Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet Will Retail for $249

Nook TabletBarnes & Noble introduced a new addition to its Nook lineup yesterday — the Nook Tablet. The device has the same look as its younger sibling, the Nook Color (albeit with a lighter tone), and weighs 0.11 pounds less.

At $249, the Nook Tablet is in no position to triumph over Amazon’s much hyped Kindle Fire in terms of pricing. However, B&N CEO William Lynch argued the Nook Tablet is worth its $50 premium in a side-by-side comparison.

While both the tablets are powered by the same dual-core 1GHz processor, the Nook has 1GB RAM and 16GB on-board storage (expandable by microSD card), in each case twice as much as the Kindle Fire. It’s also ever so slightly lighter than the Kindle Fire, though physically larger.

Both the tablets sport a seven-inch capacitive screen with the same resolution. But Lynch claims the Nook Tablet’s display is superior because it has a “no air gap” fully laminated display, branded “Vivid View.”

B&N touts the Nook Tablet as “the best in HD entertainment,” with easy access to HD contents via pre-installed Hulu Plus and Netflix apps. Lynch claims that the battery can last through about nine hours of video playback, roughly equivalent to five full length movies.

Lastly, Barnes & Noble promises always free in-store support at over 700 B&N stores. Said Lynch: “If you wanted to get support with the Fire, where would you go? Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle?”

The Nook Tablet will hit the shelves next week at leading retailers such as Best Buy, Target and RadioShack. Meanwhile, B&N has decreased the price of its other two Nook devices. The Nook Simple Touch now retails for $99, down from $139, and the Nook Color for $199, down from $249.

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