Software: Both run modified versions of Google Inc.’s Android software. Neither one has direct access to Google’s Android Market for third-party applications; Amazon and Barnes & Noble run their own stores.

Apps: Barnes & Noble says its goal is to have 1,000 third-party applications available by the end of the year. Amazon has nearly ten times as many.

Storage: The Nook Tablet has 16 gigabytes of storage plus a memory-card slot. Of the built-in memory, all but 1 gigabyte is reserved for content bought from Barnes & Noble. The Kindle Fire includes 8 gigabytes of internal storage and no memory-card slot.

Battery life: Barnes & Noble claims up to 9 hours of video on the Nook Tablet, Amazon says 7.5 hours on the Kindle Fire.

Thickness: They’re nearly identical: the Nook tablet is 0.48 inches thick, while the Kindle Fire is 0.45 inches.

Weight: Again, nearly identical. The Nook Tablet weighs 14.1 ounces, the Kindle Fire half an ounce more.

Movies: Both come with apps from Netflix and Hulu, which provide streaming movies and TV shows to subscribers. The Kindle Fire also provides access to downloadable and streaming movies from Amazon.