Face-Off: Nook Color vs. Galaxy Tab WiFi

Now that Barnes & Noble has updated its popular Nook Color eReader to make it more like a tablet, consumers have a hard choice to make. With the tablet market full of offerings that cost $400 on up to $900, a $249 device consumers can use to browse the web, read e-mail, play games, and buy books is pretty attractive.

There are some notable differences between the Nook and pricier tablets—no cameras, Bluetooth, 3G, or docking connector—but with the introduction of apps, Barnes & Noble’s “Reader’s Tablet” will be good enough for a lot of buyers. However, the Nook Color has a new low-cost competitor in the Samsung Galaxy Tab WiFi ($349). For $100 more, this 7-incher provides dual cameras, a built-in video store, and access to more apps.

So which affordable slate is best? Let the face-off begin.

Nook Color vs. Galaxy Tab Wi-Fi

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  1. Gryffyn Says:

    For not much more than the Galaxy Tab you can get an Asus EEE Transformer (without keyboard), if the price reports are correct. The Galaxy Tab is pretty nice, but aging already. The Nook Color is probably the best bargain Android tablet right now, though.

  2. Mark B Says:

    Overall a fair comparison and the results hold true for probably 80% of the purchasing audience (non-tech types). But the Color Nook community has very broad-based support for Color Nook hacking (rooting) to turn the Nook into a much more general purpose Android Tablet. So if you are any type of a tech-nerd at all, a lot of the areas where the Nook loses out to the Galaxy would probably become a wash. Having played with both at Best Buy, I ended up buying the Nook (all rooted and a true Android Tablet now. It even plays Kindle books)

  3. Serolf Divad Says:

    Yeah, the Nook Color is the real android tablet bargain right now. If you’re willing to root it, you can extend it capabilities dramatically and erase much of the GTab’s advantages.

    My sense is that you shouldn’t spend too much money until the Android tablet market matures. Spending $350.00 on a Gtab is going to look a little silly in a few months when a flood of $400 Android Honeycomb tablets hits the shelves. The Nook Color, meanwhile, will remain a competent eReader.

    Of course, I could be wrong: I’ve been expecting a flood of competent $400 honecomb tablets for a while now, and so far they’re still mostly vapor.

  4. K. T. Bradford Says:

    @Gryffyn that’s true about the Transformer’s price, but I don’t find 10-inch tablets to be very useful as eReaders. They’re big. It’s not as easy to whip them out while waiting in line or on a train during a commute. 7-inch tablets are easy to hold in one hand. So while the Transformer is close to the Tab in price, I would not buy it if I wanted something mainly for reading. Productivity is another matter.

    @Mark B and @Serolf Divad, you’re right that the Tab’s advantages go away if you root the Nook Color. But there are many out there not comfortable with doing that or who just don’t want to bother. That said, if we were comparing a rooted NC with the Tab, the verdict would be very different for sure :)

  5. Serolf Divad Says:

    @K. T. Bradford

    Your comment is interesting, as I just posted on a Nook Color forum that I was pleased to see in this comparison one of the few reviews that doesn’t say anything about “rooting” the Nook Color. You’re right: many, if not most people who buy these devices aren’t going to root them, and I was glad to see that your review focuses on the “out of the box” experience that most consumers are going to have, as opposed to the promise of a “rooted” device that many won’t feel comfortable trying.

    That said, I just read on the XDA Developers forum that fully 6000 distinct users have installed the Cyanomod 7 version of Android on Nook Colors. That’s pretty impressive, IMHO.

    My Nook Color is just rooted with the simplest, most basic root. And I enjoy it a great deal. I am, however, seriously considering giong to stock, unrooted 1.2 for a while, since I find that the built-in functionality of the Nook Color (books, web surfing, movies) is what I most enjoy about it. Also, having recently purchased my first Andoird phone I can run most of the games I’ve donloaded there. :)

  6. Bill Bell Says:

    Although you say $100 difference in price it is closer to $50. I paid $20 in tax for the NC. Amazon has no tax. The GT has 16G of memory. The NC has 5G. So to be fair you either need to add $15 to $30 for an 8G or 16G microSD card. So now you have a $50 difference in price for GPS, bluetooth, microphone, 2 cameras, faster processor and better video. Get a NC if you want an ereader. If you feel you need to root it to be happy get the GT.

  7. JOHN Says:

    I picked up the GT WiFi from Amazon a few weeks ago and love it. I’m not a power user – mainly playing on the internet, email, ebook reading, Angry Birds, music, some video watching, etc. Ease of set up, stronger stats, and it being a full Android tablet out of the box made it worth it to me.

  8. John E. Says:

    First of all why compare a tablet PC to an ereader? The NOOK is not a tablet PC. It wasn”t designed to be a tablet PC. It was designed to be a very good ereader with a few nice extras and it passed with flying colors. If you want to play and watch movies buy a tablet. If you mostly want to read buy a NOOK. Why pay more for something you don’t really need? I bought the NOOK over a tablet PC because I wanted something that did what I wanted very well and also had a few other choices that are nice to have. I have an IPod to play games if I want and a Netbook if I want a 10″ inch screen. I do use some of the apps and have added a few free apps that I like. For me, I got what I wanted/needed and got it cheaper. The NOOK is the ereader to buy. The Galaxy? Not so much.

  9. Joe Says:

    What I don’t understand is why you compared the nook to the nook app instead of the galaxy tab’s default reading service; ebooks and reader’s hub?

  10. missileman Says:

    i have a NC with CyanogenMod7. It does netflix, Youtube, and has very large number of apps. no 3g, but i tether it. great tablet.

  11. montyhd Says:

    The display for the win. The nook color is beautiful to look at. With CM7 the nook has almost the same functionality of the GT. I originally bought an archos internet tablet for video capabilities but the display was abismal compared to the nook. Go to your local store and compare the display.

  12. WPK Says:

    I think my rooted nook color with CM7 overclocked to 1.3Ghz is a better all around tablet than the Galaxy.

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