Barnes & Noble unveiled its $249 Nook Tablet today, looking to challenge Amazon’s upcoming $199 Kindle Fire tablet in the market for low-priced tablet computers.

Seeking to justify the $50 premium, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch pointed to factors including the Nook Tablet’s 16 GB of built-in storage, which compares with the 6GB available for media storage on the Kindle Fire (out of 8GB total).

The Kindle Fire’s storage is “deficient for a media tablet,” Lynch said, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Lynch also touted the ability for customers to get support for the Nook Tablet in Barnes & Noble stores. “If you wanted to get support with the Fire, where would you go? Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle?” he said, according to a Slashgear post.

Based on its hands-on assessment, CNet says the Nook Tablet “immediately becomes the first real challenger to the Kindle Fire in the emerging bargain tablet arena.”

Barnes & Noble also dropped the price of its Nook Color to $199, and reduced the Nook Simple Touch e-reader to $99, trying to better compete with Amazon’s Kindle lineup. Amazon leads the market for dedicated e-readers and has reported higher-than-expected demand for the Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire will be available on Nov. 15. Nook Tablet comes out on Nov. 18.

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Barnes & Noble on this product announcement! I can’t wait to get my hands on a Tablet.

  • Sandro

    Everyone keeps saying that Nook has more storage over Kindle which is critical for watching movies on the go. I see a disconnect here because both “blessed” video content providers for Nook (Netflix and Hulu+) do not allow to download a movie for watching it later as far as I understand — they use streaming instead. I suppose that one can rip a DVD and upload it to Nook but this limits you to your existing video library and it’s not a trivial task for majority of consumers. I’m just trying to understand how things will actually work on practice.

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