Even though tablets still sell, on average, for $400-500, and Microsoft's Surface is rumored to aim for the $800 (€610) mark, B&N has chosen to sell its Nook HD and Nook HD+ for a pittance.
In a way, B&N is doing what Amazon is doing, selling its devices for a lot less than one might expect, in the hopes that owning them will give users enough exposure to their online stores to buy other things, especially books.
Whatever the reason may be, the 7-inch Nook HD ships for $199 / 155-199 Euro, while the 9-inch Nook HD+ is priced at $269 / 210-269 Euro.
It is very important to say upfront that these two aren't Aakash wannabes, meaning that they don't sacrifice functionality and performance just to be dirt-cheap.
The Nook HD, for example, can easily play 720p video and has the highest screen resolution among 7-inch slates (1440 x 900 pixels, 243 ppi). All this while narrower than the similarly-sized Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
The 1.3 GHz dual-core OMAP 4470 CPU and 1 GB of RAM are strong hardware parts too, and the 8-16 GB of built-in storage aren't too shabby either. Everything boils down to what B&N claims was double the performance of Kindle Fire HD in the GL benchmarks (60fps).
The other components that deserve a mention are the WiFi, Bluetooth and the 4050 mAh battery (10.5 hours reading, 9 hours video playback with Wi-Fi turned off). Only the webcam is absent.
The 9-inch Nook HD+ gets an IPS LCD touchscreen with a native resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels (256 ppi). The CPU runs at 1.5 GHz, and the storage is of 16 or 32 GB, but the RAM amount is the same. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are accounted for as well.
Video playback is better than on the 7-incher (Full HD), which is why B&N ships the Nook HD+ with an HDMI adapter dongle.
Finally, the 9-inch tablet gets a 6000 mAh battery (10 hours reading, 9 hours video with Wi-Fi off).
B&N sells the Android tablets (unspecified OS version) with the ability to set up accounts for five users, all shown on the lockscreen. All in all, though Nook Color was a tablet advertised as a color e-reader, the Nook HD and HD+ don't pretend to be anything other than full-fledged slates.