How does the new $50 NOOK tablet compare to the $50 Fire?


Barnes and Noble has a new NOOK tablet coming on November 25th. Most recently, B & N has had a line of tablets co-branded with Samsung, but now is getting back into the tablet game again with this new budget friendly device. It’s priced at $50, clearly competing with Amazon’s 7 inch Fire tablet.

Here’s a comparison table of the specs for the two devices:

Fire 7” NOOK
Price Starting at $49.99 $49.99
Screen Size 7″ IPS Display 7″ IPS Display
Resolution 1024 x 600 (171 ppi) 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)
Colors Black, Magenta, Blue, Tangerine Black
Processor Quad-core 1.3 GHz Unknown
Alexa Enabled Yes No
Google Play No Yes
Content Access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, apps, games, and more via AMAZON Audio: M4A, 3GA, AAC, MP3, FLAC, WAV, OGG, AAC


Gallery (pictures): JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP


Audio Mono speaker,

Built-in microphone

Unknown (website specs only list headphone jack)
Storage 8 or 16 GB

(expandable by up to 200 GB microSD card)

Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

8GB on-board memory

Add up to 128GB with an optional microSD card and store eligible eBooks (NOOK Books® with Digital Rights Management enabled only) to make more room. All of your NOOK® purchases are stored for free in the NOOK Cloud.

Cameras VGA Front-facing camera +

2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording

Front: VGA

Rear: 2 MP

Connectivity Single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n Dual-Band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)


Battery Life* Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music Up to 7 hours of reading, watching videos and web browsing
Weight** 11.0 oz (313 g) 8.80 oz
Dimensions** 7.5” x 4.5” x 0.4”

(191 x 115 x 10.6 mm)

7.40” x 4.2” x 0.39”


Customer Support Screen Sharing + email, web, and phone In-store support provides assistance for setup, connectivity, and basic troubleshooting when you visit Barnes & Noble bookstores

The specs on the new NOOK tablet seem pretty comparable with the 7″ Fire. There are a few pluses for the Nook. Unlike the Fire, the new Nook doesn’t have the special advertising offers on the lock screens. It also runs a straight version of Android (6.0) and has the Google Play store installed on the tablet. (You can install the Play store on the Fire, but it involves work and whether it continues to function is at the mercy of software updates.) The new NOOK tablet also features dual band WiFi rather than the single band sported by the Fire.

The Fire, of course, now has voice integration with digital assistant Alexa installed on the device.

The tablet is available for pre-order now with free shipping on the Barnes and Noble website. Tablets begin shipping on Friday, November 25, 2016. It will also will be available in stores on Black Friday.

I ordered one of the these new NOOK tablets and will be posting a review after I have played with it for a while. 🙂

And PS: If you are interested in one, at least for the time being, the Samsung-branded NOOK tablets are still available (and at sale prices!).

Amazon announces all-new Fire HD 8 tablet

new_fire_8For the last few weeks,the Fire 8 HD tablet has been sold out on Amazon. Today, Amazon announced an all-new version of the Fire 8 HD tablet. The new version is cheaper, too: $89.99 compared to $149.99 (with special offers). The new Fire promises to incorporate Alexa digital voice assistant from the Echo line of products into the Fire 8. According to Amazon’s website, other products in the fire line will be also receiving the Alexa update in the future .

The new device has a faster processing speed, more storage, an SD slot increased battery life and features a 1200 by 800 189 PPI resolution screen. You can find more specs listed here.

I ordered one of these for myself to give it a try. I have an aging Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet which I have been thinking of replacing. Like the Fire 8 HD, the Note 8 also has a 189 ppi resolution screen and I frequently use it for reading Scribd and Pocket articles. I bought one of the $50 fire 7 tablets last year and found the 171 ppi resolution bad enough that, with my vision problems, I won’t use it for reading. The 189 ppi screen is the minimum I find acceptable for reading.

Personally, my ideal would be an Alexa update for my favorite Fire tablet, the Fire HD 6. The HD 6 has a 252 ppi screen resolution that makes for really enjoyable reading experience on a tablet. There’s no word yet on whether that model will receive the update that incorporates the Alexa features. Amazon has had an ongoing price reduction on the HD 6, so they could be clearing stock for a new version. You can pick up an HD 6 for $69.99.

The new devices will be released on September 21, 2016. Like the other Fire tablets, it comes in four color options: Black, blue, magenta and tangerine.  Amazon is offering a payment plan for the new device where you can pay in 5 monthly payments of $18. 🙂

And, for you fellow case fashionistas, I am already checking into the case/cover situation and will have an update soon.

What about you? Is a new Fire tablet on your radar?

