Barnes and Noble Tablets: Are these devices great alternatives for Kindle Fire?

Posted by B. Johnson
Barnes and Noble Tablets: Are these devices great alternatives for Kindle Fire?Hi guys, welcome back to this site!

Before i start writing the quick roundup of all Barnes & Noble tablets that i’ve reviewed on this website, first of all, i just want to say that i’m really glad that i can finally be back again on this site after spending my last 2 months doing nothing.

Of course with the exception of making some tweaks on this website’s design in the past few weeks. So don't be shocked if you see this website change a lot in terms of design and interface.

Anyway, as the title of this blog post suggests, today i want to continue my quick roundups by writing quick review of tablets from another brand.

Right now, i’m actually in the good mood to talk about tablets from Barnes and Noble – a company which kind of reminds me with Amazon, especially given its laser focus to deliver digital contents like books or magazines straight away to readers, similar just like what Amazon has been doing in the past few years.

Despite not being as popular as Apple or Samsung in tablet hardware industry, this company actually still has some pretty cool offerings around the tablet market, of course not all of them.

Barnes and Noble has some various different tablets in its lineup - ranging from low-end to even high-end.

However, on this website, i’ve only showed you guys 4 of them in my previous reviews – from Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, Nook Color, Barnes & Noble Nook HD and of course, last but not least, Barnes & Noble Nook HD+.

As gaming tablets, i personally don’t recommend any of these devices to you because from what i’ve already seen on YouTube, even the high-end model - Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ -, is not that great for playing games.

But we’ll get more on that later.

Below, i’m gonna show you guys some of the key components of 4 Barnes & Noble tablets.

Okay then, without further ado – and sorry for my really long introduction above -, then here you go.

Barnes & Noble NOOK HD

In this tablet series, Barnes & Noble NOOK HD definitely falls in mid-end category. And that’s pretty obvious because this model also has a much higher-grade sibling with much better internals under the hood – and that tablet is Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+.

However, as a mid-end tablet, this 7-inch device – or tablet reader, if you would -, interestingly has some pretty good, if not the best, hardware specs that probably cannot be found on other regular 7-inch tablets in mid-end category.

First of all, on the screen department, Barnes & Noble NOOK HD is equipped with a 7-inch display sporting the 1440x900 pixel resolution – which is higher than the normal standard 720p on other tablets (1280x800 pixels).

And then, there are also TI OMAP 4470 dual-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz, PowerVR SGX544 GPU and 1GB of RAM, taking care the performance department of this tablet.

Barnes and Noble Nook HD Tablet

Meanwhile, on other part of this device, you’ll find some pretty neat goodies like Adobe Air v3.3 software, OPEN GL ES 1.1, OPEN GL ES 2.0, OpenVG v1.1, EGL v1.3 and of course, Android 4.0.4 ICS handling the software department.

However, this device is mainly intended by the maker solely as a tablet reader – not some kind of gaming machine -, so you cannot expect to see some powerful gaming performance from this tablet.

In fact, as i’ve already seen on its sibling - Barnes & Noble NOOK HD+, which has similar processor but with higher clock speed -, this tablet apparently is not performing well when deployed with one of the most graphics intense games called Asphalt 8: Airborne, with lags and stutters showing here and there in the cutscene and gameplay.

And i believe it’s not even running in full graphics, just in medium graphics setting. So long story short, this game is not playable on this device.

So you can totally expect the same thing on Barnes & Noble NOOK HD.

But i’m probably wrong because it sibling is equipped with a full HD resolution (1920x1200 pixels), as opposed to the lower 1440x900 pixel resolution on this Barnes & Noble NOOK HD.

So Asphalt 8 – again, probably – might perform smoothly in medium graphics, if not full graphics.

But then again, Barnes & Noble NOOK HD is intended originally by the manufacturer as a tablet reader – not gaming tablet -.

So if you’re only looking for a decent tablet reader with simple UI – just like Amazon Kindle Fire with its simplified Fire OS -, then this tablet can still be your good choice.

