Hands On With The Nook Tablet: Can It Put Out The Fire?

The Nook Tablet, announced last week to much fanfare, is a follow-up to the company’s popular Nook Color and a direct competitor to Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire. I’ve only just got this device into my hot little hands so expect a full review this week but initial impressions are good.

The device is about as big as the Nook Color and the Fire, although the Tablet is considerably more streamlined than Amazon’s offering. The OS is clean and clear with a small ribbon of icons along the bottom of the home screen for video and music as well as newsstand and book apps. There is also an apps menu consisting of a number of preloaded apps including a mail app, Doodle Jump, a crossword app, Hulu Plus, and something called “Angry Birds” that appears to be a bird-spotting companion.

Performance-wise everything on the device is adequate if not superior to many tablets I’ve tried. It’s an e-reader so you probably won’t be running SETI@Home on this thing, but the data rich Netflix app ran through lists of movies with the barest hint of a stutter while the reader is smooth and quick on most books – although there was some lag while rendering large PDF files. The device has a nice, small speaker that can be used in a pinch to listen to music and movies.

The browser is what it is – a mobile browser with some limited multimedia support and Flash Player 10.3 on board (not that that matters anymore). It has about 16GB of storage on board for B&N downloads with an SD card slot for expansion.

I’ll have more detail on this thing this week, but until then leave questions on the Nook Tablet in comments and I’ll try to answer them in the review.

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