Review Barnes and Noble’s Cheap Android Nook Tablets – $49 for 7, $129 for 10.1

hey everybody its lon Seidman and we’re taking a look today at a couple of inexpensive tablets from Barnes & Noble here in the US these are the Nook tablets and I got both of them just because they were so inexpensive so this is their 7-inch tablet that’s been around for a little while this cost $50 and then they recently came up with this one which is 10.1 inches in sells for 129 dollars about $20 less than a similar tablet from Amazon and they also have an add-on keyboard that you can get for it as well so there are a couple of low cost options here with a pretty decent warranty as well that we’ll be exploring in this review but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that I paid for both of these with my own funds and the keyboard all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what these tablets can do so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware and we’ll begin here with the seven-inch tablet this sells for $49 as I mentioned it’s got a cortex a53 processor running at 1 point 3 gigahertz it’s got a 7-inch display here 1024 by 600 but it does for that price have 16 gigabytes of on-board storage but only one gigabyte of RAM but I think for the kinds of things you might do with the tablet like this it’s probably adequate so it’s not super fast I’m really not pleased with the display quality it’s very

washed out and running a bit cold so if you were looking for example at the 7-inch Amazon tablet it does have a better display than what this one has this is an IPS display so it does have good viewing angles but it’s fairly low resolution at 1024 by 600 but overall for doing basic tablet tasks I think it isn’t bad for the price point unlike the Amazon tablet there are no ads when you turn it on and there is a one-year warranty on this versus only 90 days on the Amazon tablets and one of the things that’s unique about these versus the Amazon is that they’re running with the Google Play Store so if you have purchased apps on your phone you’ll be able to get to those apps just by popping open the Play Store and jumping in both of these have Android 8.1 Oreo this one though has the go edition which is a little more optimized for lower powered devices especially ones with limited RAM like this one has only a gigabyte there’s not money ports on this one to discuss you do have a headphone jack which is now lacking on some higher-end tablets you’ve got your USB port here for charging I believe this will also work as an on-the-go port so if you wanted to install some USB devices into it you could there is a microphone built-in if you want to have conversations with your friends the sound quality is not so great out of this thing but you can do it right here is a memory card slot that will take a micro SD card up to 128 gigabytes so if you have filled up the 16 on here you can load up your movies and media on a card and pop it in it will sit flush to the device you’ve got a 2 megapixel camera on the back here which is not

spectacular and an even less spectacular VGA camera that was the resolution popular about 20 years ago so you can at least make a few phone calls but you’re not going to look all that great on there now the 10 inch tablet is the nicer of the 2 but of course it costs more so again 129 dollars for this one the display though is much better it’s got basically a Full HD display it’s 1,900 by 1200 so the colors are much better the viewing angles are better it’s not washed out like the other screen text is nice and sharp on this as you can see but it’s not the fastest thing out there in fact it has a more power-efficient version of the processor that’s running in the seven-inch tablet so this has the cortex a 35 inside running at 1.5 gigahertz so it’s clocked slightly higher but you’re driving a higher resolution display so as a result you don’t really see a big uptick in performance and in our testing the Amazon 10 inch tablet did a little better the warranty on this one is the same as the seven-inch one year and the Amazon 10 inch tablet by the way also has a one-year warranty but inside it’s got a little bit more it’s got two gigs of and 32 gigabytes of storage which is not bad for the price point so if you are looking for something that has a lot of internal storage this one I think does pretty well at that and then you have the option to plug in an SD card up here to get more this will support up to a 256 gigabyte SD card and then like the other device it has the headphone jack the USB charging port and your microphone this one has dual 2 megapixel cameras again not spectacular but certainly passable for making phone calls and maybe doing some light video conferencing sound quality out of both of these is pretty bad so you might want to hook up headphones if you are looking to have a conversation with somebody but again it’s got all the things you might need to make a call now on the bottom are these little Pogo plugs here and this will connect up with the keyboard that they’ve designed specifically for the 10 inch device the keyboard feels a lot like most of those cheap after-market keyboards might feel like out there costs about $40 but it’s

designed to integrate directly with the Nook 10-inch tablet so you can fold it up like so here it does pick up some dirt on the desk as you can see and then it will magnetically clasp shut so it’s not a bad little package here for under $200 but one thing I noticed with the keyboard case here is that if you want to pick up the tablet and just use it like a tablet you’ll want to disconnect the tablet physically because these keys are always active so a lot of two-in-ones and other tablets we’ve looked at are smart enough to know when the keyboard is flipped out of the way this one doesn’t know that so as long as the keyboard is attached it is active and you’ll have crazy stuff going on on your screen as a result so that’s one only knock against the keyboard case here is that it’s not all that intelligent now the weight on these is about what you would expect out of a similar tablet so the 7-inch one here is eight point eight ounces or 250 grams the bigger tablet weighs just over a pound or 456 grams but the keyboard case here adds another 14 ounces or 397 grams to the package but overall not all that heavy again given the price point my only other gripe with them is that you do see the touchscreen wires when you have light reflecting on it so you can see those little grid patterns there as that light reflects and you’ll see that on both displays this is something I typically see with lower cost cheaper tablets and it’s really unavoidable I think at this price point but if that bothers you or you do plan to use this out in areas where you’ve got a lot of reflective light you will definitely notice that now these devices are running pretty much a stock version of Android 8 or EO 8.1 they do have some of their own stuff here on the launcher when you load it up but you can get rid of these things so of course if I don’t want to go shopping for nook books I can just remove this widget from the list and it’s gone so I’m not forced to only have nook content thrown at me when I first log in there eReader here is down at the bottom so you can tap on that and pull up the Nook app and start

