Nook HD+ review

£193
Price when reviewed

As ever, though, the hardware isn’t the whole story, and this is where the Nook HD+ loses points. It isn’t that we don’t like its customised UI: its bright, light graphics and customisable homescreens are much more pleasant to look at than Amazon’s stark, black equivalent. The ability to maintain up to six separate user accounts is a boon, especially since the adult accounts can be password-protected.

The Article View, which strips out ads and other distracting web page furniture from online articles works superbly, and reading glossy magazines on the Nook’s glorious display is an almost physical experience, complete with curling page animations, and a collection of excellent browsing and page-clipping tools.

Sluggish performance proved our biggest bugbear with the Nook HD+. Compared to other Android tablets we’ve used, and also its arch-rival, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9in, it feels skittish and jumpy. The carousel graphic on the main homepage is stuttery, the store loads slowly and feels horribly sluggish, and the Nook HD+’s web browser doesn’t feel as fluid and responsive as it should, either.

Nook HD+

This is frustrating, since the dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor is clearly capable. We recorded decent scores of 1,111ms in SunSpider, and an equally respectable 653 in the more demanding PeaceKeeper benchmark. There were no issues with dropped frames during Full HD video playback, either.

While the book, newspaper and magazine store is well stocked and full of content, we’re not so impressed with the video store, where films and TV shows can be bought or rented, then streamed or downloaded. Its database of films and TV shows is limited, and although in theory you can add films bought through Sony Pictures’ UltraViolet cloud-based movie collection system, we found the one movie in our collection – the animated title, The Pirates! Band of Misfits – came up as “unsupported” and refused to play.

There’s limited content in the Nook app store too – but this no longer matters as the Google Play store now gives you the full selection of Android software. The software update also brings the Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube apps to the Nook HD+, as well as the Chrome browser.

Nook HD+

The Nook’s hardware is brilliant, the price is low, and the bookstore is well stocked. Though front-end stutters remain frustrating, the addition of the Google Play store gives it a real edge over Amazon’s Kindle Fire models. It adds up to a hybrid e-reader we can happily recommend.

Detail

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical

Dimensions 210 x 11.4 x 163mm (WDH)
Weight 515g

Display

Primary keyboard On-screen
Screen size 9.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,280
Resolution screen vertical 1,920
Display type Multitouch, capacitive
Panel technology IPS

Battery

Battery capacity 4,000mAh

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 1.5GHz
Integrated memory 16.0GB
RAM capacity 1,000MB

Other

WiFi standard 802.11bgn
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS no
Upstream USB ports 0
HDMI output? no
Video/TV output? no

Software

Mobile operating system Nook OS 2.0.6

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