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Barnes & Noble Launches $249 Tablet

Barnes & Noble is launching a new low priced touch screen tablet, the Nook Tablet, priced at $249 that is capable of playing HD video and comes preloaded with a number of apps for viewing movies and TV, including Netflix and Hulu Plus.

The table, which runs the Android Gingerbread operating system and has a seven inch screen, is expected to be available on Nov. 17.

The introduction of lower prices tablets like the Nook and the $199 Kindle Fire from Amazon -- also to go on sale in mid-November -- are expected to both increase competition during the Holiday season for Apple, which still dominates the tablet market, and boost tablet usage by making the devices more affordable. Currently the cheapest Apple iPad 2, which has a 10 inch screen, sells for around $508.00 Amazon.

"In Nook Tablet, we've created the best wireless media tablet in the portable 7-inch class," noted William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble in a statement, who also introduced a revamped lower price Nook Color for $199 and a Nook Simple Touch black and white e-reader for $99. "Nook Tablet's VividView display has been designed to be the world's finest screen for readability and viewing content. We've utilized that breakthrough display technology to bring consumers the largest digital catalog of color and interactive books, magazines, children's books and high-quality apps through our Nook Store. Additionally, we've seamlessly integrated today's top entertainment services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora in a product that's powerful, easy-to-use, under a pound, and a tremendous value at only $249."

With a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the Nook Tablet is being billed as having more than enough memory to stream HD videos smoothly. It is also capable of browsing the Web, accessing email, social media sites and a number of other applications.

Overall the tablet will have "thousands of apps," the company reports.

Battery life is around nine hours for video and 11.5 hours for books.

Barnes & Noble's release also noted that "the Nook Tablet is well under a pound (14.1 oz.), making it one-third lighter than the leading tablet" and that it comes with 16GB of storage as well as an expansion slot that is capable of handling a 32GB SD card.