Barnes & Noble brings Nook HD and HD+ tablets to UK

Just when we thought the budget tablet market couldn't get any more competitive in the UK, Barnes & Noble joins the throng with its Nook HD and HD+ tablets.

The company has certainly taken us all by surprise. But it's a surprise in a good way for us, the consumer. The more competition there is, the better chance there is of getting a good deal this Christmas for a Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 or even an iPad Mini (should that actually launch). The first two of those sell for around the same price as the cheaper Nook HD, so we're hoping for a few sweeteners come the Christmas run-up.

Christmas is roughly when these two new tablets will be making their debuts, with the first stock due on the high street from late November. When it does launch, you'll find that the Nook HD is a 7.7-inch tablet with 1,440x900 pixel resolution and run via a dual-core 1.3GHz processor. 8GB of storage is standard in the £159 entry-level model, but you can also treat yourself to 16GB of storage for £189.

Or you could really treat yourself with the Nook HD+. That has a 9.5-inch display with 1,920x1,280 pixel resolution and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. You'll need to find £229 for the 16GB model of that or £269 for the 32GB Nook HD+.

Android, as you might have guessed, is the operating system, specifically Ice Cream Sandwich and both models use a closed app store like Amazon, rather than Google Play. Also like Amazon, Barnes & Noble will be selling media via its tablet, as well as offering you streaming movies via Nook Video, which also launched yesterday. HBO, Sony, Warner Brothers, Viacom and Disney are signed up to provide the media, the pricing of which should be announced when the tablet hits the UK.

As for retailers, the likes of John Lewis, Argos, Blackwell's, Foyles, Currys, Dixons, Sainsbury's and Waitrose have all been mentioned.

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