The Nook HD starts at $199 (Photo : Barnes & Noble)
The Nook HD launched this fall in direct competition with the Kindle Fire HD, hoping to recapture an audience enthralled with Amazon's content ecosystem. However, while Barnes & Noble's latest effort has been applauded for its durable and comfortable design, techies criticize the e-reader for its lackluster processing power. Most critics suggest that the Nook HD is a good choice for families, but comes up short against the other heavy hitters in the industry, including the Nexus 7 and Fire HD.
TechRadar writes, "It's cheap and cheerful design and interface at a sub-£200 price tag would have blown us away a year ago, but such is the fast pace of the tablet market these days, the Nook has been left behind by superior competition. It does feel more rugged that the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD and iPad mini, meaning it could be the perfect family or kids' tablet."
CNET writes, "Nook HD is light, comfortable, great for pure books and magazine reading, and its scrapbook feature is well-implemented. Also, the movies that are available are the sharpest on any 7-incher, and games run fast. If you're looking for a full-on tablet experience, the Nexus 7 or (especially if you're an Amazon Prime member) Kindle Fire HD should be more to your liking."
The Verge writes, "From the slow UI to the poor gaming performance, this just isn't a fun device to use. I like reading on the Nook HD, and I like watching movies - most of that is due to the display, which really is best-in-class. Almost everything else feels like a chore, like I'm beta-testing a device that will someday have its kinks ironed out.
SlashGear writes, "When it comes down to what we want in a tablet this delivers in terms of hardware, but still fails just enough in the software and content to truly make it worthy of a full recommendation. While we love where the NOOK line is going - and hope it will get there - the Nexus 7, iPad mini, and Kindle Fire HD still offer more that make them an easier and better choice."
Barnes & Noble user Hkantz1781 applauds the Nook HD for the ability to "chat with my friends using great Apps, and update Evernote anywhere I go easily, and quickly. This is the best product Barnes and Noble has come out with. It's an amazing little tablet for the money. Thank you, Barnes and Noble, for making such a quality product."
Katluv7 labels the HD an "awesome upgrade to the other previous Nook editions. The screen is much clearer and crisp. The touch now responds right away (where as the Nook Color sometimes took 2 or 3 tries for the touch to respond). The Nook HD is much lighter than the Nook Color and Nook Tablet and so it goes everywhere with me. It is much faster and doesn't lag or take forever to respond. It is also much more fun to use."
Alan_C laments the lack of a helpful customer service team, and states: "I have a print subscription that gives me full access to the digital edition on the iPhone/iPad, Android, and even on the Blackberry. I called tech support for help and was told that, even though this is an Android device, the standard Android Apps have been disabled. I was told that I would have to buy a duplicate subscription through the B&N store if I want to read The Economist on my Nook. It seemed like an absurd statement, so I asked to speak with a supervisor. To my astonishment he made, with an apparently straight face, the same absurd statement"
An anonymous user calls the Nook HD a "lovely tablet, but the complete lack of ability to sideload apps (without huge effort involving development tools) makes me sad, as it means I will likely have to choose a different small tablet option in the future."