Technologizer

It’s Official: Nook Tablets Are Now Ridiculously Cheap

Barnes & Noble extends the dirt-cheap deals it offered for Father's Day.

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Once upon a time, Amazon’s Kindles and Barnes & Noble’s Nooks were very similar content-consumption tablets at very similar price points. No longer. In May, Barnes & Noble rolled out a software update that allows Nook HD and HD+ users to use Google’s standard Android apps and buy new software and content from the Google Play store, knocking down the walled garden that forced you to buy books, magazines and other content from B&N.

And now the bookselling behemoth is extending a Father’s Day special — it’s still a “limited time” offer, though with no specified end — that leaves the Nook HD and HD+ with prices that are ridiculously cheap even for cheap tablets. The 7-inch Nook HD, normally $199, is now $129; the 9-inch Nook HD+ has plummeted from $269 to $149.

By contrast, Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire HD is $199 and its 8.9-inch model is $269. (It does have a basic model, the Kindle Fire, for $159.) These models are no longer exact counterparts to B&N’s Nooks: for instance, the Nook HD+ is lighter than the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch, but doesn’t have a camera. But when it comes to raw bang for the buck, the Nooks trounce Amazon and everyone else.

Why is Barnes & Noble selling Nooks at prices that surely don’t leave room for a profit margin, and might involve a loss on every sale? Lots of folks are assuming that it has something to do with the rumors from February that the company might pull back on hardware in favor of selling content for other companies’ gadgets, and therefore wonder if it’s holding a fire sale so it can exit the tablet market. Could be. But it’s also possible that B&N is trying to clear out its stock because it has new models in the works.

In either case, I don’t think people who buy a Nook HD or Nook HD+ are going to end up with a doorstop. Now that the tablets work with Google Play services, they’ll be useful no matter what Barnes & Noble ends up doing.

When people ask me which tablet to buy, I have a bunch of different recommendations depending on the situation, including Kindles, iPads, Google’s Nexus 7 and others. But as long as these deals last, the Nooks have an important niche to themselves: they’re the cheapest good tablets on the market, and by a considerable margin.

26 comments
NikatoMuirhead
NikatoMuirhead

if it had a camera I would have bought it even at the previous higher price. 

rtprobst
rtprobst

I bought it for my wife and rooted it with android 4.2.2

Nice tablet for the money.  I didn't buy it as a camera--I am not going to Skype with the tablet.  But photos transfer to its High Def Screen nicely.  You can work on email and documents and read and play games. 

CilantroPlease
CilantroPlease

@mrbomb13It is ridiculously cheap...for a tablet. This has been specified in the article. : ) 

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

This article should have been titled, "It's Official:  TIME Magazine Is Too Comfortable In Its Smugness."

In what world do you live where a $130+ item is labeled as, "ridiculously cheap??"

There are a good number of us in this economy who cannot so easily afford such items...

ryssgarden
ryssgarden

I have had one of the B&W Nooks for several years. It was just fine for the very limited functionality that I knew it had. But for about the same price I paid for that less than two years ago, I just bought a Nook HD+. I am very satisfied. It compares very well to the Asus Android tablet my son recently paid $400 for.  And since the Nook supports most Android apps, I have installed the Kindle app, so I can take advantage of some of the titles and bargains available only thru Amazon.

kuei12
kuei12

They are ridiculously cheap because they are obsolete. In fact, they were obsolete 6 months after they came out. iPads, and the like, do EVERYTHING Nooks do and more. Whoever bought these must have a large collection of laser disks at home.

StephenThomas
StephenThomas

I bought the first Nook Color.  It's my fault, but I won't repeat that mistake again.  Go with a Samsung Note.

KarmJ
KarmJ

NBAN - Never buy a Nook.  Go right to the source and buy a Nexus 7 for $179-199.  It'll be ready for you to do with it what you will.

WillnAtlanta
WillnAtlanta

If publishers and booksellers had any business sense, they would make tablets available at a nominal price like ten bucks, which would lead to one in every household.  That would mean a steep increase in downloadable books sales.   Doesn't take a rocket scientist; well maybe it does...

rmhall9
rmhall9

How much did this article cost Barnes & Noble?

chooterboo
chooterboo

I've had mine for over a year, and I love it! I had the Nook Color before that, and used it for years. Now I passed it on to a 9 year old boy to use it to read... and he's not exactly gentle with it, but it still works! Never had a flickering screen problem with either, as one person mentioned. If you don't have one, then your opinion is invalid. 

