— Mobile Technology
Barnes & Noble to continue making Nook tablets after all
Barnes & Noble did a bit of flip-flopping today, saying it will continue making tablets like the Nook HD+ (above) after all
Amazon gets a lot of credit for starting the budget tablet craze with the original Kindle Fire. But it was actually Barnes & Noble that released the first subsidized, affordable, 7-inch slate, in the form of 2010's Nook Color. The three generations of B&N's Nook tablets may have been limited by their software, but they also delivered solid hardware and good overall bang for your buck. So we weren't complaining today, when B&N announced that it won't be discontinuing its color Nook tablets after all.
The flip-flop, reported by CNET, comes about two months after Barnes & Noble had said that it would be dropping color (non-E Ink) tablets from its product line. That lineage includes the Nook Color, 2011's Nook Tablet, and last year's Nook HD and Nook HD+, which are now available at bargain-basement discounts.
The move also comes after a fair share of uncertainty and drama surrounding the company's future. Not long after the original announcement about ditching tablets, CEO William Lynch resigned. Chairman Leonard Riggio then took on more authority, considered buying out the company's retail wing, then today said he was backing off of that proposition. All signs point to a company without a clear path.
Where this leaves Barnes & Noble is anyone's guess, but that the company's Android-based Nook tablets are off the chopping block can only be a victory for consumers. Earlier this year, B&N added the Google Play store and the full suite of Google services to the Nook HD and HD+. Nook tablets' software and app selection had long been their Achilles' heel, but their newly discounted prices (US$130 and $150, respectively), high-resolution screens, and Google services now make them quite the bargain.
Just because B&N is resurrecting the Nook tablets, though, doesn't necessarily mean we'll see a new crop this year. The company said that at least one new Nook is lined up for the holidays (we'd place our bet on an updated backlit e-Reader), and other products are being developed.
About the Author
Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post.
Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
All articles by Will Shanklin
LOVE my Nook HD+ running CM10 - great bargain for a really nice screen and decent horsepower. Can not recommend it enough
I have the Nook HD+ 9" and LOVE it. I haven't turned on my kindle in months.
Facing nook division bankruptcy was the best thing that could have happened for consumers. B&N opened up the tablet because, what the heck, it's tanking anyway, and it would help them unload the things. Hopefully sales have picked up with the new freedom.
Nook + Kindle reading in one tablet. The kindle reader is available at the google store. I'm a big SF fan, and I hit Baen, because they sell DRM free ebooks in all formats, even including HTML (which the nook also handles well, after getting a file browser app)
I love the heck out of it. For me the killer ap is to download youtube video and watch it while I go for long, long walks. I also do the same with ebooks.
Very glad I sprung for the high resolution, and glad I chose a nook. Kindles are way too locked down to amazon.
To get volume numbers up B & N should consider making an e-reader with only the keyboard email app and then install VistA open source shareware Electronic Health Record. A Nook Rx if you will.
This could be sold to hospitals worldwide. (There is an international consortium maintaining foreign development, still shareware).
The size, quality of construction and quality of readability would make the Nook quite attractive for use by hospital workers and doctors offices worldwide.
Is the Nook HD+ 32 gb at 160USD the best WIN RT capable tablet now ?
There are still doubts whether TI OMAP 4470 running NOOK HD+ can run full Win 8 ( amazingly though, MS compatibility webpage claims it can !!!) . But a lot of people are hacking WIN RT sufficiently ( though not perfect ) to run legacy x86 apps on it, and at 160 USD for a windows 8 10 inch tablet with a dual core processor and B&N bulid, it's a ***king steal !
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