We supposed from the start that following the Amazon Kindle Fire HD announcement, Barnes & Noble would pull a move and launch a similar product… or two. There were speculations about Windows 8 being involved, but that’s not the case, as B & N just launched two new Nook models, the Nook HD 7 inch slate and the 9 inch Nook HD+, with prices starting at $200.
The 7 inch Nook HD costs $200 in the 8 GB version and $230 in the 16 GB one, while the 9 incher goes for $270 in the 16 GB version and $300 for the 32 GB one. Nook HD 7 inch supports a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels, while the HD+ offers a stunning 1920 x 1280 pixel res and both come with 1 GB of RAM and a TI OMAP 4470 processor at 1.3 and 1.5 GHz respectively. The two also share expandable memory, WiFi, Bluetooth, but no GPS or 3G/4G. These evolved e-readers will come with the brand new Nook Video Service, that allows you to buy or rent HD movies, much like Amazon.
The tablets feature Android 4.0 ICS as the OS of choice, but they rely on the Barnes & Noble app store for app downloads, instead of the Google Play Store. The OS here has been heavily tweaked, so there’s almost no trace of the Google involvement here. Nook also comes with parental control options, multiple user accounts and a homescreen that’s been dumbed down to show only the recently used apps, books, magazines and shortcuts. Preorders start today and shipping happens towards the end of October.