Barnes & Noble Releasing $249 Nook Tablet on Nov. 16

Bookseller Barnes & Noble (NYS: BKS) will release its new Nook Tablet on Nov. 16, one day after rival begins shipping its rival Kindle Fire, Engadget reports.

Although Barnes & Noble is not expected to formally announce the Nook Tablet until a Nov. 7 media event, marketing materials have already leaked online. The basic specifications are surprisingly similar to the company's existing Nook Color e-reader -- in fact, B&N states the tablet offers "everything the Nook Color [does] + the best in HD entertainment."

Priced at $249, which is $50 more than the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet boasts twice the RAM of its competitor and double the storage, offering consumers access to more than two million books, magazines and newspapers. The Android-based device also includes a seven-inch VividView IPS color touchpanel with 1024 x 600 screen resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4 processor, 16GB of inbuilt storage, a microSD expansion slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity and support for file formats including ePUB, PDF, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, Flash, JPG, MP3, MP4 and AAC.

In April, Barnes & Noble updated the Nook Color to run Android 2.2, adding support for Android apps and email and effectively positioning the seven-inch, $249 device as a cheaper alternative to the iPad. However, in late September unveiled the even cheaper Kindle Fire, essentially a single, portable point of access to digital media initiatives including the Kindle e-book catalog, Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon Instant Video and Amazon MP3. The Android-based Kindle Fire also integrates with the Amazon Web Services platform and features Amazon Silk, a new cloud-based browser promising to accelerate the mobile web user experience by caching and compressing data and images.

As of the second quarter of 2011, the Kindle brand leads the worldwide e-reader market with a 51.7 percent share, followed by the Nook brand at 21.2 percent, according to IDC data issued in September.

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