However, if you want to have a much better tablet reader with more powerful gaming performance, then you might want to switch to other option like HP Slate 7 Extreme, Xiaomi Mi Pad, HP Slate 7 Plus, Google Nexus 7 (2013), Kindle Fire HDX 7 or Kindle Fire HD.

Many of these devices may not be intended as pure tablet readers, but you can always use any of them as a tablet for reading books or magazines.

Barnes & Noble Nook HD+

Similar just like its younger brother, Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ is also intended as a pure reading device. And that’s shown perfectly clear by how its UI is so simple to use and also by how the company happens to have a dedicated book online store where you’ll find a plenty of book collections which you can buy straight away from this tablet.

It’s actually similar just like Amazon with its Kindle Fire and Amazon app store, which has a huge catalog of books and magazines that you can also buy directly on Kindle Fire tablet through Amazon App Store.

Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ TabletAs far as the performance goes, this 9-inch tablet can be considered as pretty similar with its younger brother - Barnes & Noble Nook HD -, given that they both share the same type of internals – TI OMAP 4470 CPU, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544 GPU -, although this HD+ model has much higher clock speed than the regular HD version.

However, the overall performance of both devices probably is not gonna be so different because Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ has a much higher resolution display than the HD model – 1920x1200 pixels VS 1440x900 pixels.

So basically, they both will perform relatively similar - and by 'similar', i meant 'well' - especially when doing some basic daily tasks like reading books, watching videos, browsing the web, opening apps, controlling the UI or playing games.

In terms of gaming performance – just like what i already mentioned above -, Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ may not be that good in this department.

Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ TabletAnd i’ve already seen on YouTube that this tablet doesn’t perform smoothly when playing Asphalt 8: Airborne even in medium graphics setting, with lags and stutters along the gameplay.

So if you’re on the street looking for a tablet reader that is also great for playing games, then i strongly recommend you to switch to other tablets because this tablet simply doesn’t have a strong gaming performance.

But on the other hand, if you’re only looking for a tablet reader that is great for a media-consumption device, then Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ can still be a good choice for you, if not the best - because the best tablet readers on the market right now are around iPads or Amazon Fire HDX tablets.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet

Barnes and Noble Nook TabletBesides HD and HD+ models, Barnes & Noble also has one other interesting tablet – but only for those looking for a tablet reader, not a full-fledged media-consumption device. This one is called Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet. Compared to Barnes & Noble NOOK HD and HD+, this tablet actually falls in the lower-end category. And that’s shown by its overall specs that are just not on par with its 2 siblings.

However, this can still be acceptable given that Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is mainly intended for those people who are only looking for a pure tablet reader, although this tablet can also be a good media-consumption device – given its hardware specs and the compatibility to execute most of standard media files across your laptop or pc, such as: MP4, MP3, and many more.

On the hardware standpoint, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is packing a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor – as opposed to the TI OMAP 4470 on HD and HD+ -, accompanied with 512MB of RAM (8GB model)/1GB of RAM (16GB model) and PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

So it’s really obvious that the internals found inside this tablet are not on par with its 2 siblings – HD and HD+.

But the good thing is, similar just like other Barnes & Noble NOOK models, this tablet only comes pre-installed with simplified UI based on Android OS, which is also based on Android OS.

So there probably won’t be any meaningful performance issue on this tablet.

Besides, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is mainly intended as a pure tablet reader.

So most of users of this devices probably won’t notice any lag especially when reading books or magazines.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet may be a pretty good choice for you, but only if you’re looking for a tablet reader, not a great media-consumption device, let alone gaming tablet (although this tablet can still perform well even for playing games.

But Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is not gonna make you satisfied if you’re going to use it mainly for gaming, especially the 8GB model, which only comes with 512MB of RAM.

On the other hand, the 16GB model – which has 1GB of RAM - may be able to run some older games released in 2012.

But of course, when deployed with some of the latest graphics intense games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or Modern Combat 5, then i don’t think this tablet is capable to execute these games, even in medium graphics setting.

That’s why, if you’re looking for a much better tablet reader that is also great for playing games, i strongly recommend you to stay away from Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet because there are many other choices that are just way better than this tablet, especially as a gaming tablet.

