It's Nook vs. Kindle: Round II

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
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