Barnes & Noble doesn't want to be left behind with Amazon announcing HD versions of its popular Kindle tablets, so it's bringing the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ to market. The NOOK HD is Barnes & Noble's entry into the seven-inch tablet market and the HD+ is its nine-inch version.

The big selling point with these tablets is their weight. Barnes & Noble claims they are "the lightest HD and full HD tablets." The NOOK HD weighs in at 11.1 ounces (315 grams). This makes it 20 percent lighter than the Kindle Fire. The larger NOOK HD+ weighs 18.2 ounces (515 grams). This extra size comes from the two-inch screen difference and more powerful components contained within the tablet.

The NOOK HD's resolution is 1440 x 900, which is, according to Barnes & Noble, the highest resolution ever on a seven-inch tablet. It is able to play video in resolutions of up to 720p. The NOOK HD+ offers full HD resolution of 1920 x 1280. This means it is capable of handling video at up to 1080p.

As far as internals, Barnes & Noble is touting the HD+ as having a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The smaller NOOK HD has a dual-core 1.3GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. They are both quite powerful when compared to some of the other tablets on the market.

The NOOK HD

A feature Barnes & Noble seems quite happy to point out is the lack of ads, which is an obvious dig at Amazon. That company recently announced that Kindle Fire users can get rid of ads, but it will cost them US$15. NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ have no ads out of the box.

Some other highlights of the new NOOKs include improved battery life, expandable storage, a new easier to use interface, and an improved email app.

The last thing that Barnes & Noble is using to put it ahead of its competition is the price. The NOOK HD costs $199 for an 8GB model and $229 for a 16GB version. The larger, higher resolution NOOK HD+ is available in a 16GB model for $269 and a 32GB version for $299.

Source: Barnes & Noble