U.S. book chain Barnes & Noble has declared that it will be launching the new Nook tablet computers alongside its e-readers in the U.K. later this year, according to Tech Radar
The new Nook is called the Nook HD+. It will be a relatively small sized tablet, featuring a 9 inch screen, which is a similar size to the Kindle Fire
. This means that the screen is smaller than either the iPad or the Galaxy, although it is closer to the Kindle.
The Nook HD comes in Snow and Smoke colors. It has a dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP 4470 processor and 1GB of RAM, a choice of 16GB or 32GB of storage with a microSD slot, and a 6,000mAh battery so it can hit the same nine hours of video playback on one charge.
The Nook will retail around $150 (£100) cheaper than the Apple iPad 2, and around $100 (£70) cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Tab2.
Speaking about the new model, Barnes and Noble's CEO William Lynch is quoted by Metro
as saying: "We designed our larger format tablet Nook HD+ because we think there’s big demand from customers for a super-light, extremely high quality 9-inch tablet, at half the price of the iPad,"
In addition, the more basic version of the Nook will also be available (a 7 inch sized screen device with 8 GB of storage). Both types of Nook run on a version of the Android 4.0 operating system.
Barnes and Noble have been relatively slow in entering in the U.K. market. The advantage the Nook will have, though, is access to Barnes and Nobles extensive range of books and magazines. Although the company do not operate stores in the U.K., Wired
notes that Barnes and Noble will sell its products through Sainsbury's and the bookstore Blackwell's.
The launch of the Nook means that the new Nook will compete against products from Amazon, Kobo
, Sony and, of course, Apple. The outcome of this contest will be interesting, and a clear indication as to which companies are coming out ahead will be known after the Christmas sales.