New Kindles are confirmed and up for pre-order

kindle_voyageAmazon now has the new lines of Kindles and Kindle Fire tablets up for pre-order. I am still sorting through the info, but here are the links to learn more about the new models:

  • The new basic Kindle with touch screen. The price has also increased by $10 over the previous model.
  • The brand new Kindle Voyage, with improved screen resolution (300 ppi), an intelligent frontlight with brightness sensor and a physical page turn  method called “PagePress.”
  • The new Fire HD 6,  a slightly smaller, six inch tablet that will retail for only $99 (with special offers).
  • The new Fire HD 7, starting at $139 (with special offers).
  • The Fire HD Kids Edition, 6″ or 7″ HD Display,  with a blue kid-proof case, your choice of sizes, starting at $149.
  • The new Fire HDX 8.9, lighter and with a faster processor, starting at $379 (with special offers).

Amazon is also rolling out a new Fire OS called Sangria with new, updated features which include individual emails and profiles for family members. Both the Fires and the E-ink Kindles will also be getting a new feature  called Family Library which will allow family members to share books and videos on an account. This is a feature that I have personally wanted for a long time!

I’ll have more to come on the new devices and features! 🙂


Daily Links: Public Domain in the Digital Age

From BoingBoing, an interesting piece on the public domain in the digital age and the concept of copyfraud.

Open Culture has an article on the Speech Accent Archive – The English accents of people who speak 341 different languages.

Amazon has 31 apps for free today (Saturday) via the Amazon App Store.

And on Making Use Of, you will find game, productivity and musical apps are on sale or free for the iPad. Note that I found that some of the pricing did not apply when purchased through a device other than an iPad.

My E-book finds of the day are The Golem and the Jinni (P.S.) and The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us from my to-be-read list. They are each on sale today for only $1.99.

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news.

Samsung partners with Nook for a new tablet

Today brings news that Samsung is partnering with Barnes and Noble on a new co-branded Nook Tablet that will be based on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 model. The Galaxy Tab series is a popular line of tablets and new device is planned to build off incorporate the hardware and “provide customers “with easy access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive digital collection of more than three million books, leading magazines and newspapers.”

According to the press release:

The companies are expected to introduce Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK in a 7-inch version in the U.S. in early August. The co-branded tablets will be prominently displayed along with NOOK eReaders and sold at Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores across the U.S. and online at, one of the leading e-commerce sites.

Barnes and Noble says it plans to continue to sell (and support) its Nook Glowlight.

There is no mention of what the co-branded tablet will be called. I will be interested in seeing how the tablet is differentiated from Samsung’s own Galaxy Tab series. I currently run the Nook reading app on a Samsung tablet and am also curious as to how the experience of using the new device will be different.


Subscribe and save on a NOOK or get one for free

Two interesting Barnes and Noble press releases hit my inbox this morning.

In the first, Barnes and Noble is offering a free NOOK Simple Touch or a NOOK Color for only $99 if you purchase a one-year NOOK subscription of the New York Times. The cost of the subscription is $19.99 and includes full digital access for both the NOOK and the New York Times website. You can access the bundle directly and see the full terms and conditions  at

In the second release, Barnes and Noble is offering the NOOK Tablet for $199 with a one-year NOOK subscription to People. The cost of the digital subscription is $9.99 per month.  You can check the details and purchase at

These special bundles are available at Barnes and Nobles stores and at until March 9, 2012.

Kindle Fire, Touch ship early

Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire orders are shipping today, one day early. Many customers had expressed frustration on the Amazon forums that the device would first be available in stores like Best Buy on the 15th, yet customers who pre-ordered would not receive their Kindle Fires untill at least November 16th.

Amazon has also announced that the two Kindle Touch versions, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Touch 3G, , are shipping on Tuesday, November 15th, six days early.

Some websites had already gotten early review devices and there were reviews up today on sites like MSNBC and Engadget. Look for a flood of reviews on the device over the next few days.

Bits and Bytes: Nook News

The Nook certainly dominated the ebook news yesterday.

As expected, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Tablet,which will be available on November 18. The Tablet will retail for $249. Here’s a link to a  hands-on video from Engadget.

 Barnes & Noble has also reduced the price on two of its other readers. The Simple Touch will retail for $99. The Nook Color’s price will be reduced to $199.

Both readers are also getting updates: The Simple Touch update includes improvements to the page refresh rate and the battery life. Here’s a hands-on video for the Simple Touch from Engadget.

 For the original Nook color, the new updates will add Hulu Plus, etc.

And, if you find it confusing – Nook Color, Nook Tablet – here’s an article to  help you sort it out.

To help sell all the readers, Barnes & Noble is launching in-store Nook Stations!

And, if all of that is not enough, Barnes & Noble announced that they will be launching an international Nook in the months ahead.