Barnes & Noble slash Nook prices as 7-inch tablet market heats up

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Barnes & Noble has slashed prices on their 7-inch Nook Color and Nook Tablet products in an effort to stay competitive with rivals Amazon and Google. Consumers can now pick up a Nook Color for $150, an 8GB Nook Tablet for $180 and a 16GB Tablet for only $200. The cuts represent a $20 savings for the Color and 8GB Tablet while the 16GB Tablet is now $50 cheaper.

It seems that now is perhaps the best time to try and move as many tablets as possible. Google got off to an early start by releasing the Nexus 7 tablet last month. Priced at $199, the 7-inch tablet features a 1,280 x 800 resolution display and a quad-core Tegra 3 SoC. The lightweight device ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and as of writing, it looks to be the best 7-inch tablet on the market.

The lucrative holiday buying season is just around the corner and we already know that Microsoft is going all-in with their Surface tablets that will launch alongside Windows 8 on October 26. But perhaps it’s the unknowns that we are most curious about.

Rumors have been brewing recently that suggest Amazon is preparing to release an updated Kindle Fire in the third quarter. The “Kindle Fire 2” is expected to ship in four different varieties, with a 1,280 x 800 resolution display, 4G wireless capabilities and various camera options.

Most also believe that Apple is finally preparing to unveil a mini version of the iPad, perhaps as early as next month. Details on the iPad Mini are even scarcer but analysts think it will fall somewhere in the 7-inch range.

One thing is for sure, however; the rest of 2012 is shaping up to be pretty special for tablet enthusiasts.

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