In the eyes of many, the Kindle Fire didn’t have much of a chance of competing with Apple’s technically superior iPad tablet. That remains to be seen in the longer term, of course, but for now it’s all just speculation. Regardless, this shifts the focus of people watching for active competition to the Kindle vs Nook battle. They have been ongoing rivals in the eReader world, of course, and now they both offer budget priced tablets that will do a lot more than help you read.
On paper the Nook Tablet is quite possibly the better device. It has the same processing power, more RAM, and most importantly twice the local storage of the Kindle Fire. This last alone was enough to get many people to declare it a clear winner before either device hit shelves. Now that we can use them both side by side, the situation has drastically changed.
The Nook Tablet, despite having 16GB of storage space (~12GB available to users), severely restricts what users are able to do with that space. To such a degree that the idea of purchasing the device as a video player without the intention of rooting it is fairly laughable. Users will find that Barnes & Noble has chosen to allow a mere 1GB of storage for the loading of outside content. While the remainder can be filled by anything B&N sells, the fact of the matter is that right now they don’t offer nearly enough content to justify the choice.
There is not, for example, a video store for the Nook Tablet. Neither is there an MP3 service. You can, of course, access services like Netflix or Pandora for all your media consumption needs, but should you desire to watch or listen to things that you yourself own already then chances are good there is a problem. Basically the only thing available in any quantity besides apps, and the scarcity of Nook apps is another complaint to address at another time, is reading material. It simply does not justify this.
While I think that anybody would agree that the Kindle Fire‘s 8GB on-board storage is one of its weak points, Amazon at least manages to expand your options. Sure you might have trouble loading everything that you want onto the device at once, but you can always stream it or store in their provided cloud storage until it is needed. This is in addition to also offering equally functional access to Netflix, Pandora, and basically everything else that the Nook Tablet is using to make up for its lack of media store integration.
What probably should have been a clear win for B&N has turned their device into a joke for many prospective buyers. We can hope that as time goes on this will be changed via a software update of some sort since the Nook Tablet is honestly a decent piece of hardware for just $250. It is ridiculous that to get any decent amount of storage space a new user should feel compelled to purchase a memory card when the drive is just sitting there more than half empty.