Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on June 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet Review and Gaming PerformanceHi everyone, welcome back to this site.

Earlier, i’ve just showed you one tablet from a not-so-popular tablet brand - Barnes & Noble -, and the tablet was Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+ tablet, which i thought was not really impressive in performance, especially in gaming capability, despite having some pretty good specs under its hood (in fact, it’s powered by the same exact GPU found inside the iPhone 5 – PowerVR SGX 544).

However, that’s really not surprising for me because that tablet is originally intended by the company just as a reader tablet, not gaming tablet.

I mean, if you want a more reliable gaming tablet, there are plethora of great choices out there on the market that have way better gaming performance than this Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+ tablet - like HP Slate 7 Plus, HP Slate 7 Extreme, Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX 7 and many more.

Anyway, besides Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+, i’ve already promised to you in the previous review that i would also show you the other 2 tablets made by the same company.

And the promise is now being delivered. The next tablet i’m about to show you right now is Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet, which is the first-gen tablet under this same series.

So when it comes to specs, this tablet definitely will not be on par with other competing tablets around the market to date.

But that’s cool because this tablet was released back then in May 2011, when the first-gen iPad was still enjoying its superiority around the global tablet market.

Besides, the OG iPad used to not have some high-grade specs compared to the current-gen iPad Air, right?

So the lack of great specs on Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet can still be tolerated.

Well, if you’re interested to get to know with this reader tablet, then you can check out my personal review of this Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet, where i’ll show you some of the prominent aspects on this tablet, especially its performance and its gaming capability.

Anyway, if you feel this article or this website is really helpful and informative for you, don’t forget to share this post to your friends or family using the social media icons around this page.

It would mean a lot to me and this community. I would definitely appreciate your contribution here. Thanks.

Okay then, without further ado, here you go, my personal review of Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet.

Introduction

Compared to the latest-gen Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+, then Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet will not be on par with its sibling, especially in terms of specs.

And it’s obviously because this tablet is the first-gen model under this series.

So there are many sectors that don’t look too impressive for a today’s tablet.

Besides, this first-gen model was released back then in May 2011. So its low-grade specs are acceptable.

However, as a reader tablet, all of the low-end internals found inside this tablet are actually good enough to execute all of the basic tasks deployed on this tablet, like for reading books/magazines, browsing the web, listening to music, checking out photos, playing some games and even watching movies.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is still a reliable device for consuming media contents.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet Review and Gaming PerformanceHowever, there is one thing that looks interesting from this device. And that is its performance-related hardware.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is packing a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 clocked at 1GHz per core, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, which in 2011 was already considered as a beast mobile graphics card – although it’s still slightly less powerful than the one found inside the second-gen iPad – PowerVR SGX 543 MP2.

So in terms of performance, then this tablet used to be considered as one of the best performing tablets on the market in 2011, although it’s still not par with other competing tablets across the market that time, especially the iPad 2nd-gen.

But that’s still cool because for a reader-dedicated tablet like this, it’s surprising to see some pretty good specs inside this not-so-popular tablet, especially when it’s touted only as a reader tablet, not a gaming tablet – just like its rivals.

But the question is, despite having some pretty good specs inside its machine, does Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet stack up against its rivals, especially in terms of performance?

Well, the answer for that question can be found in this review. So check it out.

Design

When it comes to design, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet definitely has its own design characteristic than any other Android tablets out there, which mostly look really generic with the black and thick bezels, rounded edges and plastic feel rear-cover without having their own design identity compared to rivals.

And that really contradicts with what happens to the high-end tablet market – the market where it’s dominated with great and premium looking tablets from the “definite choice” iPad Air, Sony Xperia Z, LG G Pad 8.3, Samsung GALAXY Tab and Note Pro line, Lenovo Yoga Tablet, Google Nexus 10 and any other slates that are “responsible” with the price tags they’re coming with.

So i personally think that, despite not having that premium feel, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet actually still looks nice for a reader tablet.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet Review and Gaming Performance
A Kindle Fire Killer?

It may not look as elegant as other flagship devices out there, but at least, it has its own characteristic compared to other competitors.

And that’s great because if Barnes & Noble keeps using the same concept design for all of its tablets in the future, this company can still improve the design of its next-gen tablets without leaving their own identity.

Anyway, the design of Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet actually looks just like even the latest-gen Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+ tablet, especially with the different touch on one specific corner of the front bezels.

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  • Specs (16Gb & 8Gb Models)
  • 7.0 inch IPS LCD display, 1024 x 600 pixels (-170 ppi pixel density)
  • 1GHz Dual Core Ti OMAP 4430 CPU Processor
  • POWERVR SGX540 GPU
  • 1GB RAM (16Gb Model)
  • 512Mb RAM (8Gb Model) Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Adobe AIR v2.7
  • Weight ~400g
  • Open GLES 1.1, Open GLES 2.0
  • 16 GB eMMC ROM (16Gb Model)
  • 8 GB eMMC ROM (8Gb Model)
  • 11GB Free Storage (16Gb Model)
  • microSDHC card slot for up to 32GB FAT32
  • Accelerometer
  • Micro USB Version 2.0
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • 3.5mm Headset Jack
Given that this tablet was released back then in May 2011, then it’s obvious that Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is only packing some specs that are considered as low-end for today’s standards.

