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CNET First Look
Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet (8GB)The latest Nook costs the same as the Kindle Fire and has the same amount of storage, but also comes with an expandable microSD card slot.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein, Senior Editor at CNET and has 199 the new entry level price for a color E-reader Tablet. Certainly seems to be the case because the Kindle Fire was 199 last year and now the 8 Gigabyte Nook Tablet has debuted at 199, the same price with the set of specs that matches the Kindle Fire on a number of levels. Last year's Nook Tablet was 16 Gigabytes in its storage capacity and costs $250. Its 8 Gigabyte version halves the internal storage. It also halves the amount of RAM down to 512 Megabytes supposed to 1 Gig. The RAM you may not really notice. In fact, on our test unit here, seems like apps work reasonably well. It's a matter of expectation and relative (zippiness?) . But storage, you will notice. In fact, that 8 Gigabytes of storage, only some of it is user accessible. The way that Barnes & Noble breaks down storage on the 8 Gigabyte Tablet, 1.5 Gigabytes is accessible for the Barnes & Noble Nook store. That means apps and books. That's not a lot of storage space. (??), well some of it is in the system software and then there's 4 Gigabytes that's set to be user accessible. Now as you may know, if you are Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet user or you may not know, there are no cloud music download services or video download services like you get on the Kindle Fire. Sure there is Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, a lot of ways to stream music. If you want music files or full length videos that are not streamed via WiFi, you're gonna have to side load that, which means you connect this to a PC and take those files and put them on to your Nook Tablet. That's when that 4 Gigabytes of storage comes in. Plus you do get a micro SD card slot. That's a big deal because the Kindle Fire has no expandable storage. This is a micro SD card slot, it's expandable up to 32 Gig like the Nook Tablet before it. Now, the advantages of the Nook Tablet versus the Kindle Fire, one, the quality of the screen. We find it, it's a little bit better than the Kindle Fire and Netflix looks even a little bit sharper streaming on the Nook Tablet and that certainly is saying that Barnes & Noble has (touted?) on the Nook Tablet devices that have come out in the past year. Now the cons, you're not gonna have that cloud music and video service. So if you want to download a movie say and watch it on a plane. It's a little harder to do on this. In fact, it's not possible unless you start using things like Netflix and Hulu Plus right now and those are subscription based services. Plus there's a question of your ecosystem. Obviously, where will you have the most books or magazines or apps, that's probably where you wanna go. And as far as apps go, it's like the Kindle Fire. It's a (curative?) selection of apps. Maybe not quite as diverse as what's on the Kindle Fire where you got a lot of your major games covered, Angry Birds of course and a lot of others. Now, at the same time, there is the Nook color making it even more confusing. That's the previous generation color 7-inch Tablet that looks nearly identical and costs 169 now, dropping the price a little bit. It also has 8 Gigabytes of storage. So what's the difference? The screen is not quite so great. The processor is a little slower. And honestly, for a 30-buck difference, you might just wanna go with the newest generation, one for app compatibility. The real question for users is gonna come down to, if you're gonna buy 16 Gigabyte or an 8 Gigabyte version. That attributable storage could be a big deal. Allocating only 1.5 Gigabyte of storage to Nook Store Apps is very limiting. Now on the 16 Gigabyte version that jumps up to about 12 Gigabytes and that's a lot more space. Frankly, the Nook Tablet is really nicely designed. I feel like it a little bit more in its overall field than Kindle Fire because of its clean line. Its dedicated volume. Buttons off to the side and it's got that song Little (Carabinner?) over there. I think it's cute. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the 8 Gigabyte version of the Nook Tablet that just became available at 199