The 7-inch tablet segment is certainly one tough and competitive cookie, and things are to get even more crowded soon. The very successful Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 will be joined and challenged by the likes of the Fire 2 and the iPad Mini. But wait, there’s also the Nook Tablet 2 this fall, if we are to believe the latest rumors.

We’ve been hearing a lot about Amazon’s second-generation 7-incher (or 7-inchers) lately, and the technology blogs are abuzz with iPad Mini rumors. The Nook Tablet 2, though, is an almost absolute newcomer to the rumor mill.

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet 2

Barnes & Noble was indeed expected to come out with some sort of successor to 2011’s mildly popular Nook Tablet, but nobody seemed very interested, whether they’re regular tech users or our usual “sources” of rumors and leaks. Our colleague Simon Hill even called B&N’s Nook the “weak link in the tablet war” a couple of weeks back, so the overall impression became that a Nook Tablet 2 was either never going to happen or was not that special.

However, a tip received by the guys at Engadget might change this entirely, claiming that not only is a Nook Tablet successor in the works, but that it could actually be something to look forward to.

B&N’s second tablet (or third, if we count the Nook Color, too) will be “super light” and will feature an “incredible display” with 243 ppi pixel density, according to the anonymous source cited by Engadget. We, of course, can’t verify the rumor regarding the thinness of the device without having a photo on hand. But if that pixel density will prove accurate, it will undercut Nexus 7’s 216 ppi display with ease.

We know that a screen’s performance is not all about the pixels, but that might be a good start for Barnes & Noble to get into this 7-inch tablet life-and-death war. Hopefully, the display and thinness won’t be the only selling points of this upcoming tab, said to be released “this fall” without any other details revealed just yet.

Amazon Kindle Fire 2 to be based on ICS?

Meanwhile, rumors about what Amazon will have on display in just a few minutes in Santa Monica keep flowing, with the latest one focusing on some of the specs of a device dubbed “Amazon KFTT.” We’re unsure if this’ll be a 7 or 10-inch Fire 2 tab, but, according to another Engadget report, it will be powered by a mysterious dual-core CPU and will run a heavily forked version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The news about ICS shouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone, but we surely hope to see Amazon unveiling at least one quad-core gadget, or else it’ll have a darn tough job in competing head-to-head with the Nexus 7. Stay tuned for details about all of Amazon’s new devices, set to come our way in a matter of minutes. Do watch this space for news on that Nook Tablet 2, which will most likely take a little more time to get official.

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