Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet?

NOOK Tablet Review

Compared to Kindle Fire and iPad2

Nook Tablet vs Kindle FIRE vs iPad 2

Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire vs iPad 2 Comparison

iPad Killer and FIRE extinguisher?

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is coming out on the 15th of November and Barnes & Noble just announced that their Nook Tablet is coming out on November 18th. When news on the Kindle Fire came out people asked if it was an iPad killer. Now that the Nook Tablet is coming out, people are asking if it is a FIRE extinguisher! With this Nook Tablet Review, that’ s exactly what we will try to answer!

Here are the main points we address with this Nook Tablet Review

Are the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet iPad Killers?

It’s one of those YES and NO answers! They are iPad killers, but then they are also not!

They ARE iPad killers because….

  1. They are a good $300 cheaper than the iPad 2 – For some people, that’s $300 extra cash in their pockets, for others it’s TWO Kindle Fires vs ONE iPad (for the wife, for the kids etc.), for others it’s a Kindle Fire + a Galaxy Nexus (as Don Nguyen mentioned on our Kindle Fire Review).
  2. Most of us don’t need a full fledged tablet computer with advanced business/financial features like the iPad – A large proportion of iPad buyers (as much as 80% of iPad buyers according to analysts) only use it for the functions that can also be done with the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. Prior to October 2011, the only option this category of buyers had was the $499 and above Apple iPad. But now, they have a $199 option that will do exactly what they want. So do you think iPad sales are going to get affected? So is the Kindle Fire an iPad killer?
  3. Many that didn’t dream of spending $500 are happy to spend $199 – A lot of people that never thought they’d spend $500+ on an Apple iPad are able to enjoy a multimedia tablet thanks to the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet! Did you know that ~15% Americans own an eReader and another 15% were planning to buy one according to a recent study? Now that the option of a multimedia ‘tablet’ in the form of an Amazon Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet is available for as little as $50 extra, what do you think this second 15% would do? Would they upgrade their E-ink Black & White eReader to a multimedia color tablet that will also do the job of a dedicated ebook reader? But they probably wouldn’t even consider the upgrade for a $350 more expensive iPad 2, would they?
  4. Most of us will be satisfied with the features and hardware specs/software on the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet  – Content and facilities offered (music, movies, ebooks, TV shows, games, email, fast web-browser, social networking, cloud storage, multimedia apps etc.) and most hardware specifications (wide-angle viewing, true wide-screen, resolution of display, multi-touch touch-screen, processor and RAM specs etc. ) are comparable in the eyes of most people! Sure the iPad2 has superior features which we discuss in the next section, but those probably won’t matter to most of us as mentioned earlier!

So what do you think? The King of tablets (25 million+ iPads sold to date) is challenged finally after all these years?

They are NOT iPad killers because….

Both the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet ‘lack’ certain major features available with the iPad 2

  • NO 3G with the Nook or Fire – though expensive (most basic model with 3G on iPad 2 is $629 + monthly 3G subscriptions) you have the 3G option with the iPad 2
  • NO GPS features – really handy because of the large screen; sometimes more useful than a regular GPS because you can move around, zoom in and out etc. using iPad’s touch screen. BTW, GPS is available only with the 3G iPad!
  • Smaller sized screen – 7″ diagonal vs 9.7″ diagonal
  • No cameras, No Bluetooth – thus no video chatting
  • Smaller on board storage – up to 64GB on the iPad 2, but then again this model is $829 with 3G
  • Less apps – 140,000 apps on the Apple app store and probably around 10% of that for the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

The Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire is not for you…

If you NEED features like 3G, maps/GPS, cameras for video chatting/complex business/financial apps and you can afford to spend that extra $430 (and the monthly subscriptions for 3G), neither the Nook Tablet nor the Kindle Fire will kindle your fire! Your best bet is the Apple iPad 2.

If you can’t do without these features, don’t even spend time scrolling down, just go here and learn more about the iPad 2

Who is the ultimate winner?

