Two new tablet devices are hitting the market this week – the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. Both are considerably cheaper than an iPad and could be just what you are looking for, so we’re here to offer some information about them so you can make an informed holiday shopping decision.
As far as the actual devices go, there is not much difference between the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. They are roughly the same size, shape and weight. We give the edge here to the Fire because of its sleek black outer case as opposed to the Nook’s grayish metallic one, but that’s a minor quibble.
The Nook Tablet has 16 GB of storage to the Kindle Fire’s 8 GB, which does account for the extra $50 you pay for the Nook. Even 8 GB is a decent amount of storage, though. The Nook Tablet also has 1 GB of RAM to the Fire’s 512 MB. They have the same processor.
One big advantage the Kindle has over the Nook is that Amazon offers streaming TV and video. Some are free, some you pay for – unless you get an Amazon Prime account (roughly $6.50 a month), which lets you have access to the movies and TV Amazon offers for “free.” The Nook Tablet does not offer those things. It will have a Netflix app, but we’re assuming that will not be free – a Netflix membership will presumably be required.
Both devices require a WiFi signal. The previously Kindles were able to use AT&T’s 3G network to download books and periodicals, but since the Kindle Fire features all the internet access of a tablet, you now need to be able to connect to a network.
The Nook family still has a leg up on this one – you can take your devices to any Barnes & Noble store for support help
Which one is right for you?
We will give a shout-out here to the Nook Color, a touch-screen device that does let you access the internet, check your email, and download books and apps. The only real difference between it and the Nook Tablet is the Tablet has the updated Android operating system, a better processor and more storage. But the Nook Color is also fine in those aspects too.
The Kindle Fire features the updated Android OS and better processor and is the same price as the Nook Color ($199), but again – only has the 8 GB of storage and 512 of RAM to the Nook Tablet’s 16 and 1 GB, respectively.
So it really depends on what you want to use it for. We have a Nook Color and love it. We feel no need to “upgrade” to the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. But if you don’t have a tablet yet, the Kindle Fire is probably the best bang for your buck.
Oh, and if you are just looking for an eReader? Then the Amazon Kindle still cannot be beat. It is only $99 now and it lets you download books anywhere you can get an AT&T signal.