Skip to Content

What is the difference between nook tablet and nook color?

The Nook Tablet and Nook Color are two popular e-reader and tablet devices from Barnes & Noble. While they share similarities, there are some key differences between the two models that consumers should be aware of before making a purchase.

Both the Nook Tablet and Nook Color allow users to read ebooks, magazines, newspapers, and other digital content available through Barnes & Noble. They also provide access to apps, games, and web browsing. However, the Nook Tablet offers improved hardware specs and features compared to the older Nook Color.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare and contrast the Nook Tablet and Nook Color across various categories including:

  • Display
  • Performance and storage
  • Battery life
  • Software and apps
  • Content and media
  • Design
  • Price and value

By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the main differences between the two devices and which model may be a better fit for your needs and budget.


One of the most noticeable differences between the Nook Tablet and Nook Color is the display size and quality:

Device Display Size Display Resolution Display Type
Nook Tablet 7 inches 1024 x 600 pixels IPS LCD
Nook Color 7 inches 1024 x 600 pixels IPS LCD

As you can see, both devices have the same 7-inch screen size and 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. However, the Nook Tablet uses an IPS LCD display while the Nook Color has an older LCD screen.

The IPS display on the Nook Tablet provides wider viewing angles, improved color reproduction, and greater brightness compared to the Nook Color. This makes the screen much more visible and readable in various lighting conditions.

Performance and Storage

Under the hood, the Nook Tablet packs much better hardware performance and internal storage capacity:

Device Processor RAM Internal Storage Expandable Storage
Nook Tablet 1GHz dual-core 1GB 16GB Up to 32GB microSD card
Nook Color 800MHz single-core 512MB 8GB Up to 32GB microSD card

The Nook Tablet comes with a faster dual-core 1GHz processor compared to the single-core 800MHz processor in the Nook Color. This allows the Nook Tablet to handle multitasking and graphics-intensive apps and games much better.

RAM is also doubled on the Nook Tablet at 1GB versus just 512MB on the Nook Color. More RAM means faster performance when switching between open apps and web pages.

For internal storage, the Nook Tablet starts you off with 16GB versus 8GB on the Nook Color. Both devices allow expanding the storage by up to 32GB using a microSD card.

Battery Life

Battery life is another key area where the devices differ:

Device Battery Life
Nook Tablet Up to 11.5 hours
Nook Color Up to 8 hours

The Nook Tablet offers superior battery life, able to last up to 11.5 hours of reading ebooks or viewing magazines with Wi-Fi turned off. In comparison, the Nook Color maxes out at around 8 hours.

This longer battery life gives you more flexibility to read throughout the day without needing to recharge as frequently.

Software and Apps

Both devices run on a customized version of Android, but there are some software differences:

Device Operating System B&N App Store Google Play Store
Nook Tablet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Yes No
Nook Color Android 2.2 Froyo Yes No

The Nook Tablet comes with Android 4.0, which provides better performance, speed, and new features compared to Android 2.2 on the Nook Color.

Both devices give you access to apps, games, and media through the Barnes & Noble app store. However, only the Nook Color can be modified to add the Google Play Store for downloading additional apps not available through Barnes & Noble.

Content and Media

You’ll enjoy the same great selection of digital content on both Nook devices:

  • Over 2 million ebooks, magazines, and newspapers
  • Popular catalog titles like National Geographic, People, PC World, Consumer Reports
  • Top newspaper subscriptions like USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal
  • Interactive children’s picture books with audio narration
  • A large selection of popular fiction and non-fiction ebooks
  • Free book samples to preview before you buy

Additionally, both devices give you access to apps and color children’s books through the B&N app store. You can also sideload personal documents and files onto both the Nook Tablet and Nook Color.

One advantage of the Nook Tablet is the inclusion of Netflix and Hulu Plus apps for streaming movies and TV shows. This extra entertainment content is not available on the Nook Color.


From a design standpoint, the Tablet and Color share a similar look and feel:

Device Dimensions Weight Colors
Nook Tablet 8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 inches 14.1 oz Charcoal, Snow
Nook Color 8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 inches 15.8 oz White, Persimmon

The dimensions are identical, with both having the same 8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 inch frame. The Nook Tablet shaves a bit off the weight coming in at 14.1 oz versus 15.8 oz on the Nook Color.

Available color options vary slightly between the two. But overall, the shape, size, weight, and look are very similar between both e-readers.

Price and Value

With its improved hardware and features, the Nook Tablet originally sold for a higher $249 versus $199 for the Nook Color.

Here is how the two devices currently compare in price:

Device Original MSRP Current Price
Nook Tablet $249 $79.99
Nook Color $199 $129.99

As you can see, the Nook Tablet now sells for significantly lower at just $79.99 versus $129.99 for a new Nook Color. Due to being the older model, the Nook Color still holds value but the Nook Tablet is generally the better bargain these days.


In summary, while the Nook Tablet and Nook Color share some basic similarities, the Nook Tablet clearly offers the superior specs and features:

  • Newer and improved IPS LCD display
  • Faster dual-core processor and more RAM
  • Double the internal storage capacity
  • Longer battery life
  • Android 4.0 operating system
  • Access to Netflix and Hulu Plus

The only advantages of the aging Nook Color are that it can be modified to add the Google Play Store, and that it still holds some value for those seeking a cheaper option in the $100 price range.

But for most users, the extra $50 investment for the Nook Tablet is well worth it when you consider the faster performance, better screen quality, superior battery life, and slicker software experience.

In 2023, the Nook Tablet remains the best overall value for a 7-inch Barnes & Noble e-reader. It provides a fantastic blend of features and functionality in an easy-to-use tablet designed for avid readers and casual users alike.