The Battle of The eReaders Turned Tablets
The Amazon Kindle Fire introduced weeks ago is a powerful dual core tablet with Android underpinnings overlayed with an Amazon OS that combines everything the major online retailer has to offer in rich 7" tablet all for $199. Barnes & Noble saw the threat to their original Nook Color and today introduced a brand new Nook Tablet that is more powerful and has access to more content to try to 1up the new Kindle with a similar 7" tablet with Android underpinnings overlayed with their OS version and content suite for $249. The question now is which one of these eReaders turned affordable tablets is the better option in terms of hardware and content offered...keep reading for a breakdown of everything these tablets have to offer.
Which Tablet Has The Better Hardware
The Nook Tablet clearly picks up right where the Nook Color left off as it looks identical to its predecessor all way down to the hook on the bottom. The display is an updated (1,024 x 600) resolution 7-inch IPS LCD and it continues to be above average with good brightness and more than adequate viewing angles, but it's the internals that have gone through the major transformation and they are impressive even if you don't consider its relatively low price. It comes with a new 1Ghz dual core processor and 1Gb of RAM the same as the other more expensive Honeycomb based tablets. In terms of space it ships with 16Gb on board and a microSD expansion slot for up to 32Gb of additional storage. During initial walk throughs of the tablet performance was adequate and 720p HD video and switching back and forth between apps happened without any noticeable lag. Battery life is stated at 11.5 hours of reading and 9 hours of video playback.
The Kindle Fire is also a 7" tablet with a (1,024 x 600) resolution, and it looks very similar to the BlackBerry Playbook as they are from the same design house. The display has adequate brightness and viewing angles and more time is needed to tell which is actually superior. Although both have a 1Ghz dual core processor the Fire is down by half on storage with only 512Mb of RAM and 8GB of non expandable storage. In terms of performance however the two are much closer than the specs show and it would seem that Amazon's silk browser and other optimizations have paid dividends in that regard. Battery life is stated to be 8 hours of reading and 7.5 hours of video playback.
Who Offers The Better Services
During the press release of the Nook Tablet the B&N CEO said that the Kindle Fire is more like "a vending machine for Amazon services", while that may be true it can actually be considered a strong suit due to Amazon's robust media offerings. While the Nook Tablet looks to other sources like its included Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora apps for media content Amazon offers its own media and mp3 store giving Prime members access to over thousands of videos and tv shows for free to stream on their Fire. That is another reason that the Kindle Fire can get away with less storage because Amazons stores most of your content over the cloud.
It terms of Books, Magazines as after all both tablets started out as eReaders one must first asses which service they currently have the most ties to. If you have a nice collection of content on one service the differences between the tablets isn't enough that it be worth switching over and ditching what you already have. However if this is your first eReader than both offer a ton of content, but B&N is working closer with content providers for things like magazines and offers interactive options that provide an overall better experience than that on the Kindle Fire. One feature recently announced by Amazon is the Kindle lending feature which allows you to essentially check out one book per month and keep it as long as you like free of charge and once your done you can trade it back in for another title.
The Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet and Amazon's Kindle Fire are both great low-priced Android based tablets that make great media enjoyment devices. Neither of them has full-fledged access to the Android market but both offer ever-expanding selections of apps in their own curated markets. The Nook tablet does have a hardware advantage and charges a $50 premium for it, but in order to get the full experience from the Kindle Fire you would need to be a Prime Member making the price difference a virtual wash. It is going to take some hands on time with both devices to truly tell which is the superior tablet and it this point you have to decide based on which outfit you go to more for content. As a Prime Member myself I am leaning towards the Kindle Fire and for those of you with previous Nook eReaders the Nook Tablet may look like the better option. Who do you think offers the better complete package of hardware and content in the battle of the 7" tablets?