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Barnes & Noble Nook HD video review


The Nook HD is a cheap 7in tablet with a brilliant HD screen. Here's our video review of Barnes & Noble's rival to the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7.

The Nook HD is the first tablet on sale in the UK from Barnes & Noble, the US book store. See also: full Nook HD review

It has a 7in screen and weighs about the same as an iPad mini. It's comfortable to hold in one hand, and is primarily designed to be used upright.

It comes in white or grey and there are two capacities: 8 or 16GB. Plus, there's a micro SD slot so you can add up to 64GB more.

The Nook HD's biggest rival is the Kindle Fire HD, and it one-ups Amazon's tablet by including a mains charger in the box, and having no annoying adverts on the lock screen.

The Nook HD is a lot lighter than the Kindle but it's the screen that's the real winner. It's high resolution gives it a pixel density that almost matches the Retina iPad, so everything looks pin sharp. Colours and contrast are excellent, as are viewing angles.

The Android operating system is heavily customised and tightly locked down. This means you can buy apps, books, magazines and more from the built-in Shop. You can copy your own videos, photos and music to the device, though.

The main problem at the moment is that the Nook store has a relatively limited selection. Some popular apps are available, but not all. The video store launches in December and will allow films and TV shows to be downloaded. All the apps are curated, so you won't find smartphone versions as you often do with vanilla Android tablets.

One of the best features is user profiles. It means you can share the tablet with others, but have your own email, bookmarks, and wallpaper. If sharing with your kids, you can disable the web browser and restrict which apps they can use. It's a feature we wish Apple would introduce on the iPad.

The Nook HD is very easy to use and we like the physical Home button, which the Kindle Fire HD lacks. The content we've seen from the Nook store is very high quality, too.

It isn't the fastest 7in tablet around, but we found the interface as slick as the iPad's and it could easily handle casual games. Battery life is decent, but not exceptional. It's a bit of a shame there's no camera for Skype.

See also Group test: what's the best cheap tablet PC?

We can hardly find fault with the hardware, but UK-specific content is sorely lacking at the moment. Much is promised, but you're taking a risk if you jump in and buy one right now. If you don't want to be locked in to the Nook store, you might be better off with a Nexus 7.

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