Barnes & Noble has just announced a sale on their tablets. If you buy one any time between now and 12 May and you'll be able to pick up the Nook HD for $150 or the Nook HD+ for $180.
That is a fifty dollar and eighty dollar price cut from the regular retail, making these tablets the best value on the market. And with the release of a firmware update on Friday that added access to Google Play, Barnes & Noble tablets truly are Android tablets - or at least close enough to satisfy most.
The Nook HD had cutting edge hardware when it launched last Fall. It has a 7" 1440x900 resolution screen and runs B&N's own custom version of Android 4.0 ICS on a dual-core 1.3 GHz TI OMAP CPU. It ships with Bluetooth, Wifi, a microSD card slot, and 8GB of storage for $149.
The Nook HD+ is a 9" tablet with a screen resolution of 1920x1280. It's running largely the same software as on the Nook HD, only with a faster dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP CPU. The Nook HD+ ships with Bluetooth, Wifi, a microSD card slot, and 16GB of storage for $179.
The deals are good in B&N stores as well as on Nook.com.
Update: You can also find this deal at BestBuy and Target.
This is a smart move for B&N, in that it will clear out existing stock, but I'm not sure it will solve their long term shrinking market share and lack of profitability. The Nook hardware had previously been sold at a loss in the hopes of making up the deficit in content sales, so today's sale represents an even more drastic cut than it might appear. But this is also stock that was piling up because B&N had trouble selling over the past holiday season, so putting it on sale today is also B&N's best option at the moment.