Nook Tablet reserves only 1GB of space for non-B&N content

Although the Nook Tablet only offers 1GB of onboard space for non-Barnes & Noble purchases, that actually might not be too concerning.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

One of the biggest selling points for the Nook Tablet is the surely the amount of storage space that it offers in comparison to the Kindle Fire.

Barnes & Noble's offering has 16GB of onboard memory with a microSD card slot that can handle up to 32GB more, while the Kindle Fire only has 8GB of onboard memory while Amazon relies heavily on the cloud.

See also: Nook Tablet ships with 'big order volume' but lacks numbers

But there's a curious catch to the Nook Tablet that was spotted upon launch time: the Nook Tablet only reserves 1GB of space for all content that doesn't come through Barnes & Noble.

After speaking with Barnes & Noble reps directly, here's the basic breakdown:

  • The Nook Tablet has 16GB of total storage space.
  • Approximately 3GB are reserved for the operating system and such, leaving 13GB leftover for the user.
  • Thus, 12GB is reserved for all content that comes from B&N's digital store, meaning books, magazines and apps -- at least for the time being.
  • 1GB can be for anything else the user wants to add (i.e. music, PDFs, etc.).

Much like Amazon is trying to do with the Kindle Fire, B&N is also using the Nook Tablet (maybe to a lesser extent) as a tool to draw consumers into its ecosystem.

To B&N's credit, there's a lot that a user could potentially consume from B&N's digital stores alone. Apps can sometimes take up to several hundred megabytes of space or more, and many children's books (one area where B&N really beats the competition right now) are deeply interactive with audio, video and animation -- thus taking up huge amounts of space. The same goes for some other B&N titles, notably cookbooks.

As an iPad owner as well, I know that magazines can take up a lot of room -- more than I would care to give away -- depending on the quality of the layouts.

At first, I was kind of blown away and disappointed by the 1GB factor. If you want to store anything beyond this, you'll need to pay for a microSD card. Those aren't that cheap either, typically costing between $30 to $50, which you might as well get anyway if you want to download a lot of digital entertainment content. That might be hard for some consumers to grapple with as the Nook Tablet itself already starts at $249.

But potential customers should know that B&N is planning to roll out a video service of its own next year, which will include rentals that can be downloaded to the Nook Tablet. Because these videos will come through an app, that multimedia will go to the B&N portion (meaning the 12GB side) of the storage space.

Thus, that taken into account with other apps might mean that the 12GB could fill up more quickly with B&N content than one could realize.


Editorial standards