Barnes and Noble’s range of Android devices have always been respected for their quality, specification and pricing but there was always one little problem that stopped potential buyers (like myself) from buying one – a lack of Google Play support. But no more! B&N has announced that from today the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ come with full Google Play support including the ability to buy apps, music and films directly from Google.

As well as access to Google Play the 7- and 9-inch tablets will also include the essential Google services like the Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search and Google Maps. In the past B&N had their own NOOK specific app store, but it hasn’t been as popular as the Google Play store. This meant that users often missed out on popular titles as well as the lesser known gems. However with the new over-the-air update, which is being pushed for free to NOOK HD devices, users will now have access to over 700,000 Android apps and games.

[quote qtext=”Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading experience available, both are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices.” qperson=”William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Barnes and Noble has two Android tablets out at the moment. Both are dual-core tablets using the very capable OMAP4 processor from TI. The cheapest device is the 8GB NOOK HD which sports a 1440 x 900, 243 pixels per inch display and is powered by the 1.3 GHz dual-core OMAP 4470. This is the same CPU as found in the Kindle Fire HD. Its bigger brother is the 9 inch NOOK HD which comes with at least 16GB of storage, a 1920 x 1280 – 256 pixels per inch display  and the same OMAP 4470 CPU, but this time clocked at 1.5GHz. Both devices have microSD slots and offer over 10 hours of battery life.

The NOOK HD and HD+ are quite  light with the 7-inch version weighing only 315g.  The NOOK HD+ weighs just 515g making it the lightest tablet of its kind and more than 20 percent lighter than the iPad 3!

The prices of the tablets has also recently been reduced in the UK as part of the “Get London Reading programme”. The 7-inch NOOK  HD now starts at £129, down from £159 while the 9-inch NOOK  HD+ now starts at £179, down from £229. In the USA the current prices are $199 and $269.00 respectively.

Now that the NOOK HD has Google Play and all those lovely Google services will you be tempted to buy one???

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.