Nook 7in HD & 9in HD+ review
The UK isn't in short supply of 7in tablets in the run up to Christmas, but that doesn't mean there's not room for one more. Barns and Noble, the American book store colossus, is bringing its Nook HD and HD+ across the Atlantic in time for the holiday season.
The 7in Nook HD is perhaps the more exciting tablet, as it will go head to head with Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7. Priced competitively at £159 for an 8GB model and £189 for a 16GB version, it has stand-out features that could mean it comes out on top come December.
Its 1,440x900 resolution, 243ppi display is currently the world's highest for a 7in device, with a fully laminated panel that has no air gap for improved viewing angles and reduced glare. It looked pin-sharp during our short time with a pre-release unit, with fantastic viewing angles and vibrant colours. It can also handle 1080p video out to an external display, but only through a dongle which connects to the proprietary accessory port at the bottom of the unit.
Weighing 315g, it's almost 80g lighter than a Kindle Fire, and was designed specifically around smaller hands to be easier to hold. A recessed lip on the rear side creates a ledge to rest your fingers, so you won't get fatigued after just a short time reading. It's finished in a soft-touch plastic that similar to the kind used in the Google Nexus 7, albeit without the same dimpled texture.
Powered by a 1.3GHz OMAP 4470 dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, it's certainly no slouch - the last device we saw running the same CPU was Archos 101XS and it blew away the competition in the Quadrant benchmark. Despite this power, B&N claims the Nook HD will last up to 10.5 hours of continuous reading and up to 9 hours of video watching, as long as Wi-Fi is disabled.
Whereas Amazon's entry-level Kindle HD has 16GB of storage, the Nook HD has just 8GB - however, it's expandable thanks to the inclusion of a MicroSD card slot. Considering you can buy a 32GB card for as little as £13, the Nook has the potential for more storage as and when you need it.