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Barnes & Noble hopes book lovers give Nook another look with new $50 tablet


Barnes & Noble Nook 7-inch tablet

With its Kindle Fire 7, Amazon has created a cheap entryway into its ecosystem of Kindle e-books and Prime shopping. For $50 — or sometimes as low as $30 — the Fire is as much a marketing vehicle as it is a tablet, made all the more transparent by the company tacking on “special offers” as a standard feature unless you pay more to remove them.

It’s a strategy that’s worked extremely well, with book-selling rival Barnes & Noble continually attempting to reproduce it with its Nook devices. Unfortunately for B&N, Nook tablets have never generated the heat of the Fire, leading to all kinds of issues for the company. Nonetheless, the bookseller has kept the Nooks coming, launching its first $49.99 Fire competitor a couple of years ago, and introducing a new version yesterday.

Like the Fire 7, the latest Nook is a 7-inch Android slate with 1,024×600 IPS display, 7 hours of battery life, and easy access to Barnes & Noble’s e-book offerings. It offers two advantages over its Amazon competition: twice the built-in storage for the price (16GB versus 8GB) and no built-in ads. To get an equivalent Fire 7 version would set you back $84.99.

On the other hand, the 7-inch Nook obviously doesn’t have Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant enabled as the latest Fire tablets do

. It also doesn’t offer the additional color choices of the Fire 7, though hardcore book readers might not be concerned with carrying around a canary yellow tablet.

As proven time and time again, the Nook is never going to be a major player in the tablet market, which has already peaked anyway. But for those who are looking for an alternative to Amazon’s dominance, Barnes & Noble hopes they (finally) take a long look at the Nook as the device to read their e-books.

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