US book retailing giant Barnes & Noble has refreshed its e-reader and tablet lines in attempt to keep pace with market-leaders Amazon and Apple.
The firm today unveiled the 7-inch NOOK HD e-reader and the 9-inch Android-based NOOK HD+ (pictured), with prices starting at US$199 and US$269, respectively. It notes that the latter is nearly half the cost of “the leading large-format tablet” – Apple’s iPad.
“We designed our larger format tablet NOOK HD+ because we think there’s big demand from customers for a super-light, extremely high quality 9-inch tablet, at half the price of the iPad,” said CEO William J. Lynch.
The NOOK HD – touted as rival to Amazon’s Kindle – claims to offer “the highest-resolution display ever” on a 7-inch tablet at 1440 x 900. It is powered by a dual-core 1.3GHz processor. The HD+ boasts a 1920 x 1280 display and uses a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.
In terms of content, Barnes & Noble says the NOOK Store now offers more than 3 million books and “significant new additions and advancements to the NOOK content ecosystem.”
Among the new features is a service called Profile enabling a “personalised experience,” allowing the devices to be safely shared between family members – for example by blocking certain content from child profiles.
Both devices will be available in the US and UK later this year.