B&N Takes on Kindle Fire with New Nook

Book retailer Barnes & Noble unveiled its new Nook Tablet on Monday with Amazon’s Kindle Fire clearly in its sites. B&N is calling its new ebook reader tablet a multimedia device, much like Amazon is doing with its Kindle Fire, and it seems the book reseller is happy to avoid competing with Apple’s iPad.

Nook TabletThe Nook Tablet includes a 7-inch color touch screen, 16GB storage, built-in Wi-Fi, access to ebooks through Barnes & Noble, the Nook Newsstand for magazine subscriptions, Nook Comics, third party Nook-compatible apps, and weights 14.1 ounces. It also includes Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora video and music streaming built-in.

If the feature list sounds familiar, that may be because the Nook Tablet’s feature set closely matches what Amazon is including in its soon to ship Kindle Fire. Amazon’s Kindle Fire, however, offers movie and music downloads instead of just streaming through services like Netflix and Pandora.

With its US$249 price point, the Nook Tablet is targeting the same market as Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire instead of consumers that are considering buying an iPad instead. In comparison, the iPad with it’s 9.7-inch multitouch display and App Store access starts at $499.

For now it looks like Apple’s iPad is seen as the undisputed champion of the tablet market, even by its potential competitors. For smaller screen Android devices, however, it seems that its the book resellers and not the traditional electronics makers that are ready to go head to head.