Barnes & Noble Nook HD vs Nexus 7
We see whether the Nook HD can offer a more compelling package than Google's Nexus 7
Can Barnes & Noble’s branded Nook HD tablet win users away from the popular Nexus 7?
Barnes & Noble Nook HD – 194.4x127.1x11mm, 315g
Nexus 7 - 198.5x120x10.5mm, 340g
Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD is possibly one of the weirdest looking tablets we’ve ever seen. We’re often quite critical of tablets following fairly generic form factor, but at the same time the fact is that there’s only so much variation you can get out of the concept – it’s a fine line and we're a hard bunch to please.
However, while we’d applaud B&N’s attempt to produce something a little different we guess this is a classic example of why most manufacturers tend to play it safe.
The shape is extremely soft with rounded edges and corners featuring a very pronounced curvature, the unibody wraps around the front of the device and is thicker along the longer edges.
It’s all made from a soft-touch plastic and the display is recessed slightly into the bodywork, there’s a recessed shape echoing this on the rear of the device and the whole thing has been designed to sit comfortable in the hand.
The build quality is very good, there’s little flex to the chassis.
- See how the Nook compares to the Amazon Kindle Fire HD
The Nexus 7 is much more conventional fare, although it does run into generic territory somewhat. However, it is more angular, lending it a less bubbly look and the longer edges actually have a thinner bezel which gives very clean, phone-like proportions.
As the device is made by Asus, the fit and finish is to a very high standard. There’s a metallic surround on the outer edge and the back panel is coated in textured rubber for better grip.
Our preference here is undoubtedly the Nexus 7.
Winner – Nexus 7
Both tablets have 7-inch IPS LCDs displays.
The Nexus 7 has a 1280x800 pixel resolution at 216 pixels-per-inch (ppi) while the Nook HD clocks in slightly higher at 1440x900 pixels and 243ppi.
While the difference of only 27ppi means there isn’t a huge disparity in terms of sharpness, the Nook HD does produce a brighter picture and has purer whites, which makes everything look much crispier.
The Nexus 7 still has an excellent screen, but the Nook HD’s is the better of the two.
Winner – Nook HD
The Nook HD comes in both 8GB and 16GB variants, both with microSD storage for cards up to 32GB.
Like Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, the Nook HD is primarily a content consumption device with more than a nod to cloud-based storage, however, unlike the Kindle Fire it has expandable storage too.
Google’s Nexus 7 has either 16GB or 32GB options but neither has card storage capability.
That means this is pretty much down to personal preference – do you prefer relying on the idea that your tablet has ample onboard storage for everything, or are you more in favour of having the option to boost things with cards if you need to?
Winner - Draw