Nook: Barnes & Noble Unveil 7″ Tab $249

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E-reader stalwart has turned its attention to tablets – unveiling its budget answer to iPad 2 – complete with movies, 2.5m e-books as well as apps galore. The 7 inch VividView touchscreen (1024 X 600) , unveiled in the US yesterday, boasts 16GB memory (with 32GB add on), runs Android Gingerbread, supports WiFi and all on 1-GHz TI OMAP4 dual-core processor.

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It comes with a truckload of content – HD movies, TV from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Adobe Flash Player, as well as music streaming from Pandora.

However, the tab does not connect with the Android Marketplace.

Nook also has 2.5 million books, magazines, comics and a nifty reading app which lets you sync the last page you’ve read across tablet, smartphone or computer as well as ‘thousands’ of apps like Angry Birds, Scrabble and Epicurious.

Free Nook Cloud storage is also another extra. Nook also has e-mail, and has “revolutionary” battery life which lasts for nine hours of video  – or “five entire movies”- 11.5 hours of reading, ideal for using on the move.

The “ultra thin” tab, which looks set to go up against Amazon’s recently announced Kindle Fire costs $249, $50 more than what Fire retails for in the US.

But Nook is far superior, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch insists, hitting out at its Amazon rival.

“The Nook Tablet is our lightest, fastest tablet with HD entertainment,” Lynch said during the launch in New York yesterday.

“It’s hands-down the best media tablet in the 7-inch class.”

Lynch also took a snipe at its Fire rival – branding the Kindle “deficient for a media tablet,” claiming Nook has a “better display” better storage and better customer support:

 

“If you wanted to talk to somebody about the Kindle Fire “where would you go? Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle?” Lynch  asked.

Barnes & Noble promises “always free” support in-store.

No word if this will be available in Australia, but at less than half the price of iPad 2 or Acer tablets, Nook may be the bargain tablet we’ve been waiting for.

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