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Nook HD in 'Snow'
The 7-inch Nook HD comes in a "Snow" (white) version as well as "Smoke" version (see next slide). It costs $199 for the 8GB model and $249 for the 16GB model.
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This is the "Smoke" or gray version. The Nook HD has a 1,440x900-pixel resolution (243 pixels per inch), which makes it the highest-resolution 7-inch tablet, according to Barnes & Noble.
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First chapter of "The Hobbit" on the Nook HD.
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Step up in size: Nook HD+
The Nook HD+ has a 9-inch screen with a 1,920x1,280-pixel resolution (256 ppi) -- the same as the 8.9-inch Amazon Fire HD. The Nook HD+ starts at $269 for the 16GB version. It jumps to $349 for the 32GB model. It comes in one color ("Slate"). Both the Nook HD and Nook HD+ have expandable memory.
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The back of the Nook HD+ (yes, it's plastic).
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On the scale
Barnes & Noble touted the Nook HD's weight -- it says that at 11.1 ounces, it's 20 percent lighter than the Kindle Fire HD.
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Nook HD vs. Fire HD
The two competing devices side-by-side from another angle.
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Video on the Nook HD+
B&N reps showed off video playback on both new tablets. The company also announced a new video service, Nook Video.
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In their presentation at the launch event, B&N reps showed how the narrower dimensions of the Nook HD (compared with Kindle Fire HD) made it a better fit for those with smaller hands. They also touted how the dimensions made it better suited for one-handed operation.
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Packaging for the two tablets.
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B&N hardware designers said the frame holding the display in both devices is made out of magnesium, which is lightweight and strong.
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You can set up profiles on the device for various family members and password-protect them. Users can store specific content in their profiles.
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The 9-inch tablet has a 3:2 aspect ratio. Barnes & Noble spent some time showing off how good digital magazines looked on the display.
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You can tap a button and get to a page that has the Table of Contents for the magazine.
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Virtual page turns
The processor in the Nook HD+ is the same 1.5GHz processor that's in the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.
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Bluetooth audio streaming
Both models have Bluetooth for audio streaming.
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No micro-USB charging
Previous Nook Tablets charged via a standard Micro-USB port. Alas, the new Nooks have a custom 30-pin connector. They do come with a charging cable and an AC adapter. On the left is the microSD card slot. It accepts up to 64GB cards.
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Unlike the Fire HD models and Google Nexus 7, neither new Nook has an HDMI-out port (or a front-facing camera). You can buy an optional HDMI accessory (dongle), but it's rather pricey at $39.
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A look at the redesigned and customizable home screen.
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B&N had several Kindle Fire HD units on hand for comparisons.
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New shopping interface
Both Nooks run a heavily skinned version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with new interfaces. You cannot access the Google Play store. Barnes & Noble has its own curated app store with about 10,000 apps.
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The high-resolution display worked well for comics. This black-and-white comic almost looked like e-ink.
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You'll be able to download various catalogs to the Nook HD+.
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Barnes & Noble has a new recommendation/discovery engine for content (books, video, apps) called Channels.
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Official Nook HD photo (Snow)
This is Barnes & Noble's press shot for the Nook HD in Snow.
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Official Nook HD photo (Smoke)
This is Barnes & Noble's press shot for the Nook HD in Smoke.
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Official Nook HD+ photo (vertical)
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Official Nook HD+ photo (horizontal)