lorraine.kleinwaks
lorraine.kleinwaks

Just bought the Nook HD+ tablet at the wonderfully low Father's Day price!  I had not expected to enjoy it so much, but it is fantastic.  Scrolling down for news is so much faster, so much more efficient, so much more enjoyable than on my laptop.  It's also terrific for watching Netflix.  I bought it for those two purposes -- reading newspapers and Netflix and wholeheartedly recommend.  

surferofsin
surferofsin

had one it lasted a year and died ....B&N solution buy a new nook...no thanks got a Samsung and it is still going strong...the Nook is Junk


Timemanship
Timemanship

I've never been convinced of Nooks. Every one that I have ever tried out in the store has either frozen or suffered from uber-flickering screen. That would drive me nuts, even if it were ten dollars.

brooklynite4321
brooklynite4321

I just bought a Nook HD, and it's really a quite good. The display is excellent, connectivity is strong, Google Play is getting better all the time. For $130 (8 GB) it's exactly what I wanted. No joke.

AMMH
AMMH

@kuei12 Have you even looked at the new Devices? They are VERY similar to high end tablets minus the camera. Your comment tells me you know very little about these devices

weffie
weffie

@kuei12 

Which $150 9 inch IPad are you referring to?

AMMH
AMMH

@StephenThomas The Nook color was only an ereader. It was not designed to be a tablet. It just had some extra bells and whistles added to the ereader. 

You need to do some research before buying things. The Nook Color was never meant to be a "Tablet" This is why they advertised it as an ereader.

The first true tablets they really marketed as tablets are the Nook HD and Nook HD+

cwkimbro
cwkimbro

@StephenThomas  This isn't a good comparison at all. I had the Nook Color, which was only marketed as a color E-Reader and not a tablet, and I just got the Nook HD+. It is a night and day difference! The Nook HD+ actually functions smoothly as a tablet, has a great screen, and access to all the android apps on Google Play. It works like a tablet.

The only caveat I see... is you give up a camera, GPS, and Gyroscope. However, you get just about everything else a common tablet has for far less. The question for buyers should be... how much do you need your tablet to have a camera, GPS, or gyroscope for what you want to use your tablet for. The answers will vary. 

My dad has the new Kindle Fire... The Nook HD+ is better in every way, except the Fire has a camera! Mostly it is because the Nook HD has no adds and the Google Play Store gives you access to more content and apps. (however, if you are an amazon prime customer, you might want to skip the Nook HD and stick with the Fire for book rentals and streaming video)

robertlowe1000
robertlowe1000

IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS THE NOOK IS GOING TO BE EXTINCT  VERY SOON AND B&N ANNOUNCED THEY ARE DROPPING SUPPORT OF THE DEVICE

I bought one but ended up returning it.  The screen is great. No doubt about it, BUT everything else is not so hot. It's not user-friendly and the operating system is very limited...  such as  you can't create folders to organize your stuff. Well, you can CREATE them, but the Nook doesn't DISPLAY them. This has been problem for a while and they still haven't fixed it.  There are some other issues as well.  Also, if you are buying it for books, B&N book downloads are priced as much as paperback versions.

TimLiao
TimLiao

@WillnAtlanta Wrong. They would just use the browser to surf the web and download free apps. How does that benefit the publishers and booksellers giving them away for $10

sallysmith435
sallysmith435

@lorraine.kleinwaks :  I bought a nook hd+ for $179.  and found while it was good for looking at images, it stalled too often, especially on content - rich pages like Huffington Post, and even using Yahoo! mail was a pain, difficult, and time-consuming as it stalled too.  It works of in the store, but once you are using wifi it seems difficult to navigate the web.  Now when trying it in the store, internet searching isn't even an option; it just works for navigating Barnes & Nobles' Store, not the internet.

weffie
weffie

@kuei12 

The Nexus 10 is $399; the IPad $390.

The Nook HD+ at $150 is an amazing price, and with Google Play compatibility it's hardly obsolete. You could buy two, play Frisbee with one and have $90 to spare.

It's not as responsive as my Nexus 7, but the large screen makes for great viewing.

cwkimbro
cwkimbro

@robertlowe1000  Good point, but if anyone is reading this because they were interested in the HD+ the additional to the Google Play store makes a difference.

You can download dozens of different well made "launchers" that can take the place of the home screen. Some display apps better, allow for folders, etc... It will give you the functionality a typical android tablet has.

TimLiao
TimLiao

@WillnAtlanta The only way they can make your model work is to give away the tablets like you say for nominal cost but unlike your method what they need to make it work is obligate the users to a contract like a two year contract where they would pay like $15 and get two free downloadable books a month or something like that. But if someone cancels the contract they would be charged a penalty of something like $200. That is only way. Otherwise how do you guarantee people who got the tablets for like $10 or even free would still buy content from Barnes and Nobles?