The Nook Tablet's biggest advantage over its rival Kindle Fire is that is has double the built-in storage capacity at 16GB. But read the fine print: only 1GB will be available for content that doesn't come from Barnes & Noble.
Engadget confirmed the storage limitation after it was reported on Twitter by PC Mag's Sasha Segan, adding a clarification from Barnes & Noble that "future multimedia download plans from third-party vendors will utilize the space currently devoted to B&N content only." I assume that means the Nook Tablet will eventually get some services that let people buy music and video on demand, and that they won't be restricted to 1GB.
Without restrictions, and not counting space used by the operating system, the Nook Tablet has 13GB available for content. That means 12GB is reserved for Nook apps and e-books, and the rest can be used for your own music and videos.
Fortunately, the Nook Tablet includes a microSD card slot--another advantage over the Kindle Fire--for up to 32GB of unrestricted, expandable storage. Still, it's another cost to consider, as 16GB microSD cards cost about $20 at Best Buy, and the Nook Tablet is already $50 pricier than the Kindle Fire at $249.
Although the Kindle Fire has only 8GB of storage on board, a quarter of which is reserved for the operating system, there are no restrictions on what the user can do with the remaining space. Also, Kindle Fire users can store an unlimited amount of Amazon content online, freeing up space as long as a Wi-Fi connection is available. So for built-in storage, the Kindle Fire actually has more space for outside content.
PCWorld's full review of the Nook Tablet will run next week, but hands-on first impressions are up now. Melissa Perenson called it the "value tablet to beat" after being disappointed with the Kindle Fire.
This story, "Nook Tablet's superior storage has 1GB gotcha" was originally published by PCWorld.