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Leaked: Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet release date, pricing and full specs!

Behold, the Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet. Faster, lighter and no longer just a mere e-reader, if the promo materials we've been slipped have anything to say about it.

Let's back up a second, though. Barnes and Noble is in a horse race with the likes of Amazon and its new Kindle Fire to stake claim to the more-than-an-e-reader/not-quite-a-tablet realm. And The Nook Color did wonders for that over the past year. It was a slightly pricey (but still excellent) e-reader at $249, and it quickly became an above average Android tablet thanks to the Android hacking community.

So where does the all-new Nook Tablet fit in, with its "No, we're not an e-reader name"? We've got full specs, launch information and details on what we expect to see at next week's announcement. Keep on reading.

The Nook Tablet hardware

Let's start with the obvious: Even in a photocopied black-and-white image, it looks like the Nook Color, no? And it retains many of the same features. Same retangular design, same rounded corners, same hook in the lower left. The display is unchanged as well -- a 7-inch VividView IPS display at 1024x600 resolution and 169 pixels per inch.

But inside. Man, this thing's been beefed up. Consider these features and specifications:

  • Dual core TI OMAP processor at 1.2GHz.
  • It's a tad thinner, at 0.48 inches (down from 0.5 inches).
  • Weight is down a bit, too, at 14.1 ounces (from 15.8 ounces), or 400 grams versus 448 grams.
  • It's now got 16GB of internal storage, plus it can take up to a 32GB microSD card.
  • Battery life is listed as "to be determined," but it looks like BN's expecting 8 hours with Wifi off, or 4 hours of video playback
  • Speaking of Wifi, it'll support 802.11 b/g/n, just like the Nook Color.

So we're expecting it to look and feel a lot like the Nook Color, just a little lighter -- and much faster.

But hardware is just half the game. Content is key here, especially since Barnes & Noble is off the Google grid, with its own app store, and of course books movies and music. And the Nook Tablet wil rock HD movies, TV shows and music, thanks to the likes of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora.

And as you'd expect, it's got an e-mail app, a web browser and lots of other applications. BN appears to be fearmongering just a bit here, saying that unlike Amazon's Kindle Fire, which will be routing your browsing through its servers to keep things speedy, you won't have any such privacy concerns with the Nook Tablet. That's a little tinfoil-hat-like for us, but we do see their point.

One thing that's not mentioned anywhere: The existance of Android. We're assuming it's still running Android, but there are no specs on that. And it makes sense. It's not running the same Android you'd run on your phone. It's totally custom, so whether it's running Froyo or Gingebread or whatever isn't really important.

Nook Tablet price and availability

So when can you get one? According to our slide deck, we'll see it announced on Monday in New York. Preorders will go live at that time, and it'll run $249, just like the current Nook Color. Demo units will arrive in stores on Nov. 15, and shipped units should arrive Nov. 16 -- that's one day after the Amazon Kindle Fire is slated to arrive. Interseting timing.

So that's that. A lighter, faster Nook Tablet -- no longer just an e-reader. Stay tuned Monday for the full announcement.

  • Love my original Nook Color. I'll be selling it and picking up the NC2 to replace it. I'm almost *positive* that it will be rooted within 24 hours of release. Here's hoping it retains the USB host ability of the original NC, and actually has the Bluetooth antenna connected this time. The NC can be hacked to enable the Bluetooth, but since there appears to be no antenna lead connected to the chip, its range blows. Less than 1 foot usually.
  • I wonder how different the software will be?.... And what about 3G? . . . And they just might put of a fight with the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus that the Fire won't have a launch...then again amazon has their own competing services.... ... Bottom line... Amazon will kill them this Holiday Season.
  • I disagree. B&N has already established themselves (in the e-reader/cheap Android tablet market) to have very good build quality, and a gorgeous screen. This thing will have 2x the internal capacity of the KF, and up to 32GB more, for a total of 6x more capacity. Since these are WiFi devices, and WiFi is not yet everywhere all the time, internal capacity matters. Also, the NC2 will be faster, with a dual-core 1.2 Ghz chip, vs. the dual core 1.0 Ghz in the KF, and the NC2 will have 1 GB of RAM, vs. the 512 MB in the KF. These two hardware improvements will mean the tablet will be viable to run newer versions of Android (nee XDA-devs) for quite some time. Sure, the NC2 will cost $50 more, but it also has an almost 100% chance to be fully rooted within 24 hours of release, to the joy of all the people like me who use it as a full tablet. The KF? Not so much.
  • It's getting good... either this or the G-Tab 7+
  • No cameras. Do I want this, a touchpad, or an archos 80 g9? decisions......decisions
  • Let's hope it is as easily rootable as the original.
  • Should be great upgrade from my original Nook
  • Nope. Bought a Nook Color... rooted it, etc... But the power cable has broken... twice... and Barnes and Noble not only hasn't addressed the problem, they charge an absolutely absurd amount of money ($15) for a replacement. Screw that. I've had to get 2 of them and now need a 3rd. If the design was strong enough, or the metal they used hard enough, this wouldn't be a problem. But since they won't stand behind their products, they can byte me.
  • My wife broke (she denies it) the power cable for her Nook Color. Charger was fine (worked with my cable). I went into a B&N store fully expecting to buy one but couldn't find them on the shelves. So I very politely asked the guy at the Nook booth about it. He opened a drawer and handed me a new one, saying, "That seems to happen, so we just give them away." Might want to check on that.
  • Before you start spouting about B&N not backing their product maybe you should have called their customer support. Our puppy chewed up my daughters cord the girl on the phone told me what I needed to say to have it replaced. Then when it didn't show up when they said it would I called them,they lost the tracking number, asked them how are they going to fix the problem for having to wait another week for an adapter? I told them the situation since my daughter was out of state for summer break and I needed it so I could send it to her with other things she forgot. 5 days later a brand new Nook Color. They went above and beyond. There is a one year warranty and they totally stand behind it.
  • I love my current NC running CyanogenMod. Content is key in battle with Kindle Fire. B&N needs to demonstrate they are up to Amazon challenge. The $50 price premium is a lot at this price level, so they've got to demonstrate to average customer that this is worth the premium. If the new Tablet is as easy to root as the NC, they may have another winner.
  • I agree, content will be key. The "as easy to root" matters a lot for most of us here, but in the overall sales picture I don't think it will make that much a difference. I think they are making a mistake by not at least matching the $199 price point. I honestly think they should have gone for around $10 to $20 less. Did no one learn anything from the touchpad? Well, we'll see when it comes out, maybe side-by-side it will look better. I had already pre-ordered a KF, but waiting to see what these look like..
  • For people saying this is a fork of Android: Linux doesn't have forks. It has distros. Linux Mint and Ubuntu aren't forks, they are different distributions of Linux. It's a distro when they all run the same kind of apps.
  • I love how the comparison charts imply: - the KF, despite same resolution, isn't "high-resolution" (listed on nooks, not on KF)
    - the KF doesn't come with a rechargeable battery
    - KF won't come with a "charger"
    - Amazon will be spying on you (well, ok, true, some concerns there)
    - the NCT has "unparallel recommendations"
  • They were just comparing the Fire press release.
    Of course it will have a battery and a charger cable, but it wasn't listed on the release.
    There are major privacy concerns, but likely most people will not care.
  • Will wait for the tech reviews after it comes out, but from the look of the specs, I think this is the game changer for me. I'll probably get a NCT after Christmas. Absence of cameras doesn't bother me since I've got good ones on my Motorola Atrix that meet all my needs.