Unboxing the Nook HDIs the Barnes & Noble Nook HD a good gift idea for the reader in your life? Molly Wood unwraps the 7-inch device and tells you why it could be a better buy than Amazon's competing 7-inch tablet.
-Another tablet unboxing and this one is a pretty good gift idea for the reader in your life. It's the new Nook HD tablet. We're unboxing the 7-inch, but they also just released a 9-inch HD tablet. And now, this is kind of interesting, 269 for that full-sized tablet that runs android. If you want to buy that and root it, you'd have yourself a pretty good android tablet for not very much money. We are looking at the 7-inch model, which is a direct competitor, of course, to the Kindle Fire HD. Let's get this guy out of the box. What have we here? Things, the steely, coupons, unbeatable prices on holiday cards, baby stuff. There, that's a little junkie, those coupons. Okay. Now, for the Nook, here we go. The Nook has a pretty good cult following. It's proven a pretty decent competitor, but it doesn't have quite the attraction. Probably 'coz it doesn't have quite the ecosystem. We got the white one. The highest resolution ever on a 7-inch tablet. Take that iPad Mini. Ooh! Oh, I think I opened it upside down. I totally did. I failed. Alright, here's our not very attractive black power brick. Our little get-- quick start guide. One thing people really like about the Nook actually is that you can go to a Barnes & Noble store and they will help you with it right there. Let me tell you, that really worked out for my mom. Alright. Let's get this guy out. So, it's white on the front. Kind of gray on the back. It's not the sleekest tablet I've ever seen, but it is pretty light. Ooh! The back feels nice. It's got kind of that soft touch back here. Feels quite not as substantial as you might expect. This is definitely a plastic rim and it shows and then because of this bezel, the screen actually looks a bit small. Let's see if we can fire it up. Hopefully, we got a little battery here. Nook. 98%. 99%. Hi, welcome to Nook. While we go through setup, let's go through the specs. The Nook comes in 2 models. 8 gigabytes for 199 or 16 gigs for 229. That's actually kind of a worthwhile upgrade. It comes in 2 colors, which I like to call white and dark gray, but which Barnes & Nobles call Snow and Smoke. It has a 1.3 gigahertz processor, which doesn't seem as snappy as you might expect. It is running android, but it's a custom-designed version of ice cream sandwich. It weighs 11.1 ounces and the width is 5 inches. That's a little less than the Kindle Fire HD and in my opinion makes it a lot easier to hold. The Nook's HD display is 720p, but the resolution is 1440 x 900 and you can see the difference. Battery life is pretty good according to Barnes & Noble, up to 10-1/2 hours of reading and 9 hours of watching video. There is built-in Wi-Fi, but no cellular connection. In terms of ports, you have a universal stereo headphone jack. It does have a proprietary charger, which is kind of a bummer. No micro-USB here, just a 30-pin charging connector that says it's HDMI compatible. There's also a micro-SD slot for expanding your memory. The Nook is a lot lighter and frankly a lot easier to hold than the Kindle Fire HD. This is a true 7-inch tablet and this obviously is quite a bit bigger. Now, I think that the display is beautiful here, but this presentation might be a little bit better. These are about the same price, so it's really whichever one you prefer and which one you think is gonna offer the more content. For me, this is much nicer in terms of size, weight, and it's very intuitive to use. Of course, both of these are now also in the shadow of the iPad Mini, but since these start at 199 and that starts at 329, that comes down to a wallet decision. For my money? I think I'd pick the Nook. Read our full review though and make up your own mind over at cnet.com.