Nook HD Review

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The Nook HD from Barnes & Noble boasts a speedy operating system and a high-resolution screen. The library of media and apps has been expanded to include Google Play.

Barnes & Noble has mitigated a major criticism in Nook HD reviews by making the device compatible with the Google Play app store, with its vast selection of content. When the Nook HD (starting at $129, Amazon) first came out, an expert at CNET called it undoubtedly a top-quality tablet but lamented the somewhat limited media and app library, which didn�t match of the scope of offerings from Amazon. That said, the reviewer found a lot to like about the device itself. It has the sharpest high-resolution display among 7-inch tablet competitors and presents accurate color, minimal backlight bleeding, and clear text (a word of caution from CNET�s Nook HD review: Oily fingerprints can mar the effect). Overall, concluded the site�s expert, the performance is excellent, especially when playing games. A Nook HD review from Slashgear says the device feels more like an ereader than a tablet, but commends the vibrant screen, very wide viewing angles, and impressive-looking video.

The Nook HD sports a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1440x900, which one of the highest among the tablets we researched. The battery is rated to play nine hours of video and just over 10 hours when displaying text. On the downside, the Nook HD has only 8GB of storage, of which about 5.5GB is available for actually storing data. The rest of the memory is turned over to the tablet's customized Android 4.0 operating system and other Nook-specific features. However, this budget tablet is one of few that include a microSD card slot, which lets you expand the tablet's memory by up to 32GB. Users can connect the Nook HD to a home network via a Wi-Fi connection.

The Nook HD lacks some features, such as an HDMI-out port, a USB port, and a camera, that you'll find in other entry-level tablets. But in sacrificing these extras, the Nook delivers the best small-tablet display while keeping the price well below the $200 threshold. The microSD slot is a real advantage because a cheap microSD card is a low-cost way to significantly expand the tablet's memory.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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