The Nook HD Tablet - Kindle Killer?

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The nook HD’s unique, friendly interface makes it a great family tablet, rocking an impressively sharp screen, the online store is packed with books but lacks films and apps

We’ve seen fantastically affordable tablets from some unexpected sources lately, and now into the fray storms the Nook HD from Barnes and Noble. The original Nook e-reader was a great way to consume vast amounts of eBooks for little cash, but can the Nook HD build on this success with its deliciously crisp seven-inch screen?

The nook HD

Silver surfer

The Nook HD's build is similar to the Nexus 7 by Asus, with a solid seven-inch body that’s rubberized on the back for an easy one-handed grip. It’s a cinch to use and won’t ache your arms with its 3l5g weight (equal to Apple’s iPad mini). The frame is solid, while the bezel juts out over the screen to protect it if the Nook tumbles out of your grasp. Our only bugbear is the proprietary charger port, which means you can’t borrow your mate’s USB cable. There’s no camera either.

Inside you get a 1.3GHz processor which copes admirably with most tasks. Websites loaded quickly and were smooth to navigate. With the 16GB model you get 12GB of usable built-in storage for downloading apps, media and more from the Nook store, plus a microSD slot for expanding further. You can also store all of your Nook store purchases for free in the Nook Cloud, providing a handy backup.

Inside you get a 1.3GHz processor which copes admirably with most tasks. Websites loaded quickly and were smooth to navigate


The Nook HD allows you to set up multiple personal profiles, so your whole family can use it with their own settings. Each user can populate their desktop with shortcuts which can be moved around by dragging with a finger, or opened with a tap. Annoyingly, it’s too easy to accidentally drag an icon when you’re trying to swipe to a different desktop. Some of the icons also overlap in landscape mode, making for a cluttered screen.

Overall we like the Nook HD’s unique look, which sets it apart from other Android tablets. It’s fresh and clean, with quick access to everything you’ve browsed recently, and you aren’t bombarded with adverts as you are with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. We found it incredibly easy to set up our email, calendar and other online bits - we use Gmail, and all we had to do was enter our ID and password and the Nook HD did the rest.

Likewise, copying media over is just a case of hooking up to your PC. Books are clear and easy to navigate, while the comic reader presents either entire pages or individual panels, with a smooth transition as you flick your finger.

While the Nook Store eBook selection impresses, the Store is sadly far from comprehensive when it comes to films, music and apps, lacking even big titles. Google's Play store isn’t available but there are plenty of big apps and games on offer, so you shouldn’t go bored. “Amazing HD screen - highest resolution on a 7” tablet” boasts the box, and it isn’t an empty promise. Everything from glossy magazines to the latest blockbusters look fantastic thanks to the 243 ppi resolution, which easily trumps the iPad mini’s display.

It isn’t the brightest screen around and is reflective in sunlight, but it holds up well and viewing angles are excellent.

As for battery life, we managed five hours of continuous video playback on a single charge. That’s on full display brightness and with Wi-Fi turned on.

The Nook HD is a user-friendly tablet that you can share with the whole family, thanks to its excellent profiles and unique, personable interface

The verdict

The Nook HD is a user-friendly tablet that you can share with the whole family, thanks to its excellent profiles and unique, personable interface.

The seven-inch screen is splendidly sharp for browsing the massive catalogue of books or to take in a blockbuster. But if you’re after a machine for games or apps, the Nexus 7 by Asus with its quad-core processor remains a superior choice.

The nook HD

·         Web:

·         Price: $254 SIM-free

·         Size: 194x127x11mm

·         Weight: 315g

·         Display: 7 inches

·         Resolution: 1440x900 pixels

·         Camera: No

·         Front camera: No

·         Video: No

·         Processor: Dual-core 1.3GHz OMAP 4470

·         RAM: 1GB

·         Storage: 8GB/16GB

·         Internet: Wi-Fi

·         GPS: No

·         Browser: Android

·         Email: Push

·         Music player: Yes

·         Video player: Yes

·         Continuous use: 10.5 hours

·         Standby: 300 hours


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