8GB Nook Colour launches this week to dampen Kindle’s Fire

The current king of budget tablets, leading with a fiery software kick courtesy of Amazon, is the Kindle Fire. This 7-inch beauty has seen very little competition in the same price and hardware division, until now that is. Nook, the eternal runners up in the tablet wars will launch an 8GB tablet this week.

The new 8GB Nook tablet will be released first in the US at an unspecified price. Here’s hoping that it’s at least US$50 cheaper than the US$200 Kindle Fire, else it’s potentially destined for the bargain bins.

Budget colour tablets are a dime-a-dozen, but somehow Amazon has managed to turn the Fire into a household name. Can it be put purely down to price? Hell yeah.

Or maybe not. Both tablets are neck and neck in terms of speed, screen size and battery life. The current Nook tablet inches the Kindle Fire slightly out with 16GB of internal memory. It’s also US$50 dearer than the Fire.

The Nook’s potential ace-in-the-hand is its SD card slot. The Fire is locked into 8GB of internal memory. The Nook has the potential for 32GB of storage with an SD card injection. Another win (or tie for both devices) is the custom Android OS. Both tablets are fairly locked down in terms of exploring the capabilities of the OS, but then again both can be rooted.

Barnes & Noble, a US-based chain of bookstores has predictably high hopes for the latest Nook. Come February 22, the midnight launch of the 8GB Nook will reveal hardware and price specifics. With the Optimus Vu edging ever closer to existence, the Kindle Fire and 8GB Nook have a tough battle to fight. Will the 8GB Nook ever launch outside of the US? Its success in the tablet wars will hopefully see it emigrate outside of the land of the free. Another thought, will customers even care, what with the Aakash (and similar dirt cheap tablets) lowering the price bar? Finally, the Mobile World Congress may reveal even juicer, cheaper tablets which may turn both the Nook and Fire into second-place losers. Below is the “officially leaked” (as if these mega-stores ever mind the leak) Nook announcement.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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