The tablet market is heating up, and for once it's not Apple, or Google, or Samsung doing the shaking, but booksellers Barnes & Noble. The new NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ may carry the same name as B&N tablets of before, but they're worlds apart in hardware and clarity of software ecosystem. Not content to chase Amazon and Apple on price alone, there's an apparently legitimate attempt on B&N's part to tune each model to the audience most likely to be interested in it, rather than chasing some imaginatively aspirational but likely non-existent "perfect" consumer.
If you were looking for another reason to pick up a new Nook tablet - revealed earlier today - you'll find it in Barnes & Noble's announcement of Nook Video, a streaming service they're set to release to fight Netflix and Amazon's efforts in the video universe. While Amazon does indeed have a tablet competitor for the Nook line in their own Kindle Fire HD (and the rest), they don't have the same key-word that Barnes & Noble is coming up with: UltraViolet - and the same, basically, goes for Netflix. With HBO, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros, and Starz already signing up for the Nook Video team, there very well could be some clout to the book company's claims.
Barnes & Noble has refreshed its NOOK tablet range, revealing the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, a duo of high-definition Android-based slates with some ambitious aspirations. Replacing the well-esteemed NOOK Tablet, the two new models balance competitive pricing - kicking off at $199 for the 7-incher and $269 for its 9-inch sibling - with impressive specifications, not least eye-catching HD displays. We caught up with B&N for some early playtime with the touchscreen pair.