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Barnes & Noble to sell Nook Tablet for $249, report says

Tablet will have double the Kindle Fire's memory and storage, according to leaked documents

November 4, 2011 09:25 AM ET

Computerworld - Barnes & Noble plans to announce on Monday a $249 Nook Tablet with double the memory and storage of the coming $199 Kindle Fire from Amazon.com, according to documents obtained by Engadget.

Barnes & Noble did not comment on the report early Friday. However, the documents appear authentic and include several detailed slides from a presentation that Engadget obtained. One slide is titled "Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet: Better Reader, Better Tablet -- Better than Kindle Fire."

The $249 price tag matches what Barnes & Noble now charges for its Nook Color e-reader/tablet, which will reportedly be dropped in price to $199. The Nook Color, announced a year ago, finished second behind the iPad and iPad 2 in shipments in the second quarter of 2011, according to IDC.

As indicated in a detailed comparison chart in the presentation, the 7-in. Nook Tablet, at 14.1 oz., will be slightly lighter than the Nook Color (15.8 oz.) and the Kindle Fire (14.6 oz.).

The Kindle Fire, now on pre-order, ships Nov. 15 from Amazon, while Barnes & Noble would ship its new Nook Tablet one day later, Nov. 16, after putting demo units in stores Nov. 15, according to the documents.

In many ways, the Nook Tablet is similar to the Nook Color and the Kindle Fire, including a 1024 x 600 touch screen.

But the Nook Tablet will have 1GB of RAM, up from the 512MB in both of the other devices. The Nook Tablet will also have 16GB of internal storage, plus a 32GB expandable SD card, up from the Fire's and Color's 8GB of internal storage.

Processing speed is one of the other main distinctions. The Nook Tablet's processing speed, on paper, is the fastest of the three, and it features a 1.2 GHz dual-core OMAP4 chip. Compare that to a 1 GHz dual-core processor in the Kindle Fire and a single-core processor in the Nook Color.

Analysts have said that Barnes & Noble will want to have a device that's similar to the Kindle Fire at a similar price, which appears to be the strategy behind lowering the price of the older Nook Color to $199. In addition, Barnes & Noble is apparently hoping to trump Amazon with the more powerful Nook Tablet at $249.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter @matthamblen or subscribe to Hamblen RSSMatt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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