Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet was released Wednesday, two days ahead of the planned release, according to reports.
Customers who pre-ordered the tablet will receive it by mail on Wednesday. The Nook Tablet is also available early in select retail outlets.
The Nook Tablet is Barnes & Noble's answer to Amazon's Kindle Fire and Apple's iPad.
Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet has a 7-inch display, a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage memory.
The tablet is the latest in an increasingly crowded marketplace, which includes several newly released tablets, leaving consumers with plenty of decisions to make before purchasing a device.
The iPad 2 is the largest of the top-selling devices and has a 9.7-inch display screen. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 has a slightly small 8.9-inch screen. The Kindle Fire and the new Nook Tablet both have 7-inch display screens.
All the devices, except the Kindle Fire, have 16 GB of device storage. The Kindle Fire has smaller storage to entice users to store data with Amazon's cloud service.
The new Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire and Samsung Galazy Tab 8.9 all use an Android operating system. Only the iPad 2 uses Apple's iOS 5.
It is unclear which device consumers will gravitate toward this shopping season.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the most inexpensive, retailing at just $199. The Nook Tablet costs slightly more at $249.
Apple’s iPad 2 is the most expensive tablet, costing between $499 and $699, depending on the storage size.
All of the devices boast plenty of apps to make it easy for customers to purchase magazines, books, music, and other entertainment items.
Each of the devices have full-color screens marking the next step in tablet offerings from the big manufacturers.
Retailers say the full-color screens will make watching programs and reading magazines more enjoyable.