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Barnes & Noble launches 7in tablet e-book reader

Bookseller opens fire on Amazon Kindle

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US bookseller Barnes & Noble has caught fondleslab fever, introducing its Nook Tablet today to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

The Nook e-book reader has been Amazon's hottest competition in the US, with 27 per cent of books sold in the country coming from Barnes and Noble, the company said. And it looks like the one-time bookshop was determined not to be left behind when the web retailer branched into tablets either.

B&N's Nook Tablet has a dual-core 1GHz processor from Texas Instruments, with 1GB of Ram and 16GB of Flash storage, boosted by the addition of Micro SD cards of up to 32GB in capacity. It has a 7in screen.

The fondleslab also comes Netflix and Hulu Plus pre-loaded for video content, and will have access to B&N's online catalogue of 2.5 million books, including Marvel graphic novels.

B&N is claiming the Tablet offers a battery life of 11 hours, despite all this entertainment.

The Nook Tablet has also got gimmicks like "Read and Record", where parents can record themselves reading their kids' favourite stories so they don't actually have to be there at bedtime. Not exactly promoting family togetherness, but an interesting idea nonetheless.

There'll also be apps, including Angry Birds, the game no tablet can do without, and "thousands" of others; Nook Newstand with "more than 250 interactive magazines and periodicals"; Nook Friends via Facebook; and Nook Cloud for even more storage.

Happy Americans can pre-order their Nook Tablet for $249 - the Kindle Fire is $199 - from today, while the introduction of the new slab means the Nook Color is going down to $199 and the Nook Simple Touch will sell for $99.

The Tablet will ship next week.

Unfortunately for anyone living outside the US, there are no known plans to introduce any of Barnes & Noble's Nooks over here. ®

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