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Barnes & Noble Announces Google Play on NOOK HD and HD+

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#1
Zarch1972

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Hot on the heels of attempting to flood the market with their £29 eReader, Barnes and Noble have announced they are bringing the whole Google ecosystem to their Nook HD and HD+ tablets whilst still retaining B&N's own book offerings.

By adding Google Play to NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, we are offering our customers even more great entertainment on our award-winning tablets,” said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble. “Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading experience available, both are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices

For a limited time only, as part of NOOK’s involvement in the “Get London Reading” literacy initiative, NOOK HD is available starting at just £129 (down from £159), with the NOOK HD+ starting at only £179 (down from £229). NOOK products are available in John Lewis, Argos, Asda, Dixons, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Blackwell’s and Foyles and also through www.nook.co.uk.

Google Play and the other Google services will be available to all new and existing NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ customers in the UK at no cost through an automatic over-the-air update that will roll out to all devices connected to Wi-Fi, beginning today. Customers who would like to enjoy this major new software update immediately can learn more at www.NOOK.co.uk/support.


Could this bring both models into play as serious contenders? The lack of Google integration has been a constant criticism of the Nook range, but with the whole range currently on sale with generous savings, should they now come into consideration for tablet buyers?

The Nook HD is currently reduced to £129 for 8gb, £159 for 16gb with a 7" 1440x900 screen, 1.3hgz OMAP 4470 dual core CPU and a microSD slot.

WIth the HD+ model reduced to £179 for 16gb and £199 for 32gb coming with 9" 1920x1280 screen, 1.5ghz OMAP 4470 dual core CPU and again a micro SD slot.

Anyone now tempted by this announcement? Especially as all the range are currently available with decent savings?

Source: Business Wire Announcement
Source: http://uk.nook.com

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#2
PaulOBrien

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I think this makes the HD+ really interesting with that 1080P screen!

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#3
sipart

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A graded 32GB ones at CEX for £150! http://uk.webuy.com/...EREBARBNHD32GBA

Online (p+p £2.50) and in store. So this is a £50 saving on the Nook reduced price for the 32GB (£199)

One 16GB in one store.

Bought one - could not resist - love my Nexus 7 (replacement for my old Advent Vega) but fancy a bigger screen again - my old eyes!

Only big minus point with these is lack of a camera for Skype if that's your thing (and no HDMI out - CEX says it does!)

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#4
SilentBob

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Looking at reviews for the HD+ it sounds like the Nook UI is the cause for a lot of lag & stutter. With the newly available access to the Google Play Store is this something that could now be easily overcome by installing a replacement launcher (such as Nova)? Or is a custom ROM the only way to get away from this?

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#5
sipart

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I would have thought a custom launcher will do the trick. I'll let you know when I get mine.

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#6
PaulOBrien

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Indeed, you would have thought so, assuming the nook UI is implemented as a launcher.

I'll be interested to hear!

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#7
sipart

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Got my Nook HD+ 32GB yesterday from CEX. Fully boxed and looks like the shipping plastic was never removed from the device - but the box was not sealed.

First impressions are very good, feels as well built and similar to a Nexus 7 (rubber/plastic coating on the back). Would prefer the bezel not to be raised around the edges - but that's a minor niggle. Screen res is obviously the key thing and it's a very good screen (although I do see a slight dark shadow down the right hand side when in portrait, and found a US thread on B&N about similar issues on other NOOK HD+'s - so may have a common fault with the back light unevenness).

It upgraded twice once it was connected to the wifi - so once upgrade finished it had Google Play.

You can just replace the launcher - I tried GO launcher HD - works well.

Some apps are showing as not supported in the Play store (falcon for twitter widget being one) - but XDA have a thread on getting CWM on it and flashing an update that will allow side loading (disabled by default).

All in all extremely good value - especially if you get one from CEX for £150.

Oh and one really good think I like is the ability to lower the brightness very low - so ideal for night reading in the dark - no auto brightness - which has been criticised in some reviews but I like the control to get it really low and it stay that way.

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#8
sipart

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Good overview video of hd+ with latest update.

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