One year after launching the Nook Color, Barnes & Noble is hoping to take the device from e-book reader to full-blown tablet. The 2011 Nook Tablet has a 1 GHz dual-core TI OMAP4 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and 16GB of storage. It runs a heavily-customized version of Android 2.3. As of this writing, the Nook Tablet costs $249 (US).
Like the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet is a no-frills tablet. It's designed for reading e-books from the Nook Book store, streaming videos through Netflix or Hulu, running apps from the Nook Apps store, and browsing the Web. The Nook is larger than the Fire but weighs slightly less. It also has a slight advantage over the Fire when it comes to hardware, which helps explain the Nook's higher price.Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet
Cracking Open analysis
- Relatively easy to crack open and dissemble: Despite a pair of external screws hidden near the microSD card slot, the Nook Tablet's back cover is easily removed. And, you'll only need a single screwdriver as Amazon used Torx T5 screws throughout the device.
- Nearly identical to the Nook Color: Barnes & Noble could have dubbed this new device the Nook Color 2. The back cover, metal frame, motherboard, and display assembly are the same size and shape on both devices. Their construction is similar. And, if that wasn't enough, they use the exact same battery.
- Shares hardware with Kindle Fire: Not only is the Nook Tablet a near clone of the earlier Nook, it shares many components with its chief rival--the Fire. Both have a 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor, both have 7-inch displays with resolutions of 1024 by 600 at 169 ppi, both support Wi-Fi (but not Bluetooth), and both use the same audio codec.
- Better specs, higher price: Despite its many similarities to the Fire, the Nook has twice as much RAM, more internal storage, a microSD card slot, and a microphone. And no doubt, these better specs contribute to the Nook costing a little more.
Our Nook Tablet had the following hardware components:
- 1.0 GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMA4P application processor (mounted under the RAM chip)
- 1GB Hynix DDR2 RAM chip
- 16GB SanDisk NAND flash chip (SDIN5C1-16G)
- Texas Instruments TWL6030 Fully Integrated Power Management IC (6030B107)
- Texas Instruments SN75LVDS83B FlatLink 10-135MHz Transmitter (15A1XJT LVDS83B)
- Kionix KXTF9 tri-axis accelerometer
- Texas Instruments AIC3110 Low-Power Audio Codec
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module
- 3.7V, 4,000 mAh Li-ion battery pack (Model: NOOKCOLOR - 6027B0090501)
- 7" LG LD070WS2 LCD panel (1024 x 600 at 169 ppi)
- FocalTech Systems FT5406 touchscreen controller (FT5406EE8 ERE40BD K01)
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.