Photo: Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD+ is the 9-inch sibling to the 7-inch Nook HD tablet.The only difference between the two is size–they both run skinned versions of Google’s Android OS built around reading and media consumption and both devices are aimed at being suitable email and web browsing devices.
The Nook HD+ starts at $269.
The tablet has a beautiful 9-inch HD display. Text is crisp, and video looks great.
This is obviously important in a device so focused around consumption instead of productivity. Rest easy in knowing that your media will pop.
Hardware and Design
Every time I looked at the tablet, I cringed at the sight of the hole in the bottom-left corner. What is that thing? Does the Nook go on my keychain? And the bezel has an awkward fifth side to allow for this mystery hole. That’s right, a four-sided display with a five-sided bezel. I really didn’t like this.
Glaring design objection aside, I found the tablet to be mostly on par with the Nook HD, which felt solidly constructed and comfortable to hold.
Those wanting a cellular data option are out of luck. The Nook HD+ is strictly WiFi-only. The only choice you have to make is the one between 16 GB or 32 GB of storage.
Barnes & Noble cooked up its own custom build of Android to power the Nook HD+. It came together nicely, being intuitive to navigate and easy to use.
The multi-user system will be perfect for families sharing a device, with each person being able to set up his own profile and save his settings without affecting any other user.
The “Your Nook Today” feature is pretty handy for people always on the hunt for cool new stuff to read. It’s a recommendation engine that suggests new books based on what you’ve already read or what you’re interested in. These are obviously readily available for purchase from Barnes & Noble.
The Nook HD+ has plenty of third-party apps, but still nowhere near as many as the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Developers have to submit their apps separately to Barnes & Noble, adding an extra step on their end, so there’s often not enough motivation to do so. This hasn’t stopped the big brand-name developers from bringing their more notable apps and utilities to the tablet, such as Angry Birds Space, Hulu, or Evernote.
As mentioned, I want there to be more apps to choose from. If you need a tablet where app usage is your main focus, get an iPad or other Android tablet instead.
And I want to remind you again–the Nook HD+ has that ridiculous keychain hole. Who is this for?
Should you buy it?
No. The 7-inch Nook HD is not only cheaper, but it’s also prettier and just as easy to use. The 9-inch Nook HD+ is supposed Barnes & Noble’s “deluxe” e-reader, but it feels weird and wonky.
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