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Amazon Kindle Fire vs. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

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.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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1 of 76 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

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.

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Lift up the flap of both packages to see the tablets wrapped in plastic.

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The Kindle Fire package includes an A/C charger, but there is no microUSB cable to connect to your computer.

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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.

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The Nook Tablet is longer and wider than the Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet also looks just like the Nook Color.

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The backs of both devices are covered in soft touch material with names and symbols embedded into them.

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I purchased Nooks for a couple of years and here you can see the Nook Tablet adjacent to the Nook Touch and original Nook.

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The Nook Tablet is similar in size to the original Nook.

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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.

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There are two speakers on the top of the Kindle Fire.

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The Nook Tablet has a dedicated hardware button in the shape of the Nook symbol.

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The Nook Tablet also has volume buttons on the upper right side.

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There is also a power button on the upper left of the Nook Tablet.

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The Nook Tablet has the funky bottom left corner and behind the small magnetic door is a microSD card slot.

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You will find the 3.5mm headset jack along the top of the Nook Tablet.

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Here is the first display you will see as you startup the Nook Tablet.

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Barnes & Noble uses the same navigation bar along the bottom that we have seen on the original Nook and Nook Color.

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When you start up the Kindle Fire you will find a quick tutorial wizard that shows you how to use your device.

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The home screen on the Nook Tablet is reminiscient of Android tablets with three panels.

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There are a few shortcut buttons along the bottom and tapping on them will pop-up a screen with content and recommendations.

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You can find newspapers and magazines in the newstand.

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The movies pop-up simply gives you quick access to movie apps.

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The music tab gives you quick access to music apps.

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The Apps pop-up shows you a few apps you have loaded and some recommendations.

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The Nook Apps store is where you can discover apps to load on your new 7 inch tablet.

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When you browse apps you will find details on the apps.

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The library views show you content you have loaded on your Nook Tablet.

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You can view different tabs in the library to see different content you have installed.

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You can shop for all kinds of content in the Nook Store.

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You can search for content on your Nook Color.

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The web browser is quite good on the Nook Tablet.

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The web browser can also be used in landscape orientation.

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There are many settings available on the Nook Tablet.

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The Nook Tablet's primary function is ebook reading and as you can see the experience is quite good on the device.

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Tapping on the center of the page as you read will pop-up a menu bar on the bottom.

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There are several customization options to optimize your ebook reading experience.

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The Nook Tablet will also recommend books to you based on what you are reading.

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Tapping the bottom right of the Nook Tablet opens up a quick settings menu.

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You can view recommendations in the upper right.

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You can sideload apps too, but the only way to get to them is through Search.

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You can also install the Amazon AppStore on the Nook Tablet so content isn't much of a difference here.

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Both the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire use the swipe to unlock function.

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The application launcher on the Kindle Fire lets you switch between cloud and device apps.

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The home screen has a cover flow area of content with favorites found below this area.

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You can also view the home screen in landscape orientation.

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Notifications appear in the upper left of the Kindle Fire.

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Tapping the upper right opens up a quick access area that includes adjusting your volume.

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Like the Nook Tablet, there are plenty of options on the Kindle Fire.

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You can tap and hold on the thumbnails to add them to favorites or remove them from the device.

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The newstand includes magazines and newspapers.

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Music can be viewed on your device and in the cloud and can be easily streamed too.

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You can purchase music right from the Kindle Fire.

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You can stream video content , rent it, or buy it for offline viewing too.

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I rented this episode to view offline on the train.

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The video content itself did not work in the screenshot, but I was watching Grimm when I took this shot.

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Apps you have installed appear on a bookshelf too.

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The Amazon AppStore is a great place to find thousands of apps for your enjoyment.

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When you find apps you can view the details before choosing to download the app.

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The web browser on the Kindle Fire is called Silk and it works much like other Android browsers.

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The web browser works in landscape orientation too.

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There are several options available when you tap the menu button.

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There are a ton of browser settings on the Kindle Fire.

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Bookmarks appear as small thumbnails on the Kindle Fire.

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POP and IMAP email support is included on the Kindle Fire.

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You can enjoy Twitter through the Seesmic app since there is no official Kindle Fire Twitter client.

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Pulse is a fun way to view news and articles.

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The YouVersion Bible works fine on the Kindle Fire.

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Evernote also works well on the 7 inch tablet.

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Reading books is enjoyable on the Kindle Fire.

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There are many options for customizing your ebook viewing experience.

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You can read in landscape orientation too.

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Magazines are enjoyable on the Kindle Fire with both standard view and text view.

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You can quickly jump between different parts of a magazine.

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The text view of a magazine presents you with the content and leaves out some of the high end formatting.

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Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire gallery 1

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Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire gallery 2

 

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