Nook Tablet: Begun, the Tablet Wars Have

When Amazon announced the impending release of the Kindle Fire in September, it seemed that notorious unafraid-of-competitive-pricing retailer’s entry into the iPad dominated tablet market was going to be a massive game changer.

As we wait for the November 15th ship date of the Kindle Fire, it seems the tablet’s release already has changed the game a bit. Apple’s lock on the market was set at a relatively low $500-ish dollars, but Amazon smashed that to bits with their $199 tablet entry. (Albeit, the Kindle Fire is significantly smaller than the iPad and lacks a camera, if that’s your thing.) And still before the product is in the grubby little hands of tablet users everywhere, Barnes & Noble took up a dog in the fight yesterday with their announcement of an impending tablet for the masses.

It seems that all tablets will first and foremost be classed by price. The American economy is still baby-stepping out of a massive downturn, and consumers are savvy but scared of spending their hard-earned cheddar on auxiliary devices that may or may not be obsolete in a year’s time. The buy in for Apple is $499, the previously-stated $199 for Kindle Fire and the newly announced Nook tablet will be $249.

However, features between the three devices seem to be as defining as price, perhaps more so even given relatively large disparities. ComputerWorld highlights the differences between the devices via culled tech blog comments, and Information Week does a straight-up comparison, two men enter one man leaves sort of thing for the tablets. (Also, it’s been posited that the Nook may be serviceable in Genius Bar-like areas of bricks & mortar Barnes & Noble locations, which could be a big influencing factor for those new to the market.)

Do you have plans to buy a Nook Tablet or one of its competitors this Christmas or holiday season? Where are you leaning?