The Nook Tablet – somewhat of a misnomer

Barnes and Noble announced their new Nook Tablet this week. A friend of mine mentioned to me soon after we saw the announcement that it has email which was a “glaring omission” from the Kindle Fire. That made me realize that the general view of the Kindle family is still very skewed and very misunderstood.

This can never be said too much – the Kindle Fire was never intended to be a general purpose tablet at all. The Kindle Fire is all about Amazon Prime content – not anything else. There was mention made of an app store of sorts for the Fire, but having not played with it yet, I can’t comment on the extent of the apps that will be available. The Amazon specific fork that runs on the Kindle Fire is restrictive which sounds like only certain apps will be allowed or available. That remains to be seen.

As with the Kindle Fire, the Nook Color is still a restricted Android adaptation which means that certain other apps will be allowed – inclusive of email and streaming from Netflix and Hulu

Plus, for example. Clearly the Nook Tablet is being positioned to compete directly with the Kindle Fire with added incentives.

Among those incentives is the notion that the Kindle family don’t have enough memory and no opportunity to expand the limited memory they do have. The Nook has a new processor, more on-board memory and storage and still includes a microSD expansion slot which allows you to add even more space to your Nook. For a tablet computer, onboard memory and storage is definitely a necessity. However, when all the content you’ll ever need is already in the cloud – as it is with the Kindle Fire – then storage is not as important to have. Amazon is betting on being able to provide you with all the content you need served up via the Kindle Fire from the servers.

The techies speak fondly of being able to “root” and Android device – which is all fine and good for those techies among us. It might or might not work for the Kindle Fire and it has been down with the Nook Color before now and might be just as possible to do with the Nook Tablet. I won’t even try to talk about what “rooting” means here – it is beyond our scope of interest here at I will go as far as to say that it’s is a complicated process of allowing you to almost anything you want with your Android device – similar to “Jail-breaking” a iOS device.

At the end of the day, both the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire are simply highly evolved eReaders. A tablet computer implies that the user will be able to perform computing tasks as if they were on a computer. Neither the Nook or the Fire is designed to do much more than deliver tailored content.

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