by Jin S. Kim
Comparisons to Google and Amazon’s devices abounded — the Nook HD’s 1440 x 900 display is higher-resolution than either, and Barnes & Noble claims the display is better laminated to the glass as well. The HD+ bumps the resolution up to 1920 x 1080 on its 9-inch screen — reps brought an iPad along for comparison — and also looks fantastic.
The 7-inch Barnes & Noble Nook HD sports a 1440×900 pixel format resulting in a resolution of 242.6 ppi. That’s higher than the Google Nexus 7’s and Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s 215.6 ppi. The 9-inch Nook HD+ packs a 1920×1080 pixel format, good for a 244.8 ppi, slightly less than the 254.4-ppi 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD. But the Nook HD+ is priced at US$269, $30 less than the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, and without ads. There is a difference in specs though: The $199 Nook HD comes with 8GB while the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with 16GB. The 16GB Nook HD costs $229. Barnes & Noble has put up a convenient comparison page for: Nook HD vs. Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD+ vs. Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. There’s even a Nook HD+ vs. iPad page. The one big knock on the iPad, in terms of the display, is the lack of a fully laminated display.
Barnes & Noble is boasting a “highly advanced” laminated IPS LCD on the Nook HD and HD+ tablets with no air gap, low glare, and wide viewing angles. Technical specifications aside I think the biggest thing going for the new Nooks is in-store support. If Barnes & Noble can pull off the customer experience found at Apple Stores, a big if, I think the new Nooks have a good chance at grabbing market share from Amazon for folks who value the convenience of going to a local store and face-to-face interactions.
Update 2012.10.30: David Pierce, The Verge:
The 243ppi pixel density means you won’t see any individual pixels (unless you look REALLY hard), and since it’s laminated to the glass it almost feels like things on the screen are popping out at you. What impresses me most, though, is the color reproduction. Blacks are deep to the point that they appear to be not lit at all, making dark scenes in Sherlock Holmes all the more ominous. From skin tones to vivid colors, everything is accurate, crisp, and clean – that’s great for reading black text on white backgrounds, and it’s great for watching movies. It’s just a fantastic display.
Deep blacks, accurate colors, and the high resolution all work together for a visual treat. I like that. But we’ll have to wait for a definitive comparison by Raymond Soneira to see how the display stacks up against the competition.