The Nook HD+ vs the iPad

Nook HD+, a Good Alternative to the iPad? |

It’s the Nook HD+ vs the iPad. Which one comes out on top? Since I purchased my first iPod and iMac, I’ve always been pretty committed to Apple Products. While I will probably never trade in my iPhone for something different, I wasn’t as devoted to my iPad. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but nothing I did on it had to be done on an iPad. I primarily used it for reading books & magazines, Pinterest, web browsing, email, sudoku puzzles, and the occasional word processing document. I would have just continued to use my 1st generation iPad but its old operating system and hardware couldn’t handle many of the apps that I like to use (mainly Pinterest). When I heard that Barnes & Noble had opened up the Nook to the full Android operating system and dropped the price of the Nook HD+, I was definitely intrigued.


If price is your only consideration, it’s a no-brainer. The 16GB iPad (w/ Retina Display) costs $500, while the Nook HD+ is only $150. Yes – you can buy THREE Nooks for the price you’d pay for one iPad! I was able to sell my 1st gen iPad for $200, so I actually made a little money on the switch.

Screen Size

The screens on both devices are pretty close in size. The iPad screen measures 5.75″ x 7.5″ and the Nook HD+ screen measures 5″ x 7.5″. When I originally purchased my iPad, it almost seemed a little too big, so I really like the slightly narrower screen. I feel like I notice a difference in how the device feels to hold, but I don’t really miss the wider screen when looking at it.

Out of the Box

If you decide to buy a Nook HD+, the first thing you want to do is run the updates. When you buy the Nook, it still has the proprietary operating system installed. Installing the updates will upgrade to the full Android operating system. What this means is that you can install almost anything from the Google Play store – including the Amazon Kindle app!

Is there an app for that?

In my opinion, this is the area you really need to assess before changing devices. If you have a lot of money invested in iPad apps, you won’t be able to take those apps with you. They may or may not be available in the Google Play store; and even if they are, you will have to purchase them again. Most of the apps I used on my iPad were free apps. I am considering repurchasing the Plex app and the iCam app from the Google store – an added expense of $10. There are just a couple of apps that I had on my iPad that aren’t available for Android, surprisingly, Amazon’s video app is one of them (but their music and Kindle app are available).


One of the biggest differences between the Nook HD+ and the iPad is the lack of cameras. My first gen iPad didn’t have any and I never missed them. If you Skype or FaceTime a lot, you will probably want the cameras but I don’t care about them at all. The other big difference is that the Nook HD+’s memory can be expanded with a 32GB microSD card, while the iPad is not expandable. I had a 16GB iPad and purchased the 16GB Nook HD+. I don’t envision needing to expand the memory but it might be a nice option to have when traveling.


Being in the accessory business myself, I knew that having a Nook was going to limit my choice for fun covers/skins; I have been unable to find a printing company that makes covers/skins for the Nook HD+. Fortunately Barnes and Noble has teamed up with some great designers to make their own line of covers. You may not be able to be buy something one-of-a-kind, like you would with an Apple device, but there are still some pretty stylish options.

I love my new Nook. It took me a little time to adjust to the new operating system, but beyond that, I haven’t missed my iPad at all. The Nook HD+ is a great alternative for those of us that want a tablet without spending the money for an iPad. There are rumors that Barnes and Noble is getting out of the tablet business, so if you are considering a Nook, you might want to jump on it why they are available.

Do you have a tablet? What kind?

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  • GC

    Thanks for the post!