New Nook Tablet has a shot against Kindle Fire

Summary:The Kindle Fire might be more budget-friendly, but the recently unveiled Nook Tablet packs more punch.

A couple weeks back, before the Nook Tablet was officially introduced on Monday, I ran down a brief bullet list of points that the next generation of the Nook Color needs to hit in order to compete with the Kindle Fire.

Although not all of the demands were met, Barnes & Noble might succeed anyway.

Let's go over the pricing first. Amazon's Kindle Fire might be more budget-friendly with its $199 price tag, but the $249 Nook Tablet packs more punch when it comes to value.

There are two features that really fuel this argument: the display and the storage space. Both the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet have 7-inch IPS touch screens with 16 million colors. However, the Nook Tablet also has a laminated coating that really does spruce up the screen when watching HD videos as that layer reduces glare and reflection while boosting the color vividness.

But the feature that might actually warrant the extra $50 is the sheer amount of storage space. The Kindle Fire only has 8GB of onboard memory -- only 6GB of which is accessible to the user.

But the Nook Tablet has double that at 16GB, and with the microSD card slot that is ready for 32GB of more space, there's the potential for 48GB of storage. That's huge and probably essential for users who don't have frequent access to Wi-Fi or might be in the midst of traveling but want to watch movies beyond just streaming. There isn't much of a cloud option to speak of like there is with the Kindle Fire, but there are supported third-party apps (i.e. Dropbox) that are available on the Nook Tablet to fulfill this need.

That segues into what could be another major determining factor for the Nook Tablet: the ecosystem. At first, it might seem easy to concede this win to Amazon because of its multiple products (i.e. cloud, music, e-books, the online megastore, etc.) can all line up in one place on the Kindle Fire. Yet, that assumes that all prospective customers are willing to buy into the Amazon ecosystem wholeheartedly.

For those who don't want to, the Nook Tablet is the ideal set up for consumers who have plenty of other subscriptions elsewhere (i.e. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Dropbox, etc.) and don't want to sign up for similar services again. This also provides ample opportunity for any Amazon competitors to move over to B&N's side of the aisle.

For consumers who are not terribly interested in streaming/watching lots of video and just want a decent tablet at a more affordable price, then $199 for the Kindle Fire (and maybe even the Nook Color) is defintiely more appealing and will pick up those customers more easily.

However, the Nook Tablet certainly has a fire of its own, making the competition this holiday season hotter than previously anticipated.

Related:

Topics: Laptops, Amazon, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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