Although most industry analysts outright dismiss any challenge mounted against Apple's iPad today, Barnes & Noble is generating no shortage of headlines this week in response to its announcement that the retail and digital book giant is entering the HD tablet arena.

On the heels of announcing its new NOOK Video offering Tuesday, this morning Barnes & Noble introduced NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, the lightest HD and full HD tablets.

The super-fast and lightweight 7-inch NOOK HD and 9-inch NOOK HD+ feature must-see displays for superior reading and entertainment and an instantly personalized tablet experience for each family member.
Barnes & Noble says the NOOK HD delivers "the world's highest-resolution ever on a 7-inch tablet and NOOK HD+ rivals the industry-leading tablet's display." In other words, releases like these are exactly why Apple is working on an iPad mini.

According to details made in today's announcement, prices start at $199 for NOOK HD and $269 for NOOK HD+.

"With the combination of the highest resolution screen, lightest weight and expansive access to content rendered in a digital quality never before seen, NOOK HD is the world's best 7-inch media tablet," says William J. Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. "We designed our larger format tablet NOOK HD+ because we think there's big demand from customers for a super-light, extremely high quality 9-inch tablet, at half the price of the iPad. Both our 7-inch NOOK HD and 9-inch NOOK HD+ deliver an exceptional customer experience and we enthusiastically encourage customers to go to nook.com and learn more about them."

Source: B&N