What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

Summary: The Kindle Fire is the hottest unreleased gadget out there, but could a Nook Color 2 provide some healthy competition?

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If the reports are true, then we can expect to see Barnes & Noble release the second generation of the Nook Color in early November -- ahead of the November 15th launch date for Amazon's Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire is probably the more anticipated gadget of the two, mainly because it's brand new and Amazon already announced it earlier this month after months of speculation.

However, that doesn't meant that the Nook Color 2 can't compete. They will definitely have their similarities (more than likely both will have 7-inch touch screens, etc.), and these Android-based devices stretch the boundaries between e-book readers and tablets.

For a long time, many critics argued that the Nook Color was the best Android tablet available. Yet the unveiling of the Kindle Fire also sparked debate that its launch will inspire a whole new category of lower-end tablets that will won't compete directly with Apple's iPad.

But the Nook Color 2 going to need to accomplish several things before it can challenge the Kindle Fire, let alone beat it:

PRICING

The original Nook Color was released at $249, but the Kindle Fire is slated to start $199. There is no way that Barnes & Noble can hope to beat Amazon in this regard without bringing the price down to the same level.

SPEED

The Kindle Fire will boast a dual-core processor as well as the cloud-leveraged, Amazon Silk "split browser" architecture for speedier surfing. Acknowledging that there are certainly some privacy concerns and questions regarding Silk, the browser on the current Nook Color is still rather boring and not fast at all. A speed boost all-around would be a welcomed upgrade.

It also remains to be seen if B&N could integrate any kind of cloud option whatsoever. That would be an interesting twist, but it's certainly easier to add for Amazon considering its Web Services unit. So I wouldn't bet on cloud features this time around. Otherwise, B&N could try to fill the gap with more than 8GB of onboard memory or even including a larger microSD card in the bundle.

ECOSYSTEM

This is one area that few players in the tech world that would be able to compete with Amazon, and Barnes & Noble just isn't one of them. The key selling point (besides the price tag) for the Kindle Fire is that it will bring together nearly every feature from the Amazon ecosystem (i.e. Amazon Instant Video, Cloud Player, Cloud Drive, shopping, etc.) into one neat little bundle on the same device. Boom.

Beyond Barnes & Noble's extensive digital library and newsstand, it's doubtful what B&N could do in this space. The most competitive feature the Nook Color has in this regard is that it supports the Android Market, thus bringing in plenty of features from elsewhere.

But being that the Kindle Fire runs on a variation of Android as well, Amazon will likely meet the challenge here too. Perhaps the Nook Color will run on Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich? Doubtful, especially considering the price point argument, but one can dream.

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Topics: Amazon, Hardware, Mobility

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33 comments
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  • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

    I have have been told by the CyanogenMod team that my Nook Color will be running Ice Cream Sandwich approximately 2 weeks after Google releases the source code for the OS. Ahh, should be any day now.
    Mac Hosehead
    • Security 101

      @Mac Hosehead Never install crap developed by anonymous hackers claiming to be the good guys.

      I'm always amazed at how stupid Android users are.

      And BTW, Google will NEVER release the source code for the OS. It is full of stolen code and they don't want the court to find out. That is why they haven't release the source code for Honeycomb and will never release the code for ICS.
      wackoae
      • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

        @wackoae

        'Anonymous hackers claiming to be the good guys'? I think you just stabbed me in the heart. There are over 1 million downloads for the CM7 nightlies on the Nook Color alone. Thats what I call a fan favorite.

        This is one of those "Do you know who your talkin' about?" type of thing
        Fat Albert 1
      • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

        @wackoae You're high... Both code trees will be released very shortly and then you'll look that part that you're already playing.

        As far as Cyanogen Mod goes, not everyone is out to harm you man... I guess this is why you championed Jobs as he was paranoid too!
        slickjim
      • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

        @wackoae thank god you came to warn everyone how stupid they are. Seems you forgot to tell Samsung though....
        http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20070069-1/samsung-gift-to-cyanogen-modders-free-phones/

        and if people are stupid, it isn't just android users.. there are plenty of iPhone (and I'm sure other platforms) that jailbreak their phones to install questionable things. Next time, try just a little harder to hide your own lack of sense.
        orenkuhn@...
      • Game time!