You and I, the consumer is the winner! We get better BANG for our BUCK! The Kindle eReaders started at $400 and are now  as cheap as $79 mainly thanks to the competition between Kindle and Nook and I think it’s correct to say that we are seeing the same scenario with these multimedia tablets as well.

Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire – is the Nook Tablet, a FIRE extinguisher?

The world would be such a lovely place if we always got concrete YES or NO answers to our questions. Just like everything else in life, there is no definite answer to the question “is the Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire better?” either. Again it’s a YES and NO!

At first glance, the NOOK tablet looks like a FIRE EATER!

That’s when you look at the HARDWARE features! The way we see it, any Nook Tablet Review should address all of the following 3 aspects before coming to a conclusion about whether the Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire is the winner!

3 CRUCIAL aspects to consider in the Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet Comparison



The Kindle Fire


The Nook


The Kindle Fire

Overall winner

For most of us, it will be the Kindle Fire, but for some of us it will be the Nook Tablet. Read on...

FIRE wins the PRICE battle – the difference may be BIGGER than you think!

Kindle Fire Final PriceThe Kindle Fire is priced at $199 and the Nook Tablet is priced at $249. However, there is MORE to the STORY!

The $199 of the Kindle Fire is your FINAL PRICE unless you happen to be a resident of the states Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington! However, if you’re a resident of any one of these 5 states, then the point I’m trying to make won’t be applicable to you.

Nook Tablet Final Price with TaxesThe Nook Tablet is $249, but that’s NOT the final price. As far as we know, Barnes & Noble collects sales tax from all states. I added it to my cart for fun (have no intention of buying a Nook Tablet – an iPad and a Kindle Fire is plenty :-) ) and together with the taxes, the final price was $264.56 making the difference of price $65.56 (will vary depending on the state). Don’t believe me? Take a look at these screenshots!

6 month financing offer for Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire 6 month financing offer

Credit: INC

What’s more, Amazon even gave me a 6 month financing offer! We have no idea if Amazon will offer it to you or not, but certainly worth a try! I’m sorry if it sounds like we’re BIASED, but our task is to properly inform you of the facts so that YOU can make the right decision. $$ certainly are an important consideration given the current global financial status!

To prove to you that we’re NOT biased, we dug and dug and dug and dug until we found this…

Save $25 off a Nook Tablet


This is once you become a paid Barnes&Noble member. However, please note that the above advertisement says $25 off NOOK Color and just $10 off any other NOOK. So we suggest you call B&N and learn if you’re getting $10 off or $25 off the Nook Tablet before pursuing!

Conclusion on the Price battle

Kindle Fire wins – in the services section, you will learn that the margin increases even more down the road!

The Nook Tablet wins the hardware battle!

Most hardware features are a tie between the two, but it wins it when it comes to memory (RAM) and on-device storage capacity!

  • Processor

  • Display

  • Resolution

  • Camera

  • Connectivity

  • Weight

  • Battery life

  • RAM

  • Internal Hard Drive

  • Expandable Memory

  • Microphone

  • Nook Tablet

  • 1GHz dual-core

  • 7" diagonal

  • 600 x 1,024 pixels with 169 pixels per inch (ppi)

  • NO

  • Wi Fi only

  • 14.1 ounces

  • 7.5 hours of video

  • 1 GB (or 1024 MB)

  • 16 GB - the following is quoted from the B&N NOOK Tablet product page "Approximately 13GB available to store content, of which up to 12GB may be reserved for content purchased from the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store"

    What does this mean? ONLY 1GB of your non-B&N content is allowed?

