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B&N Launches Nook Tablet, Drops Regular Nook to $99

Late last week, we heard rumors that Barnes & Noble was planning to announce a rival to the Kindle Fire this week. Those rumors also contained talk of a Nook Color price drop to make room for the Nook Tablet's $249 price tag. With the latter happening last night, B&N this morning rounded things out with confirmation of the Nook Tablet's existence.

In addition to being an ereader, Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet offers users access to popular movies, TV shows, music and more via services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and others, as well as Web browsing, email and a whole host of other applications. As we heard last week, the device packs a 7-inch IPS display, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space (expandable to 32GB via microSD). However, the battery life seems to have improved significantly since the marketing materials we spied last week were created; B&N says this new Nook Tablet has an 11.5-hour battery life, while last week's leaked documents put the battery time at four hours with Wi-Fi on or eight hours with WiFi switched off.

Again, as we heard last week, the price is confirmed at $249. This has seen the Nook Color drop down to $199 and, perhaps most interestingly, the Nook Simple Touch drop to $99. This brings the Nook Simple Touch into direct competition with Amazon's $79 ad-supported Kindle. The Nook Tablet is now available for preorder and is expected to ship (and to hit stores) late next week.