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.

Internal hardware

Our Nook Tablet had the following hardware components:

Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.