It seems like every other day there's another incredible tablet
deal, but trust me when I say this is the most incredible tablet
deal I've seen in 2013--maybe ever.
These are new units, not the refurbished ones you'd expect at
such discounted prices. What's more, they're among the top-rated
tablets in their class, with ultra-high-resolution screens and a
few features you won't find in competing models from Amazon and
In case you're not familiar with them, the Nooks run a
specialized version of the Android operating system, one that's
custom-tailored to Barnes & Noble's media store. That was
always something of a sore spot for me, as that store had a
somewhat limited selection of movies, music, and especially apps.
(Plenty of books, though, as you might expect!)
But thanks to a recent update, the Nook tablets now include
full access to the Google Play store, meaning you can enjoy a much
broader range of apps and other goodies.
That's a key advantage for anyone concerned that B&N; might
exit the tablet business, a rumor that's been floating around for
awhile. Even if that happens, you'll still be able to use the Nook
for anything and everything. No harm, no foul.
Ah, but which Nook to get? Obviously the 7-inch Nook HD is
incredibly attractive at $129, but I think the real steal here is
the 8.9-inch Nook HD+ for $149. There's simply no better tablet
deal to be had anywhere, period. Amazon's similarly sized Kindle
Fire HD 8.9 sells for $269 -- and doesn't have the Nook's expansion
slot for adding more storage. (On the flipside, the Kindle has a
front-facing camera, whereas the Nook does not.)
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My suggestion, crazy though it may sound: Get both. Use the
larger one around the house and the smaller one when you're out and
about. These are fantastic tablets at fantastic prices, though I'm
not sure how much longer B&N; will be offering this deal--so
don't wait too long to pull the trigger.Veteran technology writer Rick Broida
is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his
money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC
World and Wired.