Nook HD review

The lightest, highest resolution 7-inch tablet, but is it any good?

Nook HD review
It may look good on paper, but that doesn't always translate

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At such a competitive price point we'd normally find it very difficult to knock a device which offered so much for such little payout.

Unfortunately for the Nook HD the budget tablet market has come alive over recent months and the likes of the Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and even the iPad mini have set the standard very high.

We liked

The Nook HD does have an excellent screen, which makes watching movies and consuming web pages an enjoyable experience.

Battery life is something which is always a concern with today's mobile tech, but thankfully the Nook HD manages to keep going, even with that screen – meaning we weren't left scrambling for a charger.

Although it may not be the best looking device, the Nook HD is certainly comfortable to hold, even in one hand, and extended reading sessions or movie marathons are easily manageable thanks to its lightweight design.

The fact that you can set up multiple accounts, with the option of both adult and child areas, is likely to tempt the family market looking for an inexpensive, durable tablet for everyone to share - although the Nexus 7 has now added in the multiple account functionality with the Android 4.2 update.

We disliked

Sadly it's not all good news, and for all its early promise the Nook HD is left wanting in a few areas. First up is the sluggish interface, which is no where near as slick as the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7.

Users who enjoy the highly customisable ways of Android will also be disappointed with the Nook HD's relatively limited UI, which offers up the basics, but nothing more.

The app selection has been greatly improved thanks to the inclusion of Google Play in a recent software update, but there are still a handful of apps which won't work with the Nook HD.

Other nagging issues are the cheap design, which really makes the Nook HD look the part of 'budget tablet', especially when you consider the basic movie and music players and lack of streaming options.


Is the Nook HD the best 7-inch tablet on the market? In short, no.

It's cheap and cheerful design and interface at a sub-£200 price tag would have blown us away a year ago, but such is the fast pace of the tablet market these days, the Nook has been left behind by superior competition.

It could be the perfect family or kids' tablet – capable of taking a few knocks while keeping content separate, and secure, between users, but it does look and feel like a toy rather than a tablet.

But if you're looking for the best value for money at the budget end of the tablet market, we would have to recommend the more powerful Google Nexus 7 over the Nook HD.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.