Barnes & Noble introduces two high-resolution tablets in U.K. and U.S.

The devices will ship in time for the holiday season in both countries

Barnes & Noble introduced Wednesday two Nook tablets with 7-inch and 9-inch high-resolution displays, targeting entire families with the devices.

The Android devices will ship in the U.S. in late October and be available in stores in early November, with preordering starting Wednesday at the bookseller's stores and on the Nook online store, the company said. In the U.K., preorders will begin in late October, with availability in late November.

The 7-inch tablet called Nook HD offers resolution of 1440 x 900, offering 243 pixels-per-inch and HD video playback of up to 720p. Positioned as a reading and entertainment tablet, it is available in two colors "Snow" and "Smoke." At 315 grams (11.1 ounces) and 5-inches wide, it runs a dual-core 1.3GHz processor, and has 1GB of RAM.

The device will retail at US$199 for an 8GB model and $229 for a 16GB version, both featuring expandable microSD memory storage. It is more expensive in the U.K for £159 for a 8GB model

The NOOK HD+ offers a HD 9-inch display with resolution of 1920 x 1280 and 256 pixels-per-inch for up to 1080p video, according to Barnes & Noble. Weighing 515 grams (18.2 ounces), the 9-inch tablet has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. Offered in the color "Slate," it is priced at $269 for 16GB and $299 for a 32GB version.

Barnes & Noble's tablets will compete with pricier and more popular iPads from Apple, and less expensive devices from other competitors including Amazon.com which announced this month that it will offer new varieties of its Kindle Fire, including a high definition version of its tablet with an 8.9-inch screen, which starts at $299 for 16GB of storage.

Barnes & Noble said that there is big demand from customers for a very light and high quality 9-inch tablet at half the price of the iPad. The iPad has a 9.7-inch diagonal screen and a $499 starting price.

More than 50 percent of tablet owners share their devices with others in their family every day, according to Barnes & Noble. A new Nook Profiles feature allows each user in the family to get access to his own content on the Nook, without peeking into content of other family members.

Barnes & Noble said its forthcoming video service, Nook Video, will be available on the new devices.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service

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