It has been a while since we last talked about Barnes & Nobles’s two reader devices, the Nook Color and Nook Tablet. Despite being designed as readers, both devices function quite well as tablets, which is what caused B&N to add “Tablet” to the name of the second device. Part of the reason they have been so popular as tablets is that they are sold fairly cheaply, as the original Nook Color debuted at $249 long before the advent of $199 tablets, and the 8GB Nook Tablet with improved hardware dropped to $199 in the face of tablets like the Kindle Fire.
Now, Barnes & Noble has decided to further lower the price of their devices, presumably as a reaction to better 7-inch $199 tablets like the Nexus 7. First off, the Nook Color has been dropped to $149, which still gets you a 1GHz single-core processor, 7-inch 1024 x 600 IPS display, and the important SD card slot that even the Nexus 7 lacks. The Nook Tablet now costs only $179 for the 8GB version, which comes with a dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and is otherwise quite similar to the Nook Color, and $199 for the 16GB version which gets 1GB of RAM in addition to the extra storage space.
The original Nook Color has been on sale for around $100 before, making it a bit less of a deal. However, for $179 or even $199, the Nook Tablet is a very nice piece of hardware. It may not have the quad-core processor, camera, or higher resolution display of the Nexus 7, but the dual-core CPU should still be quite good, and the microSD slot may be enough to sway some buyers. Additionally, the development community around both devices are quite large, so there are actually plenty of ROMs to choose from based on everything from Android 2.3 to Android 4.1. So, for those in search of a cheap tablet with a great screen who don’t want the Nexus 7 for one reason or another, the Nook Color and Nook Tablet have just become much more viable options.