tablets

Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ Review

Whether its the screen or this tablet's performance, the Nook HD+ falls flat.

December 11, 2012
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Science Introduction

Great specs can't save bad software.

Screen Performance

High pixel density, low image quality.

As the branding alludes to, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ has a relatively pixel-dense screen, though it doesn't really quite compare with the highest-end tablets. Occupying a 7.5 x 5-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1280, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ has a density of 256 pixels per inch (PPI). This is cruising close to an ideal density, but still a little ways off from being an actual "retina" display.

Offering a passable contrast performance, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ has a black level of 0.6 cd/m2, and a peak brightness of 481.03 cd/m2, giving the tablet a fairly wide contrast ratio of 802:1. This is important, as the wider the contrast ratio is, the more values along the greyscale you can see well—more detail will be evident in different lighting in your image.

While this ratio isn't bad, per se, it also means that videophiles out there will probably not like the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ for movies. But then again, very few tablets do well in this category. What actually makes the Nook HD+ net a poor score here is what's called greyscale gamma, or how evenly and dramatically the screen transitions from greyscale value to value. If we were to plot each value on a graph, we'd ideally expect to see a line with a slope of 2.1, but that of the Nook HD+ was 2.3, meaning the transition of the values is a bit more dramatic than you'd expect.

We'd normally like to see a color gamut (the range of colors the screen can produce) conform to the internationally agreed-upon range of colors that a screen should produce: the rec. 709 standard. Unfortunately, the Nook HD+ not only undersaturates reds and greens, but wildly shifts the deepest blues to a more cyan-ish color.

By reflecting 13.1% of light shone on the screen at the user, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ has a relatively high reflectivity, but there are worse tablets out there. Still, the reflection pattern is very sharp and annoying, and this will definitely cause consternation in the outdoors.

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Battery Life

Nothing amazing here

Overall, the battery life of the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ is fairly average, but with the lack of Bluetooth, apps, and other more power-intensive options, the variance in battery life will depend mostly on how high or low you set your backlight. With it cranked to the max in our labs, we were able to coax out 5 hours and 43 minutes of reading an eBook, and 6 hours and 10 minutes watching a horrible video.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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