Barnes & Noble's latest Nook tablet can turn into a makeshift laptop

A smart keyboard and a charging dock are firsts for the Nook line.

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Earlier in November, Barnes & Noble unveiled the Nook Tablet 10.1, a slate whose main appeal is its sheer value for money -- $130 gets you a 1,920 x 1,200 screen and 32GB of expandable storage. However, it may be the just-released accessories for the tablet that catch your eye. Most importantly, there's a $40 Smart Folio Cover with Keyboard that, for the first time, turns the Nook into a pseudo-laptop. Much like with a Surface or iPad Pro, there's a physical connector that provides power and data without cables or a finicky Bluetooth connection. You probably won't be using a Nook as a productivity machine, but this might help if you want to write a review of a book mere moments after you've finished reading it.

There's also another first for the Nook. A $35 Charging Dock can power the tablet (if you already have a wall adapter and cable) while it remains in landscape mode, helping you through lengthy Netflix marathons and video chat sessions. Between this and the keyboard, it's evident that Barnes & Noble wants to expand the roles for its tablet. While there's no doubt that the Nook Tablet 10.1 is ultimately a vehicle for the company's e-book service, it can be much more of a general-purpose device if you're willing to spend extra.

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