Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet device will cost $249 and go on sale November 16.
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet device will cost $249 and go on sale November 16.

Story highlights

Barnes & Noble launches the Nook Tablet to compete with Kindle Fire

Both tablets are cheaper than iPads and feature color screens

They tie in with Amazon and Barnes & Noble content libraries

Amazon's Kindle fire is $50 cheaper than the Nook Tablet

CNN —  

The rivalry is so intense that Barnes & Noble actually spoke its competitor’s name:

“Kindle Fire is deficient for a media tablet,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said as he unveiled his company’s Nook Tablet on Monday. “Content will render better on Nook than on Kindle Fire.”

That jab essentially re-opened the fight between Barnes & Noble and Amazon over customers looking for digital-book-reading devices. Round I in this donnybrook was between the Nook and Kindle e-readers.

Next week, however, both companies will put their next-generation tablets on the market, setting up a new battle for holiday shoppers looking for gadgets that are good for reading books, watching videos and browsing the Internet.

Here’s a quick comparison of the devices, which are called the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire. (The gist, in case you’re in a hurry, is that they’re pretty darn similar; the Kindle costs $50 less, while the Nook has twice the storage space and a longer advertised battery life).


Nook Tablet: $249

Kindle Fire: $199

Sale date

Nook Tablet: November 17

Kindle Fire: November 15


Both: 7-inch touch-sensitive screen with color display


Both: Reading books, watching videos and browsing the Web. Both of these devices are more focused on the book-reading experience than the Apple iPad, which dominates the tablet field.

Operating system

Both: Customized versions of Google Android


You’d think these Android-based tablets would give owners access to the popular Google Android Market, which houses more than 250,000 apps. But no. Barnes & Noble and Amazon require users to purchase apps through online stores that they’ve created.

Nook Tablet: “Thousands of must-have apps,” the company says, including Angry Birds, Scrabble, Bejeweled and Epicurious.

Kindle Fire: “All the most popular apps and games,” including Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.

Storage space

Nook Tablet: 16 GB

Kindle Fire: 8 GB


Nook Tablet: 1GB of RAM

Kindle Fire: 512 MB of RAM, according to Computerworld


Nook Tablet: 14.1 ounces

Kindle Fire: 14.6 ounces

Battery life:

Nook Tablet: 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video

Kindle Fire: 8 hours of reading or 7.5 hours of video with Wi-Fi turned off


Nook Tablet: More than 2.5 million titles

Kindle Fire: More than 1 million current titles and 2 million out-of-copyright