You can switch to either HP Slate 7 Extreme, HP Slate 7 Plus, Kindle Fire HDX 7, Google Nexus 7 (2013), Asus MemoPad 7HD and many more.

But even so, what this tablet has to offer to you – especially as a tablet reader -, can still be considered as pretty good though.

It may have low 512MB of RAM (8GB model), however, if you want to get a much bigger RAM option, you can switch to the 16GB model as it offers 1GB of RAM, providing more space in the memory.

Meanwhile, on the screen department, this device is still not bad at all as it is sporting 1024x600 pixel display.

Its internal hardware are also not too shabby at all. It’s armed with 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU and a couple of standard features, like Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.

And thanks to its simplified UI, i believe this tablet can perform satisfyingly good especially for executing normal basic tasks like reading books, magazines, watching videos, browsing the web or playing casual games.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color

Through Barnes & Noble Nook Color, it’s really obvious that this company also has a vision in other tablet category – a pure tablet reader market.

In this tablet category, there probably won’t be much of rivalry in here given that most of tablet makers are mostly jumping to the media-consumption tablet market, and even productivity market.

So it’s good to know that Barnes & Noble still has an interest to bring its creation to this small niche, giving users more options around the tablet market.

However, the journey of this company to monopolize this market won’t be an easy job because Amazon actually also has its own pure tablet readers under the Kindle Fire flag, not to mention the basic Kindle reader, which has been doing great in this category.

But Barnes & Noble through its Barnes & Noble Nook Color still has something different to offer than what Amazon delivers through its Kindle Fire line, especially related to features and Android experience.

Similar just like the basic Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, this Nook Color happens to come with the same 7-inch display sporting the low resolution 1024x600 pixel display.

So when it comes to sharpness, then it’s really obvious that this tablet won’t deliver a sharp and crisp experience to users, especially when reading books or magazines.

But i believe this tablet is still pretty great as tablet reader, but of course not that great compared to Kindle Fire series.

In the performance department, this tablet interestingly only receives a mediocre treatment from the manufacturer as it’s only equipped with a single core 800MHz Ti OMAP 3621 processor – as opposed to the TI OMAP 4430 on Nook Tablet and TI OMAP 4470 on Nook HD and HD+ -, as well as low 512MB RAM and PowerVR SGX 530, which is already considered as an oldest gen GPU for today’s standards.

So it’s probably not a wise decision to use this tablet as a gaming device because its hardware are just not powerful enough to execute most of today’s games.

But you can still play some of older games released in 2011 or around that year.

The good thing is, there are still some great things found inside this device, which mostly have something to do with its software and features – such as: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Supported Still Image Formats PNG, Supported Text Format DOCX and many more.

And thanks to its promised 8 hours of battery life, i believe this tablet is able to accommodate your hobby of reading.

But then again, if you’re looking for a tablet reader that is also great as a media-consumption device - even a gaming tablet - i strongly recommend you to switch to other options, like HP Slate 7 Extreme, HP Slate 7 Plus, Google Nexus 7 (2013), Kindle Fire HDX 7, Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 or probably Asus MemoPad 7HD.

Not only are these tablets great for reading books or magazines, but they can also be great media-consumption tablets, even gaming devices.


Well, that’s all for now about Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet series.

I know that my quick roundup of these tablets are not very thorough and in-depth as other reviews around the net.

But i really hope what i’m sharing to you here can be really helpful and informative especially if you’re on the verge of getting one of these Barnes & Noble Nook tablets real time soon.

Anyway, i actually just heard lately that Barnes & Noble has plans to release its newer-generation tablet series, but it’s Samsung that’s gonna build the devices for the company, with Barnes & Noble Nook official pre-installed UI layering the tablet software – not Samsung’s usual TouchWiz UI.

So i’ll probably make some new reviews of these new tablets in the coming weeks or months, of course after i made some observations about these tablets through YouTube and internet reviews.

Okay then, that’s it for now.

If you want to get new updates regarding the tablets from Barnes & Noble Nook, then you might want to bookmark this page for further read.

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