NOOK Tablet

Barnes & Noble fires back at Microsoft, calls for investigation

At least one manufacturer isn't kowtowing to Microsoft's Android licensing push: Barnes & Noble is actively fighting Microsoft's patent litigation in court. As an added bonus, the bookseller has urged US regulators to investigate Microsoft's patents and the claims therein. B&N asserts that Microsoft is trying to drive up the price of the Android devices it competes with, thereby making its own Windows Phone 7 more attractive to manufacturers and consumers.

Japanese retailer Rakuten buys Kobo for $315 million

E-reader dark horse Kobo has a new master: Japanese mega-retailer Rakuten. The company bought the e-reader manufacturer for $315 million, with most of it going to majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, from Canada. The backing of a powerful retailer should help the relatively small company compete better with the likes of Barnes & Noble and Amazon in the e-reader/tablet marketplace. Like its competitors, Kobo sells ebooks on Android, iOS and its own line of e-readers.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet hands-on roundup

We don't have a catchy name like the Fire to have a play on words, but it doesn't need to as the new Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet aims to do all the talking itself and start its own fire. Today at the NYC event B&N unveiled their newest 7" Android tablet, some might still want to call it an e-reader although its more of a consumption device and tablet than anything. This tablet tablet comes rocking a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor to help it become much more than just an e-reader. We have some hands-on impressions below

NOOK Color officially drops to $199, goes head to head with Kindle Fire

Just like the leaked internal deck predicted, the venerable Nook Color is getting a price drop now that the Nook Tablet is official. The original will cost just $199, going head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire while the Nook Tablet competes with some superior specs at $249. The price has already dropped on Barnes & Noble's NOOK website. Also included is a major update to the Nook Color software, which is still getting some impressive support a year after its initial release. Netflix support is coming in the next firmware update, with Hulu Plus support scheduled in the next few months - both of which the Kindle Fire lacks, relying instead on Amazon Instant Video.  The ebook and app libraries already on offer will be streamlined with new interfaces and social suggestions. At this point, the two bookselling giants have products that directly compete at the $200 level, while Amazon dips below $100 with the ad-based Kindle and Barnes & Noble taking the high road with the Nook Tablet. All the models of the Nook, including the Nook SimpleTouch at a reduced $99, run modified versions of Android, making them prime targets for enthusiastic modders and ROM developers. At $199 for a light tablet with an IPS screen, the Nook Color is still a pretty good deal - unless you're already set on Amazon's universe of content and apps.

Nook Color dropping to $199 soon, getting Hulu Plus support

The new Nook Tablet wasn't the only thing recently leaked by Barnes & Noble. When the Tablet replaces the original Nook Color at its $249 price point, the Nook Color will drop down to $199 permanently, giving the company a model that directly competes with the upcoming Kindle Fire at exactly the same price. The Nook Tablet will be released on November 16th, which is presumably when the Nook Color will receive its price drop. It might also be reduced right after the official announcement on November 7th. It will also be getting a new software update, including Hulu Plus access.
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