Barnes & Noble announces NOOK 10.1″, a low-cost tablet with the largest display it has ever made

With the launch of Apple’s refreshed iPad Pro lineup and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S4, there is no question that the tablet market is hotter than it has ever been. Along with the innovation and excitement that these tablets bring, however, are higher prices. With Barnes & Noble’s unexpected announcement of its new NOOK 10.1″, the company sends a clear message that consumers need not spend an arm and a leg to get a new tablet.

While NOOK 10.1″ is a fully-functional tablet that runs Android, Barnes & Noble crafted a press release that treats it as a reading device first, tablet second. A point made apparent in statements saying its new tablet “is perfect for reading, as well as 2 in 1 tablet capabilities for browsing, taking pictures, or sending emails.”

Specifications for the company’s latest release include 32GB of storage, a 2MP front and rear-facing cameras, a headphone port, Bluetooth, and pogo pins for connecting NOOK accessories.

As the name implies, the new NOOK has a 10.1″ display, the biggest yet for one of Barnes & Nobles devices. This display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1200 with a pixel density of 224 ppi. Plenty of clarity for average activities like reading, browsing the web, and more.

“The new NOOK 10.1” provides a complete reading and entertainment experience on our biggest display yet,” said Bill Wood, Chief Digital Officer for Barnes & Noble. “The soft-touch feel and lightweight design make it a perfect holiday gift for readers who want to enjoy their favorite books for hours, while also being able to browse, watch shows, listen to music, or send emails all from one device.”

You may be thinking that the timing of this new release is pretty bad considering that the new iPad Pros will be out in a few days. I initially did as well, but then I saw the price of $129.99. At a price like this, the Nook 10.1″ is not meant to compete with the likes of Apple or Samsung. It is meant to be a cost-effective way to read books, stream Netflix, and perform light-multitasking.

Unsurprisingly, the NOOK 10.1″ is priced competitively with Amazon’s Fire HD 10. With Fire HD 10 coming in at around $150, the new NOOK is able to undercut Amazon by $20. Will this be enough to pull folks away from Amazon’s ecosystem? Maybe not, but it could entice those who are just starting to get into eBooks.

NOOK 10.1″ can be pre-ordered now with availability in Barnes & Noble stores beginning on Wednesday, November 7. As mentioned before, the new tablet is priced at $129.99, but you can nab it for less if you are willing to wait until November 22-December 26 when Barnes & Noble will offer special pricing of $119.99.

Barnes & Noble will also offer a cookbook bundle promotion from November 22-December 31. The bundle will cost $159.99 and include a NOOK 10.1″, charging dock, and $50 of Good Housekeeping eCookbooks.

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