The concept of low-cost, basic tablets was introduced by Barnes and Nobles with the Nook Color, an entry-level Android device targeting e-book lovers. Since then, the Nook family has introduced more cutting-edge devices featuring larger screens. Nook HD+ is B&N’s first nine inch tablet which the company thinks could be a real competitor against other established brands like Kindle, iPad or Nexus.
How HD Differs From Previous Ones
Nook HD+ looks better than others and is also comfortable to hold. It stays balanced in hand in both landscape and portrait modes. Instead of Nook HD, its design is more inspired by Nook Tablet. Despite having a 9-inch screen, HD+ is notably light. Nook HD+ is lighter than Kindle Fire HD 8.9.
Ditching the previously adopted micro-USB port, HD+ is provided with 30-pin port like Samsung and Apple. This will enable the device to be docked or to add additional dongles with it. There is no camera in the Nook HD+ as B&N considers its clients to be more interested in the device itself. Nonetheless, as tablet cameras have not become an industry standard yet, their absence would not be a big issue for B&N.
The nine inch IPS screen of the Nook HD+ sports a resolution of 1920*1280 pixels. The top quality screen provides excellent viewing angles, fingerprint resistance and strong color contrast. Sunlight visibility is brilliant when brightness is set to 100%, though 50% will be enough for everyday use.
Reading experience was one of the key factors in the design of Nook HD+ which resulted with the high resolution, 9-inch display. As small text is clearly readable, most of the magazines, e-books or comics do not need to be zoomed. The digital cataloging offers direct shopping links. While tapping on a product once will display detailed information, tapping twice will bring the website for buying it.
An interesting feature of the HD+ is the scrapbook facility. With this innovative feature, HD+ users can virtual tear pages from magazines, catalogs or e-books and then add them to new, customizable books. The number of pages a scrapbook would contain and the number of scrapbooks themselves are unlimited. They could be read like regular magazines.
Along with digital reading specialties, HD+ could also be considered as a compatible multimedia tablet. The high-resolution screen easily manages HD videos without losing any pixels. Most of the games work perfectly in the Nook HD+. Though the backside speakers produce loud sounds, they are not quite up to the mark. Using a headphone or Bluetooth speakers will produce better results in the sound department. It is also possible to connect the HD+ to HDTV or larger monitors via an HDMI dongle.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the HD+ is its limited app selection. Hosting only 8,500 apps, the HD+ app store looks tiny in comparison with Google Play or Amazon App Store. A positive aspect of the limited apps is that B&N guarantees that all the apps will work seamlessly with the tablet.
The user interface of Nook HD+ is built on Android 4.0. The intuitive interface organizes different kind of contents wonderfully along with plenty of customizing options for the users. However, the limited version of the Android based user interface could be frustrating for some users. The dual core, 1.5 GHz processor is supported by 1GB of RAM along with 16GB or 32GB storage options. At a price of $270, Nook HD+ could be a bargain for general users who want a simple, uncomplicated tablet for their everyday use.