Nook HD review: a high-def tablet with the heart of a reader
The Nook HD is a nice piece of hardware at a great price that's hampered somewhat by skinned Android.
- Low priceNice, distinct hardwareGreat screen
- Bland UINo access to Google PlaySoftware not fully baked at time of review
Barnes & Noble knows where it stands in the tablet race. Sure, the company has been plugging away at the space since the day the Nook Color made its transformation into a full-fledged tablet, but the Nook, it seems, is rarely mentioned in the same breath as the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7, when discussing low-cost tablets. As such, the company seems to rarely mention its devices without discussing the competition -- Amazon in particular. In fact, at the launch event for the Nook HD and HD+, reps trotted out Kindle Fire HDs at every possible opportunity. Seeing the two devices side by side, there's no question that Nook trumps the Fire in a number of categories, and the bookseller has gone a ways toward making the Nook HD stand out in a field full of bigger players. For one thing, the device is far more focused on the reading experience than the competition, a fact reflected in both hardware and UI decisions. The company has also taken a more aggressive approach toward marketing the device toward families. The question, then, is whether these features are enough to capture marketshare from the more prominent devices. See how the Nook HD stacks up after the break.