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Nook Tablet released early, already in some stores

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Barnes and Noble's Nook Tablet has beaten its original launch date by several days, with some customers already buying the device direct from stores.

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Barnes and Noble's CEO William Lynch spent a lot of the Nook Tablet announcement one-upping Amazon's Kindle Fire, and now, not to be outdone following the Kindle's early release, the new Nook's shipping early too. Although the Nook Tablet was originally set for availability on Friday, a B&N spokesperson told CNET that pre-orderers can expect theirs to arrive today, with retail stores selling them from tomorrow. Not only that: a tipster has sent Engadget photos of the new device purchased in a B&N store yesterday afternoon, with commenters confirming that they've been able to get hold of one too.

We spent some hands-on time with the Tablet at the launch, and were impressed by the brightness and viewing angles of its 7-inch fully laminated IPS display. The Nook runs on a dual-core 1GHz processor, combined with 16GB of storage (expandable to 48GB with a microSD card), and 1GB of RAM. If you're still undecided as to which of the tablets to go for, check out our comparison between the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire.