Pretty late to the tablet party, Barnes & Noble officially released its Nook tablet today. With all those other tablet options, why spring for Barnes & Noble's offering? Basically a souped up version of its Nook Color, at $249, the Nook Tablet isn't even the best deal out there. Amazon's raved about Kindle Fire rings up $50 cheaper at $199. Yet, Barnes & Noble has some small touches that might appeal to certain hopeful tablet owners.
The Weight Conscious
The tablet might cost $50 more than Amazon's Kindle Fire, but it's a shade lighter. Both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet weigh less than a pound. But Barnes & Noble shaved a newborn baby's worth of weight off its offering, putting it at 14.1 ounces to Amazon's not-so-heftier 14.6 ounce tablet. And in this case, thinner doesn't mean worse performance. Barnes & Noble didn't give up battery life or speed with its svelter tablet. It's thinner battery is "half the size" of the iPad's battery, but lasts 11.5 hours, whereas the iPad's offers a mere 10 hours and the Kindle Fire only around 8. And B&N even managed to cram a speedy 1 GhZ processor in that body.
The Nook offers a read and record feature, which records readings of any interactive children's book. Dad tech blogger Peter Kafka at AllthingsD points out that this is a very useful feature for fatigued parents tired of reading the same stories to children over and over. "Flash poll of one dad w/two kids finds this sorta interesting," he writes. It's also useful for equally fed-up babysitters.