Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

Summary: The Nook Tablet was announced today, and since it is a nice device at a reasonable price it won't be long until the hacking community gets busy with it.

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TOPICS: Tablets, Hardware
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Barnes & Noble announced the $249 Nook Tablet today, and took aim at Amazon's Kindle Fire at the event. The Nook Tablet is a nice gadget in its own right, but I suspect the refreshed Nook Color ($199) will be a big hit with the hacking crowd. The Nook Color has been a hacker's dream machine since its launch, with the homebrew crowd putting full versions of Android on it. I suspect the same crowd is now raring to get their hands on both the Nook Tablet and Color to get hacking.

I imagine a number of hacks we'll be likely to see before long. These may end up stretching the patience of the folks at B&N.

Putting the full Nook Tablet software on the Nook Color. One of the goals of the homebrew community is getting the best software running on the cheapest hardware possible. The Nook Tablet software announced today is a fork of Android that has specialized software to take advantage of the B&N ecosystem. This has also been expanded to have deep Netflix integration, along with Hulu Plus capability. That's a nice brass ring for the homebrew crowd to grab and put on the cheaper Nook Color.

Putting the Kindle Fire software on the Nook Tablet. This isn't as big a stretch as it first appears. Sure the Kindle Fire is cheaper than the Nook Tablet, ($199 vs. $249), but the hardware is better on the latter. B&N made a big deal today about those hardware differences, more memory, better display, fast processor, so why not put the Fire software on the Nook Tablet? Better yet, imagine a Nook Tablet that dual boots both the B&N and Kindle Fire software bundles. Geek heaven.

Putting custom Android distributions on both the Nook Tablet and Color. This is a given, and we'll start seeing custom ROM solutions for both these tablets within weeks of availability. Good hardware screams for good Android distros, and the homebrew folks will not disappoint.

While B&N has turned its back on the hacking done on the original Nook Color, it might have a different view on this now that content deals with third parties are in the picture. There is also that free support in B&N stores that was announced. Hacked tablets are not going to sit well with B&N dishing out free support. The homebrew crowd will have to develop some bullet-proof methods to reinstall the original Nook software to get that free store support.

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Topics: Tablets, Hardware

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13 comments
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  • Let's go 4.0!

    Anyone want to take a guess how long it will take to get Ice Cream Sandwich functional on the latest Nook device?
    debusk
  • B&N "turned its back"??

    The context of the sentence with that phrase suggests more that they turned a blind eye towards the hacking, i.e. tolerated it. Now the 3rd party deals suggest more that they WILL be turning their back, as in discouraging or resisting the hacks to better cover their contractual/DRM commitements.
    aroc
    • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

      @aroc <br><br>Nice catch. That said, I doubt B&N will be that worried about the root & hack scene even with this new tablet. The reason is simple: the rooting scene gave the Nook Color huuuuge visibility and tremendous buzz. Had the Nook Color not been an easily hackable tabley you can bet that 90% of the articles and posts that sing the tablet's praises would not have been written. Also, as much as it may seem like multitudes when you're part of it, the hacking scene is and always will remain a much smaller part of the whole. So the hacking scene generates lots of buzz and goodwill for B&N and costs the company very little in actual lost profits.
      dsf3g
      • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

        @dsf3g Agreed and it doesn't hurt sales either. Yeah, they sell the device at or close to cost because they want to sell content but if you can sell an extra million of these to people that want to put a custom image on them, the stockholders are not going to be asking questions.

        Besides, if you generate good feelings surrounding the device by not locking rooters out, they will reward you by buying content from you anyway. In my case, it was fun to show other nerds that I could run the Kindle app on my CM7 Nook Color but in the end, I still bought content from B&N.
        redhaven
      • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

        @redhaven Your completely right. The first app I downloaded after rooting the Nook Color was the Nook app. I'm already signed up (due to having to sign up immediately after turning on the device), so why change?
        Fat Albert 1
  • I'm easy

    I think I would love this new Nook Tablet just the way it ships, but would still like to access to my Kindle library.
    billyw@...
  • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

    1024 X 600 is too small resolution.
    bvukov@...
    • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

      @bvukov@...

      Not really... not for a 7" screen.
      dsf3g
    • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

      @bvukov@... There's no 7 inch screen with a higher resolution. This is the 1080p of 7 inch tablets
      Fat Albert 1
  • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

    Another thing about the Nook Color and hopefully also the Nook Tablet, it can be booted from SD card. So you can actually have your android distro on card without altering the machine and voiding the warranty.
    Brakkmale
    • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

      @Brakkmale
      pjn7509
  • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

    Nook Tablet is $224 if sign up for Barnes & Noble membership. E-Ink Nook Simpletouch at $99 (without ads) has twice the battery life of Kindle Touch, faster page turns than Kindle Touch, 80% less flashing on page turns than Kindle touch, and microSD card slot to expand capacity that neither Kindle has.
    Nook Tablet is clearly the superior device over Kindle Fire. Not just 11.5 hours battery life but 9 hours of video playback time - that's vs. 8 hours for reading and 7.5 hours of video playback on Kindle Fire (even that 7.5 hours will not hold true in tests, video playback drains battery much more than reading)
    1 GB RAM Vs. 512 MB RAM of Kindle Fire, 16 GB content capacity plus 32 GB via microSD card vs. 8 GB capacity of Kindle Fire with no expansion slot. Fully laminated HD screen for reduced glare vs. no lamination of Kindle Fire. Bulit-in and optimized Netflix and Hulu plus with millions of movies/shows vs. 100K movies/shows of Amazon store. Nook Tablet has built-in mic for Skype voice conferencing and dictations to speech recognition software. Nook already has Cloud as all eBooks in your online library are stored there as well as downloaded to your device. For streaming movies and shows it has Netflix and Hulu Clouds. Twice better device - in both technical specifications and content offering.
    Oh, that microSD slot is the rooter's dream as you can have it booted off a card with a burned image of IceCream Sandwich.
    eco733
  • RE: Nook Tablet: Let the hacking begin!

    It was announced today via Twitter that CyanogenMod, with the release of the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 by Google earlier this week, that they are working on CM9, based on it. Should be out by January/February. Hoping to get the Nook Tablet about that time, with part of my usual annual bonus.

    Am I the only one who thinks all these people glorifying the Nook Tablet's competitor are ridiculous? It looks too much like "iPad Lite" to me. (controlled environment/app store, limited storage space). Methinks Mr. Bezos took a few lessons from Darth Jobs on that one.
    jws1272