When Barnes & Noble launched the Nook Tablet last fall, it did so at a higher price and with more storage space than the rival Amazon Kindle Fire. But on Tuesday, Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet was dropped down to Amazon's level.
Barnes & Noble has announced a new version of its Nook Tablet with 8 gigabytes of storage and a price of $199, matching the Kindle Fire on both points.
The previous version of the Nook Tablet, which was released in November, is exactly the same as the new lower-priced offering, except it has 16 gigabytes of built-in storage and sells at a price of $249.
Barnes & Noble's other 8-gigabyte tablet, known as the Nook Color, was cut from $199 to $169 on Tuesday as well.
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble's tablets (in all the varying specs, prices and names) have 7-inch touchscreens with 1024-by-600 pixel resolutions and run on 1-gigahertz processors.
The Nook Tablet has 1 gigabyte of RAM, as opposed to the Fire and Nook Color, which both have 512 megabytes of RAM.
Both the Nook Tablet and Nook Color feature a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 32 gigabytes of added storage. So, what's the difference between the 8-gigabyte Nook Tablet and Nook Color, other than RAM?
The two devices are slightly different shades of gray and the Nook Tablet runs a different version of Barnes & Noble's flavor of Google's Android operating system. Because of the software differences, the Nook Tablet can run a larger number of apps than the Nook Color.
The price drops, with Nooks now available for less than, the same or more money than the Kindle Fire, are made nonetheless with Amazon in mind.
Along with the price cuts, Barnes & Noble announced that Nook sales and digital sales rose in the New York bookseller's fiscal year third quarter, which ended Jan. 28.
"The consolidated Nook business across all of the company's segments, including sales of digital content, device hardware and related accessories, increased 38% during the third quarter to $542 million," Barnes & Noble said in a statement. "Nook unit sales, including Nook Simple Touch, Nook Color and the new Nook Tablet, increased 64% during the third quarter as compared to the same period last year. Digital content sales increased 85% on a comparable basis."
Barnes & Noble defines its content sales as those of digital books, newspapers, magazines and apps.