Review: NOOK 7″ - A Smart Tablet at $50 with Google Play

While tablets started out as a great idea, with time their important is diminishing. The wonderful smartphones have taken their place which are getting larger and much cheaper with every passing day. Amazon further added to it all by offering its $50 Fire Tablet. But this tablet lacked Google Play and this where the NOOK 7″ looks smarter.

Read More: Review: Google’s Daydream View – an affordable VR headset for endless fun

The NOOK 7″ much less offers the same features as the Amazon Fire Tablet does at the same price. But what makes it stand out is its improved hardware and software, as well as access to Google Play. 

I used this tablet for a little while but was much impressed by its performance. So let us look at what NOOK 7” is all about before you can make up your mind to get your hands on this tablet. 


On the software side, there are couple of big perks that you get on the NOOK 7″. To begin with, this device is just about stock Android. You get it out of the box with a mostly unadulterated version of Android Marshmallow. The launcher is where you will notice the biggest difference where the app drawer has strangely been moved to the right side of the dock. Well, this is totally amazing. A tablet for $50 is fantastic indeed as there are hardly few at this price that you can find in the market. 

You will find quite a few pre-installed NOOK apps for buying books and magazines. That the reason for Barnes and Noble for selling these tablets at much affordable price. 

Google Play 

Compared to the Fire Tablet, the solid software in the device is notable and something that makes it worthwhile. But it Google Play which makes all the difference. While Amazon limited the users to its limited collection of Android apps, NOOK 7" offers full range of app choices through Google Play. It means users can get their hands on the ever-growing collection of Google Play apps. Not only this, Google Play and Google Play Services enable the users to benefit from the rest of Google’s ecosystem (Hangouts, Google Drive, Maps, and more.)


The hardware of NOOK 7" is also much better than what Amazon’s tablet offered. The Fire Tablet brings a slippery matte plastic build with a very cheap feel while the NOOK has a soft touch plastic that not only feels great but also looks wonderful as well. 

You get improved details on this great device as well. The bezels around the screen are smaller and on the whole the tablet is strikingly thinner. I would also say that the placements of buttons is also very suitable – just where they should be.

Considering the Nook is a 7-inch tablet meant for reading, it as well as the Fire are really great when you use them in portrait mode. But on the Fire the buttons are placed on the top, which make it most useful in landscape mode. And in case of NOOK, Barnes and Noble gets it right by placing the buttons along the right side of the tablet. 

Making a decision 

Well, NOOK 7” is a great option for buyers with limited budget as well as those who wish to make the most of this device for basic purpose of reading and using general apps. The device easily battles the Fire Tablet on every front and emerges as the winner. But will it stand the test of time? That is what we need to see in future. 

All in all, NOOK is definitely a smart purchase and if you are looking for a perfect holiday gift for your dear ones, it can make a great gift for sure.