As if choosing a 7" tablet wasn't hard enough already, Barnes and Noble have announced that they are bringing their Nook range to the UK, including a range of 7" and 8.9" Android based tablets priced to undercut the class-leading Nexus 7.
The Nook range for the UK will consist of their eInk based Simple Touch (£79) and Simple Touch Glowlight (£109) models, the 7" Nook HD in 8GB (£159) and 16GB (£189) flavours and a 9" Nook HD+ 16GB (£229) or 32GB (£269). The Nook HD will be available in either 'snow' (white, yay) or 'smoke' (grey) while the Nook HD+ will be offered in grey only.
Specs wise the HD / HD+ Nooks certainly pack a punch, especially in the screen department. Driven by a TI OMAP 4470 CPU clocked at 1.3GHz in the HD and 1.5GHz in the HD+ with 1GB RAM onboard, the smaller model features a 1440x900 screen (the highest resolution in this class) and it's larger sibling an impressive 1920x1280 display. Connectivity comes via WiFi, Bluetooth, microUSB and HDMI.
Although the tablets run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich internally, they are fully skinned with B&N's own Nook UI and their own appstore - no Google services here. Hackability TBC, of course, but in the past it's been possible if non trivial.
Launching a tablet in this space is increasingly an ecosystem play, and the Nook is no different. 2.5 million books will be available to buy with a video / movie service to follow at a later date, as well as the aforementioned appstore.
Devices are set to ship in November both online and via Argos, Blackwell's, Currys / PC World, Foyles, John Lewis, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
I'm intrigued, particularly by the 9" offering... how about you?