reading the reading experience it’s decent it’s nothing crazy but it’s a nice little eReader for the books that you might buy off of the App Store but I have notice that these things tend to lag a little bit the 7-inch more than the 10-inch here but even the 10-inch will occasionally lag out when you’re trying to turn pages and stuff but again the reading experience is not bad and much better on the 10-inch versus the 7 given the nicer display here now if I wanted to get rid of some of this stuff I can just drag it up here and remove it and then I could maybe move the Google Play Store down here into position so I do like the fact that you can tuck away the Nook stuff if you don’t want to see it all the time that’s a nice little bonus there to give the user some choice we’re going to take a look now at performance beginning with the seven-inch tablet one thing I wanted to note is that the 7-inch comes with the Android Go variant of their operating system and as a result some of the google apps on here are the go versions of them so for example google maps here is the maps go app it is a lot smaller in size on the internal storage than the regular maps app is it’s lacking navigation for example I don’t believe the tablet has GPS on it so you wouldn’t really be able to navigate anyhow so a lot of times these google apps are built-in by default you can’t remove them in this instance you have much small versions

of those apps and if there’s a feature missing on the go version that you’d like to get access to you can install the full version of the app if you choose but the default google apps are a lot smaller and are not taking up a lot of space let’s take a look at YouTube real quick and see how it runs on the tablet here so not too bad this tablet by the way along with the 10-inch work on five gigahertz networks two Wi-Fi networks so if you have faster Wi-Fi this should take advantage of it to the best possible ability of its little processor here and as you can see here the YouTube videos kind of spin right up pretty quickly we can very quickly switch back and forth between modes again it’s pretty adequate but this display is super washed out and I’m really not crazy about the overall colors that I’m seeing on here so let’s take a look now and see how the seven inch tablet performs with games and I’ve got goat simulator running here which is actually running pretty nicely and I think you’ll see in a minute the framerate might be a little better on here than it is on the 10-inch tablet primarily because this is a relatively low resolution display in comparison now one of the cool things about Android is that a bulk of the casual games on the Google Play Store will run on tablets like this one primarily because a bulk of the Android install base are running with these lower end processors so most developers don’t want to miss the opportunity to sell you a five-dollar app here so you will have a lot of gaming choices that should perform pretty adequate adequately so games like minecraft and grand theft auto and a lot of the other popular Android games should function well on here one thing that you probably won’t have a great experience with is retro game emulation if you decide to go beyond the 16-bit consoles I found what this processor in the past you might be able to get some PlayStation 1 emulation out of it but that’s kind of pushing it so I would say that you’d want to stick with the casual games in the Play Store and some lower end emulators both tablets do have

Bluetooth built in so you could connect up external game controllers too so let’s jump over to the 10 inch display now and take a look at YouTube it is pretty responsive here when you click on a video just like the other tablet was but things look a lot nicer on this one because the display again is much higher resolution this is a 1900 by 1200 display but it’s also not washed out like the other one is so the color looks a lot better on here and of course it is a lot sharper it’s just a better video experience here versus the 7 inch so the 7 inch doesn’t do well with reading nor does it view very well with video playback but if you want something really small and cheap maybe it’s worth looking at but if you are serious about doing this kind of stuff I think you are probably going to be happier with the 10 inch tablet here so now if I want to switch over to the game I’m just going to go to my multitasking window here and you can see how things get a little sluggish when you start doing more than one thing at a time but goat simulator is right where I left it primarily because we’ve got 2 gigs of RAM in here and I’ve got a little leeway for switching between apps but you’ll notice the frame rate here it doesn’t feel as good as the 7 inch tablet did because we’re driving a much higher resolution display with essentially the same processor this processor is clocked a little bit higher but it is more power efficient and it’s also having a harder time you know rendering all these pixels for this display here so it’s certainly going to feel a little more sluggish on gaming perhaps than the 7-inch tablet does and on the 3dmark sling shot test we got a score of 99 on the seven-inch tablet which puts it pretty much in line with a lot of the very low-end devices that we’ve looked at over the years here the 10 inch tablet scored better at 303 but it’s still a bit slower than the fire HD 10 from Amazon so I think if you’re looking for a faster performing device Amazon’s 10 inch tablet will certainly get you

there but again this one isn’t bad for its price point one other differentiator here especially on the 10 inch tablet is that Amazon has integrated voice commands into their 8 and 10 inch tablet so you can shout out the a word to those devices and get all of the Amazon echo capabilities you don’t have that with these tablets so that’s one advantage perhaps that you might gain with the Amazon eco system if that was something that was important to you but again for the price I think the 10-inch one performs about where I expected it to perform the seven-inch one doesn’t perform all that great on that test but generally I think it’s in line with what that price point might suggest so that’s going to do it for our look at the Barnes & Noble tablets they are pretty much similar to what we’ve seen out of some of those generic Chinese tablets that we look at from time to time both in their overall build quality and performance I am NOT crazy about the display on the 7-inch tablet I think that’s one area where Amazon’s device the 7-inch device from them does better but you get a better warranty here you’ve got the Google Play Store so there are some advantages to perhaps looking at the Barnes & Noble tablets and I would actually look at these first before you go out and buy some generic Chinese brand just because you’ve got a name brand behind it that should be able to support these better than some anonymous company that doesn’t have a headquarters near your country of residence and that might be a good reason to look at one of these things especially given the price is very competitive with what you might pay for a generic Chinese device until next time this is LAN Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold level supporters Chris Allegretto the four guys with quarters podcast Tom Albrecht and cally Ann Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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