Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets may not have the brand cachet of the iPad or the Kindle Fire, but the bookseller's done an impressive job of turning itself into a consumer electronics company. While it's done so, though, the company's had trouble keeping pace with its competitors on another front: content. The Nook Tablet — like the Nook Color before it — is a solid piece of hardware, but with an app store and a content ecosystem that paled next to its competitors, its appeal was somewhat limited.

Now Barnes & Noble's back with the Nook HD, and not only has the company improved the hardware, it's plugged the holes in its content universe. The tablet connects to the new Nook Video store, and integrates with Ultraviolet so you get digital copies of movies you purchase in Walmart and elsewhere. It also has a new version of the Nook OS, a bunch of new features, and plenty of magazines, books, and catalogs to read. It all comes in an 11-ounce, reading-friendly body with a display that Barnes & Noble said over and over is "better than any other 7-inch tablet."

The Nook HD starts at $199 for 8GB of internal storage, and for $229 you’ll get 16GB. It’s a compelling proposition, but it comes at a dangerous time — the 7-inch tablet market is getting good, fast. Can the Nook HD hang with the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD, and the new iPad mini? Let's find out.