Nook Tablet Vs. Kindle Fire: Specs, Price and Usability

In many ways, Barnes and Noble's new 7-inch Nook Tablet is pretty close to Amazon's Kindle Fire. But popular tech blog Gizmodo compared the specs, price tags and usability and there are slight differences.

For starters, the appearance of the new Nook versus the Kindle Fire is slightly dissimilar. For example, there is a .5-ounce weight difference. However, both tablets are much heavier than their e-ink eBook reader counterparts.

Another contrasting element of the two tablets is storage. The Nook tablet sports 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM compared to 8GB of storage and 512MB of RAM on the Kindle Fire.

It seems as though Amazon surpasses Barnes and Noble on a spec-only basis. However, since Amazon holds most of it’s perks in its cloud, which can be potentially inconvenient for long, Wi-Fi-less trips but the gap should be of no consequence when using the device around the house.

When it comes to analyzing RAM of both tablets, it can be misleading as well. The iPad 2 and iPhone 4S seem to get along just fine with the 512MB where there are 1GB Android phones and tablets have the potential for technical difficulties.

As for overall smoothness, the Nook Tablet’s performance wasn’t entirely promising. The custom-built UI was noticeably sluggish as was the web browser. However, Gizmodo reported that the media apps ran smoothly.

On the other hand, when tech bloggers took a first look at the Kindle Fire, the device revealed extremely fast and fluid performance despite the arguably weaker specs it has on paper.

It appears that the Amazon Kindle was built on cheaper hardware but incorporates technologies like Amazon's Silk Web browser to help the product run like a smooth machine with loads of strength.

Another major factor in comparing the two devices is battery life. Nook seems to beat Kindle in that department with a reported 11.5 hour of reading time and 9 hours of video compared to 8 hours of reading and 7.5 hours of streaming on Kindle Fire.

It is imperative for a user to remember that listed battery life and actual battery life are often worlds apart.

Finally, prospective tablet buyers debating the pros and cons of the Nook Tablet at $50 more than the Kindle Fire's $200 price tag need to consider quality of customer perks with both choices on the market. For example, preloaded Netflix apps come with the Nook Tablet while a free month of Amazon Prime comes with the purchase of Kindle Fire.