Barnes & Noble's NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets have gone on sale in the UK, taking on the iPad and iPad mini with competitive price tags. The two Android-based slates use B&N's latest customized version of the open-source OS, replacing the standard interface with a more multimedia-friendly version complete with hooks into the retailer's own stores for ebooks, magazines, apps, and - eventually - video.
That NOOK Video store - which will offer titles for purchase and for rental - will go live in the UK in early December, Barnes & Noble says. Until then, there are 2.5m books to choose from and an unspecified number of magazines and apps.
The NOOK HD, which has a 7-inch display and a 1.3GHz dualcore processor, is priced at £159 for the 8GB version and £189 for the 16GB version. Each is available in white or grey, has a 1440 x 900 resolution display - besting the iPad mini's non-Retina resolution - and a microSD card slot for adding more storage.
As for the NOOK HD+, that has a Full HD 9-inch touchscreen and a 1.5GHz dualcore processor. B&N steps up the memory options, too, offering a 16GB model for £229 and a 32GB for £269. Like its smaller sibling, it has an expandable memory slot, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, and stereo speakers.
Both tablets will be offered online as well as through high-street retailers including John Lewis, Argos, Asda, Dixons, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Blackwell's, and Foyles.