There are two new 7 inch Android-powered tablets entering the market, but at less than half the cost of what others previously sold for. They are media consumption devices and ebook readers with a portable form factor. They can both be loaded with all the same apps so it comes down to form factor, ecosystem, and the $50 price difference.
Check out my full ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer blog post that includes three pages of discussion and a walk through video of both devices.
Lift up the flap of both packages to see the tablets wrapped in plastic.
The Kindle Fire package includes an A/C charger, but there is no microUSB cable to connect to your computer.
The Nook Tablet package also includes an A/C adapter, but it is the type where the USB cable plugs into it so you can also use the cable to connect to a computer.
The Nook Tablet is longer and wider than the Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet also looks just like the Nook Color.
The backs of both devices are covered in soft touch material with names and symbols embedded into them.
I purchased Nooks for a couple of years and here you can see the Nook Tablet adjacent to the Nook Touch and original Nook.
The Nook Tablet is similar in size to the original Nook.
The Kindle Fire has a single button on it for power. You will also find the microUSB port and 3.5mm headset jack on the bottom.
There are two speakers on the top of the Kindle Fire.
The Nook Tablet has a dedicated hardware button in the shape of the Nook symbol.
The Nook Tablet also has volume buttons on the upper right side.
There is also a power button on the upper left of the Nook Tablet.
The Nook Tablet has the funky bottom left corner and behind the small magnetic door is a microSD card slot.
You will find the 3.5mm headset jack along the top of the Nook Tablet.
Here is the first display you will see as you startup the Nook Tablet.
Barnes & Noble uses the same navigation bar along the bottom that we have seen on the original Nook and Nook Color.
When you start up the Kindle Fire you will find a quick tutorial wizard that shows you how to use your device.
The home screen on the Nook Tablet is reminiscient of Android tablets with three panels.
There are a few shortcut buttons along the bottom and tapping on them will pop-up a screen with content and recommendations.
You can find newspapers and magazines in the newstand.
The movies pop-up simply gives you quick access to movie apps.
The music tab gives you quick access to music apps.
The Apps pop-up shows you a few apps you have loaded and some recommendations.
The Nook Apps store is where you can discover apps to load on your new 7 inch tablet.
When you browse apps you will find details on the apps.
The library views show you content you have loaded on your Nook Tablet.
You can view different tabs in the library to see different content you have installed.
You can shop for all kinds of content in the Nook Store.
You can search for content on your Nook Color.
The web browser is quite good on the Nook Tablet.
The web browser can also be used in landscape orientation.
There are many settings available on the Nook Tablet.
The Nook Tablet's primary function is ebook reading and as you can see the experience is quite good on the device.
Tapping on the center of the page as you read will pop-up a menu bar on the bottom.
There are several customization options to optimize your ebook reading experience.
The Nook Tablet will also recommend books to you based on what you are reading.
Tapping the bottom right of the Nook Tablet opens up a quick settings menu.
You can view recommendations in the upper right.
You can sideload apps too, but the only way to get to them is through Search.
You can also install the Amazon AppStore on the Nook Tablet so content isn't much of a difference here.
Both the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire use the swipe to unlock function.
The application launcher on the Kindle Fire lets you switch between cloud and device apps.
The home screen has a cover flow area of content with favorites found below this area.
You can also view the home screen in landscape orientation.
Notifications appear in the upper left of the Kindle Fire.
Tapping the upper right opens up a quick access area that includes adjusting your volume.
Like the Nook Tablet, there are plenty of options on the Kindle Fire.
You can tap and hold on the thumbnails to add them to favorites or remove them from the device.
The newstand includes magazines and newspapers.
Music can be viewed on your device and in the cloud and can be easily streamed too.
You can purchase music right from the Kindle Fire.
You can stream video content , rent it, or buy it for offline viewing too.
I rented this episode to view offline on the train.
The video content itself did not work in the screenshot, but I was watching Grimm when I took this shot.
Apps you have installed appear on a bookshelf too.
The Amazon AppStore is a great place to find thousands of apps for your enjoyment.
When you find apps you can view the details before choosing to download the app.
The web browser on the Kindle Fire is called Silk and it works much like other Android browsers.
The web browser works in landscape orientation too.
There are several options available when you tap the menu button.
There are a ton of browser settings on the Kindle Fire.
Bookmarks appear as small thumbnails on the Kindle Fire.
POP and IMAP email support is included on the Kindle Fire.
You can enjoy Twitter through the Seesmic app since there is no official Kindle Fire Twitter client.
Pulse is a fun way to view news and articles.
The YouVersion Bible works fine on the Kindle Fire.
Evernote also works well on the 7 inch tablet.
Reading books is enjoyable on the Kindle Fire.
There are many options for customizing your ebook viewing experience.
You can read in landscape orientation too.
Magazines are enjoyable on the Kindle Fire with both standard view and text view.
You can quickly jump between different parts of a magazine.
The text view of a magazine presents you with the content and leaves out some of the high end formatting.
Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire gallery 1
Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire gallery 2