  • Up to 32 GB MicroSD card ($36 up)

  • YES

  • Kindle Fire

  • 1GHz dual-core

  • 7" diagonal

  • 600 x 1,024 pixels with 169 ppi

  • NO

  • Wi Fi only

  • 14.6 ounces

  • 9 hours of video

  • 512 MB

  • 8 GB

  • NO

  • NO

  • Apple iPad 2

  • 1GHz dual-core

  • 9.7" diagonal

  • 600 x 1,024 pixels with 132 ppi

    • Front camera - 0.3 MP
    • Rear camera - 0.7 MP
  • Wi Fi + optional 3G

  • 21.28 ounces

  • 10 hours mixed use

  • 512 MB

  • 16 - 64 GB

  • NO

  • YES

As you can see, with the last 4 hardware features, the Nook Tablet wins the hardware battle! So something you need to consider is “Are these extra hardware features worth the extra $50 (or $65 after tax) to you?”. NOTE that expandable memory works only if you buy a microSD card which costs anywhere from $36 upwards. And now the difference between the Kindle Fire and Nook Touch is suddenly over $100!

Would the extra hardware features of the Nook Tablet make a difference to you?

It certainly would to some people, but we believe that category is the minority! Here’s why!

  1. There is no denying that 1 GB of RAM is better than 512 MB of RAM. But then the question is do YOU need that extra RAM for the tasks YOU WILL be using your tablet for? I’m NOT a computer geek and I don’t pretend to know all. But common sense tells me that the main function/task that will use up considerable RAM would be games and may be certain other android apps. Regular web browsing, reading an ebook or watching/downloading a movie etc. won’t suck up a whole lot of RAM.  OK but what if you were planning on playing a ton of games? Well… all I’m going to ask you is “isn’t the iPad 2 capable of running all sorts of games with ‘just’ 512 MB”? Again, in full disclosure, 1 GB RAM is better than 512 MB, the question is “is it worth that extra $65 depending on what you’re planning on using it for?” Please comment below and let us know if you think otherwise!
  2. The Extra Storage – Definitely a plus point. But as pointed out above, the 32 microSD card doesn’t come free. Takes the total investment close to the $300 mark. Not sure if you’d want that. Besides, both Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire come with backups in their respective clouds. So storage only becomes an issue if you’re planning on being ‘offline’ (with no access to a Wi-Fi network) for prolonged periods. According to Amazon, their on-device 8GB would hold “80 apps plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books”.
  3. The microphone – the idea is for parents to record narrations of storybooks and then for the kids to be able to play it by themselves and listen to it. So you could basically read a story just once, record it on the Nook Tablet and be off the hook? Second time they want to hear it, playback the recording! Again, could be a useful feature if using it for kids is one of the reasons you wanted one.

Conclusion on hardware

Nook Tablet beats the Kindle Fire on several features. The ice breaker is “Are you going to make use of the extra hardware features and are they worth the extra $$ you have to spend?”

“Services” offered – The Kindle Fire wins?

Finally something that you and I will NOT disagree on. Data is KING! Neither the Kindle Fire nor the Nook Tablet is any good without content. Content may be eBooks, music, TV shows, movies, games etc. etc. Who gives you better content that YOU want at a better price? We believe it’s Amazon for most of us, but all of us are different. We are made up of different DNA and different proteins, hence what we expect from our tablets will also be different!

