Barnes & Noble Nook 9-inch Lenovo tablet review: Affordable and capable

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We love e-readers Because they’re comfortable and relatively simple on the eyes, and they have a single use: reading. The Nook, made by Barnes & Noble, has been a solid e-reader option since 2009, and the brand has released several traditional tablets in the meantime. This year, it updated its tablet made in collaboration with Lenovo.

Although it’s named Nook, it’s not an e-reader. be able to Read up on it—it has the Nook app loaded—but it’s the 2024 version of the Tab M9 that runs Android 13, so it’s a tablet first. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Given the relatively affordable $150 price, it means you or your kid can get a pretty good tablet without spending hundreds.

reading room

Photo: Medea Giordano

The 9-inch, 1,340 x 800 display is small enough that you can slip it into a purse, but you can still comfortably stream your favorite shows while traveling or running on the treadmill. It’s not the sharpest display you’ll find in a tablet, but I still watched clear YouTube videos at 1080p, and with Dolby Atmos, they sounded clear, too.

It has a real headphone jack (hallelujah!), or you can connect Bluetooth headphones for listening to music or audiobooks. If you’re set on seeing the richest colors and sharpest contrast, you’ll probably want something better, but you’re probably not even trying to find a tablet in this price range.

It has 64 gigabytes of storage for all your books and apps, or you can add your own microSD card to expand it to 128 gigabytes. You’ll get up to 13 hours of battery life, but that’ll be a few hours less if you’re mostly streaming video.

While in the Nook app, you may want to turn on the reading mode in either Chromatic to lower the color temperature for colorful books, or Grayscale to make the screen black-and-white. But it’s still an LCD screen, so it’s not as easy on the eyes as a dedicated e-reader. One thing I don’t like about the Nook app is that swiping through pages is the same as swiping to close an app, so I often found myself back on the home screen instead of the next page.

The tablet has a notification-free mode that you can set for any app you choose, and I would suggest adding the Nook app to that list. E-readers are nice because they aren’t distracting, so turning off notifications helps regain that sense of focus.

Various app icons and a search bar visible on the tablet screen

Photo: Medea Giordano

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