Nook Tablet Video Review and First Impressions


Nook Tablet

The Nook Tablet was originally slated for release today, November 18th. It ended up arriving in stores a few days early—score!—so I canceled my pre-order and went down to my local Barnes and Noble store and picked one up.

Thanks to a loophole that allows the installation of third-party Android apps without a hack, the Nook Tablet turned out being a lot cooler than I expected it would be. I’m sure glad I don’t have to choose between it and the Kindle Fire :).

On the outside the Nook Tablet looks pretty much identical to its younger brother the Nook Color. It shares the same shape and design, and even fits into the Nook Color’s cover perfectly. Taking a closer look, some differences start to jump out.

First, the Nook Tablet is noticeably lighter. And the screen is one solid piece without a divider at bottom above the “n” button. The frame is gray-colored instead of charcoal and has a layer of soft coating over the top. Lastly, the Nook Tablet has a small hole on the top edge for the microphone.

When you turn both devices on and start comparing them, they are again very similar at first glance. With the exception of a few tweaks here and there, the user interface remains largely the same, and the ebook reading experience that each offers is almost identical.

It’s when you start comparing them side-by-side that the differences start becoming more obvious. The Nook Tablet reacts faster in all regards. The menus load quicker, scrolling is more fluid, and all the tablet-related aspects are faster and smoother: games, videos, web browsing, even shopping the Nook store. There is no lagging whatsoever, even while running a live wallpaper for the background, something the Nook Color struggles with mightily.

I don’t really have anything bad to say about the Nook Tablet…yet. A lot of people are complaining about the 1GB of onboard memory allotted for non-B&N content, but the memory card slot adds an extra 32GB of removable storage so I’m not seeing the problem. Having a memory card slot is a huge bonus. I, for one, can’t wait for an Android 4.0 ROM for the Nook Tablet. That’s gonna be sweet.

If B&N closes the loophole that allows installing non-B&N apps, then I’ll start complaining. I don’t see them doing that, though, especially since the Kindle Fire allows outside apps too. Plus it benefits B&N by making their tablet more open to people who don’t want to have a tablet locked-in to one content source. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

I’ll post a full written review for the Nook Tablet next week, along with some comparison reviews. Subscribe to keep in the loop!

Nook Tablet Video Review

8 Responses to “Nook Tablet Video Review and First Impressions”

  1. Thanks for the impressions. Just two things. First, the *default* setting for the nook tablet is 3GB OS, 12GB B&N content, and 1GB for sideloaded material. However, if you take the tablet (or the nook color for that matter) to a B&N store, they can repartition right there with a special SD card to your desired specifications. So you could, for example, have 3GB OS, 3GB B&N content, and 9GB sideloaded content. I’m just not sure why they don’t make that fact more known.

    Also, since you already own a rooted nook color, how does it compare to the nook tablet. Is the tablet worth the extra $100 over a CM7 nook color?

    • As far as comparing the NC with the NT, the value of the upgrade depends on how you use it. For ereading, no, it’s not worth it. For gaming and video the upgrade it is worth it for some, probably not everybody.

  2. As far as video is concerned, does an overclocked NC play 720p mkv files well? Or would I have to convert them to mp4? Most of my movies and TV shows are in said format, some with subtitles, so conversion would be a pain. And apparently the NT does play even 1080p according to B&N. What has your experience been Nathan?

    • I’m more of an ereader expert, not so much with videos. I just mostly stream videos. I tried mkv test videos on the NC last year and they worked well.

  3. hey there jxk, it appears that there may be some disagreement going on regarding the claim about them being able to re partition the NT here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=19525717

    care to make a response?

  4. It seems that a 16year old codenamed “Indirect” just rooted the Nook Tablet! Now we have to just wait for development of ROMs. Nathan what do you think? here follow this link

    http://tabletroms.com/index.php/2011/11/20/interview-of-nick-wells-aka-indirect-16-year-old-nook-tablet-hacker/

  5. The rooting news is crap since the real priority is finding away around the locked bootloader.

  6. I too have more experience with the dedicated ereaders. I’m interested to know how you think the Nook Tablet ereader functionality compares to your experience with the nook dedicated ereader? Do you feel that there is some sacrifice in dedicated ereader strengths in order to transition to a Tablet, or would you say that you actually need both?