        @wackoae

        Looks like lots of folks want to play an enjoyable game of "wackoae mole"!

        Someone get me a mallet! :D
        rhonin
      • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

        @wackoae
        Dude..they don call android open source for a reason..
        if google doesnt release the source code....wil android still be called open-source
        sagarshirish
  • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

    B&N has no chance of competing with the Fire. With the exception of the meager ram in the Fire, Amazon has everything going for it.
    mstrsfty
    • Amazon has SOME, not everything

      @mstrsfty They are missing the most important part .... licenses from the major media creators.

      They only have a limited license to some media (music, movies) and their "app store" is still a joke.
      wackoae
      • Maybe

        @wackoae

        But you have got to love the "free app" every day fom Amazon. Lots of good ones!
        :)
        rhonin
    • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

      @mstrsfty despite what Wackoae says, the media isn't the problem... Anyone with access to both apps via a Tablet can see that B&N is consistently more expensive on the media they do have.

      Amazon wins because they have a pricing model that leads people to them.
      slickjim
    • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

      @mstrsfty: All B&N has to do is make NC2 easy to root and it will compete well. Give it an OMAP dual core ala the archos tablets with the same IPS screen. Put 8gb of on board storage with the card slot and maybe add some connectivity. Amazon is giving the Fire the Apple treatment. Rightly so on their part as it's all about their ecosystem and selling their wares. If B&N gives you the option of their ecosystem as well as the freedom to put media on it as you see fit via MSC and local storage, they can sell that sizzle.

      I don't think the Fire is going to be a rooters dream. No external storage, no msc mode. How do you run ADB when you can't really connect it to the computer? And you have to email your files on there or upload it to their cloud and download on to the tablet? Seems like it's more trouble than it's worth if you can just boot from the card on the Nook.
      crogs
    • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

      @mstrsfty Amazon doesn't not have everything going for it since the NOOK Color was such a huge hit to begin with, I think the NOOK Color 2 will have the upper hand in this battle.
      Bates_
  • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

    Well I own an Ipad and Nook Color. I cannot compare my Nook Color with Ipad, it is not a fair comparison. But I love my Nook and it does well in comparison with other tablets out there running Androids. I got my wonderful library along with other apps such as Angry Birds and other games. I think Barnes and Noble need to just lower the price to beat Amazon's new incarnation.
    rigo12
  • What it needs????

    Simple answer: A HEALTHY ECOSYSTEM.

    No Android based tablet will even be a contender against the iPad if they are released with NOTHING to "supplement" the device. OEMs can release 100 million Android crapware tablets and they would never be able put a ding in the iPad train as long as they have nothing beyond a stupid browser and a few poorly maintained apps.
    wackoae
    • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

      @wackoae Speaking out of ignorance again huh?
      slickjim
    • ipad argument why?

      @wackoae: Seriously. Go the f away you ahole apple fanboy. This article has zero to do with the ipad, yet because one person mentions owning one you drag the thread down with your inane comments. Someone needs to ding your common sense because it seems stupid and poorly maintained.
      crogs
  • what's the price of nook color2?

    kindle fire and kobo vox are all $199,will the nook color 2 be cheaper than the two
    epuborrenee
    • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

      @epuborrenee
      I hope it is not. I want a $299 Nook Color 2, full loaded, with 3G, subsidized on the carriers for $100-$150. Or with free 3G and advertisement supported at $150-$175.
      aiellenon
  • RE: What the Nook Color 2 needs to beat the Kindle Fire

    The Asus Transformer is easily the best Android tablet, bar none. Except the upcoming Android Transformer Prime.

    Third would be the Galaxy Tab 10.1/8.9/7.7 (they're same except screen size).

    It's a shame this isn't sold outside of North America. We could do with a budget but decent tablet in Europe. There are "no" cheap decent Android tablets.
    bradavon