Nook Tablet, Nook Color get a price cut

August 13, 2012

Barnes and Noble cut the price of the Nook Tablet and the Nook Color on Monday, dropping prices in a move that makes the Nook Tablet a more attractive option for those looking for a baseline tablet.

The Nook Tablet, formerly $249 in its 16 GB form, will now be $199, while the 8GB tablet drops to $179. That brings its prices in line with the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 — actually, it means that Barnes and Noble is now offering more memory for your dollar than Amazon or Google.

Google’s entry into this market is exactly why it’s a smart move for Barnes and Noble to lower the price of its e-reader and tablet, since the Nook line doesn’t offer nearly the same amount of tablet functionality that the Nexus 7 does.

Depending on what you want to use your tablet for, the Nook line does have a lot to offer. Its screen doesn’t have quite the same glare as the Kindle Fire or the Nexus 7, meaning it’s better for long-term reading. On the other hand, its screen isn’t as good for video.

Barnes and Noble also doesn’t have the same sort of broad range of goods and apps that its competitors in the lower-price range have to offer either. While the Nook line has partnerships with Hulu and Netflix, it has nothing like Google’s Play store or Amazon’s general marketplace that lets you buy everything from diapers to earphones.

Barnes and Noble, however, has partnered with Microsoft on a new e-textbook push and has hinted that more will come of that partnership in the future. If the mega-bookseller can team up with Microsoft to make more devices or pull from its vast content ecosystem, that would make the Nook a much more appealing device.

For now, those who want a cheap but fully functional tablet should stick with the Nexus 7 or, to a lesser extent, the Kindle Fire. But if you’re simply looking for a deluxe e-reader that you can use for some apps, some video and some light browsing, it’s worth taking a second look at the newly-cheaper Nook.

Related stories:

Why is Microsoft investing in the Nook?

Barnes & Noble shares surge on Microsoft deal

Nexus 7: Review Roundup

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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