It's shaping up to be quite the holiday season for tablet shoppers. First the iPad, then the Fire, and now the Nook Tablet ($250). Aimed squarely at consumers of books, magazines, video, and other media, the Nook Tablet sports a dual 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a seven-inch VividView touchscreen, 16GB of memory, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora pre-loaded, Wi-Fi for downloading more Android apps, a rechargeable battery good for up to 11.5 hours of reading, and, of course, a funky open loop in the bottom corner for attaching a carabiner. Oh, that's not what it's for? Why is it there, then?
The tablet market is about to get really interesting. And a lot more affordable. The Kindle Fire ($200) is Amazon's answer to the iPad, featuring a one-handable 14.6 ounce design and a 7-inch color touchscreen that's chemically-strengthened (20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic). It's based around a cloud-accelerated Silk web browser, and features free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, and a dual-core processor. The Fire has access to over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video, over 17,000,000 songs from Amazon MP3, over 1,000,000 Kindle books, and offers compatibility with popular Android apps and games. It ships on November 15.