A cheaper Nook Tablet and a bigger Kindle Fire

With all the time technology bloggers spend talking about the Kindle Fire it can be easy to assume Amazon has 'won' and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet has been defeated. But it seems like that battle is still raging, if today's rumors are true.

Word on the virtual streets is that there's a new Nook Tablet in town. Exciting right? So will it have a faster processor? A high res OLED display? 3D capabilities? Nope, none of the above. In fact it's only new feature is apparently...half the storage space.

The Nook Tablet, of course, includes 16 GB of storage space, compared to 8 GB for the Kindle Fire. But the Nook is $250 while the Fire is $200. So the assumption is that this new model will also hit that $200 price point, or perhaps even lower.

I have to admit that I'm skeptical of this new iteration; I think the Fire is 'winning' because of the Amazon ecosystem, not because the Fire is $50 cheaper. But then I'm a gadget nut who is used to buying new toys pretty frequently. Other shoppers may be much more price sensitive than I am. And as long as this new Nook retains the SD slot I can't see why you'd pick the old version over the new, unless something else gets cuts.

The good news is we don't have long to wait; apparently this new model Nook Tablet goes on sale at Walmart (and presumably other stores) on Wednesday. The Verge has pictorial evidence to back up this rumor.

Of course Amazon never sits still when it comes to its Kindle line. Even before the Fire launched we were hearing rumors of the second iteration and how it'd be bigger and better. Now a new 10" Fire rumor has cropped up, saying we'll be seeing the device launch by the end of Q2 of this year. However, that rumor comes from DigiTimes and in my experience, they're happy to pass along just about anything anyone tells them. In other words, take it with a huge grain of salt. In fact over the past weekend they also leaked the news of a color E Ink Kindle reader, but already that rumor has been shot down by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

So while I still believe Amazon is working on another iteration of the Fire, I'm not convinced this rumor means much. I wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon go with a 9" tablet, to be honest, just to keep things slightly more portable and 'personal.' I know the difference between a 9" and a 10" tablet doesn't sound like much, but when you have them in your hands there's actually quite a difference.

Anyway, would a $200, 8GB Nook Color be enough to get you to open your wallet?

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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