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.
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.
First chapter of "The Hobbit" on the Nook HD.
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.
The back of the Nook HD+ (yes, it's plastic).
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.
Nook HD vs. Fire HD
The two competing devices side-by-side from another angle.
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.
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.
Packaging for the two tablets.
B&N hardware designers said the frame holding the display in both devices is made out of magnesium, which is lightweight and strong.
You can set up profiles on the device for various family members and password-protect them. Users can store specific content in their profiles.
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.
You can tap a button and get to a page that has the Table of Contents for the magazine.
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.
Bluetooth audio streaming
Both models have Bluetooth for audio streaming.
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.
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.
A look at the redesigned and customizable home screen.
B&N had several Kindle Fire HD units on hand for comparisons.
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.
The high-resolution display worked well for comics. This black-and-white comic almost looked like e-ink.
You'll be able to download various catalogs to the Nook HD+.
Barnes & Noble has a new recommendation/discovery engine for content (books, video, apps) called Channels.
Official Nook HD photo (Snow)
This is Barnes & Noble's press shot for the Nook HD in Snow.
Official Nook HD photo (Smoke)
This is Barnes & Noble's press shot for the Nook HD in Smoke.