However, it’s also worth noting that, Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 7-inches and Lite actually still come with some similar low-end specs just like this Barnes & Noble tablet, despite being Samsung’s latest tablets.

So you’re probably not that 'left behind' if you decide to get this tablet.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet features a low-resolution 7-inch 1024x600 pixel display, a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor clocked at 1.2GHz per core, 1GB of RAM (16GB model)/512MB of RAM (8GB model), PowerVR SGX540 GPU with the support of Open GL ES 1.1 and GL ES 2.0, 8GB/16GB of internal storage, microSD card slot for up to 32GB, Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box and many other standard internals.

Screen

As i already mentioned above, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is an old-gen tablet released in May 2011.

So if you decide to get this budget reader tablet, then you shouldn’t complain anything on its specs, including its low-resolution display.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet comes with a 7-inch 1024x600 pixel display – which lacks sharpness.

However, for doing some basic tasks like reading books/magazines, watching movies or browsing the web, its display still looks pretty good for a 7-inch tablet – although you’ll always need to do the pinch-to-zoom gesture if your eyes can’t read the text or see the images clearly, especially when reading books or browsing the web.

User Interface and Features

Similar just like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet also comes with its own simplified Android UI.

So if you’re already in love with the standard widgets, homescreen, features on stock Android, then you might want to stay away from this tablet.

But if you don’t really matter having this simple UI – with many basic Android features eliminated -, then Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is still a pretty good choice for you, especially if you’re only looking for a reader tablet – of course in low-end budget tablet market.

Performance

Interestingly, similar just like the old-first-gen Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet also shares the same exact hardware specs, from the same low-resolution 1024x600 pixel display, a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor and even the same PowerVR SGX 540 GPU.

However, the great thing about Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet – compared to Kindle Fire tablet – is its RAM.

If Kindle Fire tablet only features 512MB of RAM, then the 16GB model of Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet will provide you a slightly bigger 1GB of RAM – although the 8GB model of this tablet comes with the lower 512MB of RAM.

So for doing some multitasking, like opening many apps at once, then it’s clearly that Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet will have a much smoother and steady performance compared to Kindle Fire tablet.

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When it comes to gaming performance, there’s actually nothing wrong about this tablet. Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is still a pretty good device for that matter.

Thanks to its dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, this tablet is more than capable to play even some of the graphically demanding games – released in 2012 or before this year – like Dead Trigger 1, PES 2012, Angry Birds, Need for Speed Undercover & SHIFT, Modern Combat 1, 2, N.O.V.A 1, Asphalt 5 or ShadowGun.

The good news is, this tablet is only packing a low-resolution 1024x600 pixel display.

So it’ll probably help a lot in giving a decent gaming performance to this tablet.

However, as for the latest graphics intense games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A 3, Dead Trigger 2, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas or other new games, i don’t think this tablet is capable to play these games.

They might run on this tablet – but definitely not in full graphics.

So if you’re a big fan of tablet gaming and you also always want to play most of the latest graphically demanding games in smooth performance and in full graphics, then you definitely should choose other options.

There are many other affordable tablets but have great and better gaming performance than this Barnes and Noble tablet, like HP Slate 7 Plus, HP Slate 7 Extreme, Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX 7 and many more.

If you want to know more about the gaming performance of Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out our YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

Unfortunately, there is no information given about the battery capacity and battery life of this tablet.

So i can’t tell if this tablet has good battery life or sadly, horrible battery life.

But one thing for sure, given that this Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is originally intended by the manufacturer as a reader and media-consumption tablet – not a gaming tablet -, then it’s safe to say this its battery life could probably last much longer if you use it for simple basic tasks, like reading books/magazines, watching movies, listening to music, checking out photos or playing some casual games.

However, if you’re type of power user and would like to use it for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, then you can only expect this tablet to last probably in less then 5 hours the longest, which is still pretty good given that it’s only using low-resolution display and some less-power-hungry processor.

My Personal Opinions

Despite all of the low-grade specs on this tablet, in my opinion, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is still a pretty good device, especially if you’re only looking for a cheap budget reader tablet.

It has pretty good (but not so great) display, pretty good processor and GPU, and it has that unique design with a hole on the left bottom bezel to keep it safe from falling to the solid ground.

It’s also worth noting that PowerVR SGX 540 GPU inside this device used to be considered as really powerful in its class (as seen on the iPhone 4 or iPad 2 if i’m not mistaken).

So it will ensure you that this tablet is more than capable to handle most of graphics-related tasks in a good and steady performance.

However, given that this tablet is mainly intended as a reader tablet, not a gaming tablet, then its gaming performance might leave a lot to be desired.

It probably won’t perform so great especially when used to play some graphically demanding games.

So i strongly suggest you to stay away from this tablet if you’re looking for a gaming tablet.

In conclusion, i personally think that, despite its low-grade specs, if you could manage to snatch this tablet in really cheap price point – probably below $80 or $70, then you just made a pretty sweet deal.

However, if this tablet still costs above $100, then you should definitely choose other options around the market, like HP Slate 7 Plus, HP Slate 7 Extreme, Google Nexus 7 (2012), Kindle Fire HD and many more.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...

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