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Barnes & Noble: on the offensive with a $199 Nook Tablet

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(Read caption) The first Nook Tablet has 16 GB of memory, while the newer model will have only 8 GB, which could affect the tablet's performance.

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The tablet wars are heating up again. This time Barnes & Noble is on the offensive. Its ammo? A $199 Nook Tablet.

Barnes & Noble announced today it is offering a new 8 GB Nook Tablet at a price point and specifications that put it in direct competition with the Kindle Fire. So far, Apple’s iPad has been the market leader in tablets, but the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook are proving to be popular lower-priced alternatives.

Barnes & Noble’s older Nook Tablet has 16 GB of memory and sells for $249. With 8 GB, the new one has half the storage and also halves the RAM from one gigabyte to 512 megabytes – the same specs as the Kindle Fire. While most people won’t miss the lost storage, the slashed RAM will affect the “otherwise snappy performance found in the $249 Nook Tablet,” reports Time Magazine’s Techland blog.

The newest Nook still has a 7-inch color touchscreen, access to Nook Cloud service, and a microSD slot if you want to expand its storage.

Barnes & Noble also announced it is dropping the price on the Nook Color e-reader from $199 to $169.

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