  1. NetFlix, Hulu Plus etc. apps – a lot of people are excited that these apps are available with both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet. But what they should also realize is that they don’t come free with either Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet. I saw one guy comment on a blog saying “Now that the Nook Tablet has Netflix, I can save on my monthly subscription” WRONG! These apps make it possible for you to download/stream movies/TV shows on the Fire/Nook, but access to the services don’t come free! The regular $7.99/month subscriptions will be needed once the free trials are over. And that amounts to approximately $96/year for just one of these subscriptions. So basically, with the Nook Tablet, if you’re planning on watching TV shows, movies etc. you have to subscribe to one of these two given that Barnes and Noble doesn’t have a ‘video store’ like Amazon.
  2. What if you get Amazon Prime membership for $79/year on the Kindle Fire instead of Netflix? In addition to “access to Prime Instant Video with 13,000 movies and TV shows available for unlimited streaming“, you also get “unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items” and “access to thousands of books to borrow for free, one per month, through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library“. Assuming that the average price of these Kindle Books would be $10, that’s $120 in savings/year and pays for your Prime membership by itself. Barnes and Noble also has a similar membership program that offers free shipping…. on books! Books are not the only things you buy from Amazon and therefore you get free shipping on! Thus Amazon and Kindle Fire definitely seems to have an advantage here!
  3. Amazon silk cloud-accelerated split-browser – what the …? This is something that nobody else (B&N, Apple or anybody else) is offering right now. Here’s what it is. When you surf the Web, a variety of page elements (text, photos, logos, videos, ads, etc.) have to be downloaded to your computer/smart phone/tablet computer from dozens of different sources simultaneously. Now this is something that requires quite a bit of processing power and a good wireless internet connection. Those of us that use smart phones know that loading of web pages is not always smooth and rocket fast (even the iPad 2 is relatively slow) compared to a regular desktop/laptop. This is where Amazon Silk does magic! In case you didn’t know, Amazon has one of the most robust (if not the MOST robust) cloud storage systems in the world. What’s going to happen is, the processing power needed to load a webpage is going to be split between the Kindle Fire and the cloud. Thus much less on-device resources will be used up for web browsing leaving them available for apps, movies, games or whatever you’re using it for at that moment… according to Amazon. Many analysts are of the view that this feature alone makes the Kindle Fire the winner. However, it would be interesting to find out if it actually is as good as it sounds on paper!
  4. Apps – we don’t know who’s offering the better app store for sure yet! What we do know is that both these gadgets offer apps for popular  services like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, angry bird and thousands more.

Convinced that the Kindle Fire will Kindle your Fire?

Order Kindle Fire

Pre-order your Kindle Fire and make sure it is shipped to you as soon as they’re available on the November 15th!

amazon kindle fire review

Amazon Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet vs Apple iPad 2 – the Bottom Line

  1. For the majority of us, the Kindle Fire is better suited given the cash savings (at the time of purchase and down the road) and better services offered by Amazon – to summarize what was already mentioned, your total savings are actually MORE than $50 with the Kindle FIRE when you consider the state taxes. And if you add up the subscription of Netflix/Hulu vs Amazon Prime, the savings on the Kindle FIRE go up even further. Don’t forget all those savings from free 2-day shipping, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library etc. as well. Click Here to get all the fine details of the Kindle Fire here.
  2. For some of us, the Nook Tablet will be better suited – those who would make use of the extra 512 MB of RAM (gamers etc.); those who want to read story books and record them for their kids; those who visit the local B&N store often; those who go on long flights often and want to store more than 10 movies at a time etc. Click Here for the fine details on the Nook Tablet
  3. For some of us, the iPad 2 will be better suited given its 3G, GPS, camera, bluetooth features etc.
More information on the Nook Tablet



Leave A Reply (6 comments So Far)

+ 7 = eleven

  1. Lisa
    587 days ago

    Thanks for the review! I just received a Nook tablet for Christmas and I’d like to know what yiu guys think about the ‘cost of ownership’ between the two devices. With the nook there are only a few free apps and it seems that I can’t even get my public library app on the nook. This means that I have to pay for each and every piece on content for the nook since it’s exclusive to b&n. How is it with the kindle fire?

  2. Kristofer
    635 days ago

    Major follower with this site, several your blog posts have definitely helped me out. Looking forward to updates!

    • bereview
      634 days ago

      Thanks, was working on some videos today, will upload them soon

  3. Madelaine Faelnar
    636 days ago

    Whew! tnx for the review! I’m in for the Nook Tablet. I’ve got lots of e-books, videos, music & pictures.. I can store it all in my NOOK. The KINDLE can’t do that.. ;)

    • bereview
      636 days ago

      The Kindle CAN backup everything in their cloud (as can the Nook) and you can download them whenever you want. But as we said, depending on your personal needs, either the Nook or the Kindle can suit you better! Good luck!

  4. deann
    637 days ago

    Thanks so much for the review! I am trying to decide which to get my husband for christmas, and this helped make up my mind.