As part of a Cyber Monday special, the Nook Tablet 8GB goes for $79 on eBay through Barnes and Noble. Other options include a $99 Nook Tablet 16GB and a Nook Color for $59.
The Nook Tablet 8GB at $79 is probably the best deal, as it comes with a dual core processor (NOOK Tablet– 8GB: 1GHz TI OMAP4 (dual-core) processor with 512MB RAM, NOOK Tablet– 16GB: 1GHz TI OMAP4 (dual-core) processor with 1GB RAM) and would suffice for simple tablet needs. While it comes with a custom Android ROM, a little hacking goes a long way into turning it into a full fledged Jelly Bean tablet. See the video below for CyanogenMod 10 running on the Nook Tablet. Overall, it looks responsive enough and supports h/w acceleration to run your apps like Chrome and other Android games.
Rooting instructions for the Nook Tablet 8GB are available here. If you’re using a NOOK Tablet running Barnes & Noble’s custom version of Android and haven’t rooted the tablet, you can follow xda-developer forum member Indirect’s method for rooting the tablet and installing ClockworkMod Recovery.
Currently, there are a couple of alpha versions for Jelly Bean on the Nook Tablet but the bugs are more serious, with crashes (random reboots – less frequent though) and battery drain (got also somewhat better). However, development is still rather active and is expected to improve over time. For $79, it might make for a good secondary tablet or for your kids as a cheap alternative at under S$150 (after shipping). With the amount of hacking involved, it’s only more appropriate if you are into hacking, familiar with ADB, drivers, and enjoy troubleshooting, because if its just the price, you could otherwise pick up similar spec-ed china tablets from Taobao with more options too. The Gadmei E8HD comes to mind.
Nook Color at $59
The Nook Color has the option to load CM 10 (Jelly Bean 4.1) and the version has improved quite a fair bit and with only a few ‘bugs’ remaining. Significant work has been devoted to this release and the remaining bugs aren’t used daily and would likely not affect majority of users.
- rare reports of high pitched noise on some hardware versions when coming out of sleep (but not confirmed)
- ADB over USB seems to slow down
- No support for overclocking
- no support for OTG