Barnes & Noble picked a tough time to revamp its lineup of tablets. On the one hand, the 7-inch market is both more crowded and more mature than ever thanks to the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and iPad mini. Meanwhile, the newest iPad is better than ever, and the Nexus 10 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 are both solid options as well. But the company soldiered on, bringing both the Nook HD and Nook HD+ to market in time for the holidays.

When I reviewed the Nook HD, the smaller of Barnes & Noble's two new tablets, it didn't measure up to the formidable competition. It was slow and buggy, and having a great screen and $199 price tag didn't give it a real advantage over its competition.

The Nook HD+'s larger display may not be the best in its class (not when there's a Retina-equipped iPad out there), but its price is. It starts at just $269 for 16GB of storage, easily the cheapest large tablet from a major brand, and the $299 32GB option is an even better deal. The 9-inch tablet also has a faster processor than its smaller sibling, and Barnes & Noble has rolled out software updates that it says fix the problems I experienced. My hopes were high as I started this review — I love what Barnes & Noble is trying to do, and the pieces seem to be in place for the company to make a great, affordable tablet for readers. Did it pull it off?