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Barnes & Noble's Nook HD 7-inch Android tablet
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Old 26th September 2012, 08:02   #1
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Default Barnes & Noble's Nook HD 7-inch Android tablet

It was roughly this time last year that Amazon's Kindle Fire showed us just how successful an aggressively priced 7-inch tablet could be, becoming, arguably the go-to gift of the last holiday season. This summer, Google upped the ante, showing the world that a $200 tablet could be more than just an OEM-ed content delivery device, enlisting ASUS to design a really solid piece of hardware at a seemingly impossible price.

Barnes & Noble's journey in the space, meanwhile, has been decidedly more convoluted. In mid-October of 2010, the company gave the world the Nook Color -- a product with a wildly original industrial design, but decidedly limited functionality, which was, for most intents and purposes, an LCD-based color e-reader. Halfway through the following year, the device got a Pinocchio-like upgrade, transforming it into an honest-to-goodness tablet, apps and all. The device's celebration was cut short, however, eclipsed entirely by the arrival of the aesthetically (nearly) identical, but internally superior Nook Tablet.

When Amazon announced the release of the Kindle Fire HD and all of its many variants, there was little question that Barnes & Noble had something waiting in the wings as well. After all, much of the bookseller's hardware game plan seems to revolve around going toe-to-toe against Amazon offerings, and since the company beat its chief competition to the market with a glowing reader, a Nook Tablet seemed all but inevitable. With this week's announcements, however, the company has managed to offer up some surprises -- for starters, there's the fact that it's doubled its efforts with the release of two tablets -- with 7-inch Nook HD and the 9-inch Nook HD+. Then there's the fact that the company has clearly put great effort into the hardware this go round, rather than offering up yet another rehash of the Color / Tablet lineage. Let's start with the Nook HD, shall we? Join us after the break.
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