Barnes and Noble has announced the Nook Tablet, which features a Kindle Fire beating spec sheet and improved functionality over previous versions. 

The Nook Tablet features access to millions of comic books and songs as well as a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Also included is free cloud storage for media and by the looks of it, a pretty incredible screen.

The IPS display features something called 'vivid view' giving "unprecedented viewing angles". Battery life-wise the tablet manages a full nine hours of movie watching, which is plenty for a tablet of its size and weight. Memory-wise you get 16GB of internal storage that is expandable up to 32GB with SD. No exact specifics on weight but it is said to be less than a pound, or for those in the UK, less than 450g. 

It also supports full 1080p video and features Netflix and Hulu support straight on the device. There is plentiful apps set to ship with the Nook Tablet on top of just video, including things like Pandora, Nook Comics and Nook Books. Oh and Angry Birds is coming.

An interesting feature included in the new Nook Tablet is the ability to record yourself reading, so that young ones can listen along to whatever it is you have read previously, if say you can't be there to read it to them.

Barnes and Noble manages 27 per cent of eBooks sales and has until now sold millions of its eReaders and tablets. So many in fact they claim the Nook is the number two selling tablet in the US behind the iPad.

Expect to see the Nook Tablet arrive in US stores next week, priced at just $249. 

What do you think of the new device? Let us know in the comments below ...