Nook Tablet: Taking on Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple iPad 2 Head On

NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble today fired back at Amazon's new readers and tablet with its own hardware. First let's talk tablet.

The Nook Color Tablet is a 9-inch tablet with a 7-inch (diagonally-measured) LCD touchscreen display. It includes a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 1.2 GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB for storage inside — expandable to 32GB using its MicroSD socket.

It'll cost $249 when it arrives mid November — and it is a custom Android system, they said. Execs here underlined longer battery life –claiming more than eight hours of video playback on one charge. And they announced deep and built-in support for Pandora and Netflix. In addition to the bookstore, by the way, there's a huge comic store : )

And then there's the free in-store support. Really? Really, execs said, missing the oddness of announcing how people will fix their broken Nook Color tablets at its very unveiling.

Wi-Fi, already present in most stores, will be ubiquitious now and work with the tablet and the other device, the new Nook Color reader, execs said.Nookguy
B&N CEO Lynch: Customers can take their Nook tablets into stores for support. As for the Kindle Fire, "where are you going to go, Seattle?" Execs took sharp aim at Amazon at this announcement.

Barnes & Noble also criticized Amazon's ad-supported model. Referring to the $149 based Amazon Kindle Fire, he said "Do you really want to have to spend an extra $40 or give your friend an ad-based product?"

OS: Android

CPU: Texas Instruments 1.2 GHz OMAP 4 (expect this to be overclocked to 1.5GHz)

RAM onboard: 1GB (twice as much as Amazon Kindle Fire)

Diagonal Width: 7-in.

Weight: .87.8 pounds

Thickness: .48-in.

The Nook Tablet is $249 and available for pre-order today, execs add.

Find the full press releases for deeper detail and the company's spin for the new devices — find the company announcement details right here.