in and 9in screens on the Nook tablets - rather than being blown up smrtphone apps.
One of the Nook tablets unique features is the ability to create up to six user profiles on a single tablet.
Another unique selling point is the ability to create up to six profiles on a single tablet and lock particular content, such as books, videos, apps or games to certain profiles. This, Barnes & Noble believes, will allow all the family to use the tablet with parents not having to worry about their children accessing unsuitable content.
Another family-orientated feature is the ability to record your voice over children's books, so if a parent spends a lot of time on the road, children can still hear their voices reading them a story at night.
Magazines are also one of the selling points of the Nook platform, with Barnes & Noble working with a number of publishers to create a completely new file format which gives much more detail to the magazines.
Content from magazines can then be saved to an app called Scrapbook by simply swiping downwards with two fingers. The magazines and comics we saw in our brief hands-on did look beautiful.
Both tablets allow for video content to be outputted through a HDMI port at full 1080p resolution.
The Nook HD and Nook HD+ will be available to pre-order in October and go on sale in mid-November.
Like the company's Nook Simple Touch ereaders, the Nook HD and HD+ will be on sale in a range of retailers in the UK, including John Lewis, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Foyles, Currys/PC World, Dixons, Blackwells and Argos.
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