Several weeks after Amazon took the wraps off its Kindle Fire HD lineup, Barnes & Noble did the same this morning with two new HD Nook tablets of its own.
The Nook HD joins the Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7 in the 7-inch tablet game. But which is best? In our hands on with the Nook HD, PCMag found that it might have “the best screen on a 7-inch tablet to date.” The Nook HD boasts a 1,440-by-900 display compared to the Kindle Fire HD’s 1,280-by-800 screen. But for $199, you get 8GB on the Nook HD and 16GB on the Fire HD. You can bump up to 16GB on the Nook HD for $229 (a 32GB Fire HD is $249).
The Kindle Fire HD is slightly heavier than the Nook HD at 13.9 oz compared to 11.1 oz, but they’re virtually identical in size. Both run a customized version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and TI OMAP chips, but the Fire HD sports a 1.2-GHz OMAP 4460 to the Nook HD’s 1.3-GHz OMAP 4470.
Both include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support; the Nook HD will connect for free in all Barnes & Noble stores. If you’re looking for a camera, the Fire HD has a front-facing one, but you won’t find a camera on the Nook HD.
Content will likely be a major consideration. The Kindle HD taps into the Amazon Appstore and its approximately 50,000 apps. The Nook provides access to Nook Apps, which has about 6,000 apps. The Kindle can also access Amazon’s video services, but B&N announced that it will soon launch Nook Video, which will serve up similar content.