The Nook Tablet Enters the Fray

Categories: Gadgetry
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Published on: November 8, 2011

Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Tablet yesterday, and it boasts beefier specs compared to the Kindle Fire. The first question people ask, of course, is will it topple the iPad?

Doubtful.

The Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire are clearly media consumption devices. They have seven-inch screens, no cameras, and, near as we can tell so far, no ability to add an external keyboard. In short, they’re not going to be very useful as content creation devices. Even with add-on apps, it’s going to be difficult to annotate PDFs or take notes on a 7″ screen (finger-writing notes on the iPad’s 10″ display is difficult enough!).

The pricing, of course, makes both very attractive. It comes down to whether you’re a fan of B&N’s openness or Amazon’s everything-in-one-place delivery, which is more personal preference than guideline for mass adoption in our environment.

Will students be able to read textbooks on them? Watch educational videos? Of course. The real decision will come down to what else teachers want the students to be able to do. The iTunes Store is still more comprehensive and enjoys more coverage in educational blogs and review sites than either the Google Market or the Amazon App Store, and Apple is still attracting all of the developers, including the textbook providers. I’m sure both B&N and Amazon will be happy to sell us e-textbooks, but educators may want more than that.

For example, here are the things the elementary kids at Forrestville Valley feel they can do with their iPads:

Will we be able to say the same about the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet? Can we even say the same about the Motorola Xoom or Galaxy Tab?

Then there’s the excitement level. Put an iPad in a kid’s hand and they immediately know what they’re dealing with. One of our high school special ed classes will be receiving the iPads soon, and not a day goes by the teacher or one of the students doesn’t ask me how soon they’ll get their iPads or doesn’t express how excited they are.

Forrestville Valley even let their high school students make a commercial to show off how they feel about receiving iPads in the very near future:

I hope to have a hands-on with a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet in the future, but with the uses we’re already seeing for the iPads in just a few weeks, my teachers are skeptical they’ll want to try anything less at this time. I suspect the disparity will divide the BYOD environments into the haves and have-nots: the Apples and the Androids.

The creators and the consumers.

Now we wait and see if a Kindle Fire DX appears.

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