Barnes & Noble Nook HD, Nook HD+ Are Thin, Lightweight

The latest editions of the company’s tablets, the Nook HD and Nook HD+, pack a new user interface into a thin and lightweight design.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble isn’t resting in the face of renewed competition from other e-reader manufacturers with the release of the 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+, which start at $199 and $269.

Users can access more than three million books, a comprehensive selection of magazines and apps, as well as media content through the company’s recently launched Nook Video and Nook Catalog portals. A new built-in email app offers additional features in a user-friendly format that supports a host of personal and work-related email services including Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Both models will ship in late October and be available in stores in early November.

The 7-inch Nook HD features a high-definition 1440 x 900 display with 243 pixels per inch and HD video playback of up to 720p, while optical bonding technology with no air gap can deliver low-glare and a wide viewing angle for sharing. Through the development of a design that integrates the display into the device itself, Barnes & Noble eliminated several components to keep the Nook HD weighing in at only 11.1 ounces (315 grams) and just 5-inches wide. The company claims it is more than 20 percent lighter and nearly a half-inch narrower rival Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.

Among other features is a dual-core 1.3GHz high-speed processor, 1GB of random access memory (RAM), and the tablet is available for pre-order in two colors, Snow and Smoke. The base Nook HD model, offered at, $199 features 8GB of storage, while the 16GB version, listed at $229, offers 16GB of storage. Both feature expandable microSD memory storage options.

The 9-inch Nook HD+ display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1280 and 256 pixels per inch for up to 1080p. The tablet weighs in at 18.2 ounces (515 grams) and features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The Nook HD+ is available in two models, a 16GB edition for $269 and 32GB version for $299. The larger tablet is only available in the Smoke color option, according to a company release.

The Nook HD offers up to 10.5 hours of continuous reading and up to 9 hours of video watching, while the Nook HD+ boasts up to 10 hours and up to 9 hours for reading and video, respectively, all with WiFi turned off. On the audio side, both devices are designed with customized speakers and utilize SRS TruMedia for enhanced sound. Rounding out the package is an AC adapter included at no extra cost.

“With the combination of the highest resolution screen, lightest weight and expansive access to content rendered in a digital quality never before seen, Nook HD is the world’s best 7-inch media tablet,” William J. Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, said in a prepared statement. “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. Both our 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+ deliver an exceptional customer experience and we enthusiastically encourage customers to go and learn more about them.”