It's no secret that the NOOK tablets didn't sell like Barnes & Noble had hoped. The company had a hard time distinguishing its product amongst the other Android tablets in a cutthroat 7-inch tablet market. Because of the heat, the bookseller understandably jumped out of the hardware business and let its former rivals do all the hardware handiwork, including Samsung.
Thus enter the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, a co-branded tablet that costs a surprisingly low $179. The tablet has a 7-inch OLED screen with a 1280 x 800 (216 ppi) resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for 32 GB of additional storage and a battery promising up to 10 hours on a single charge.
"The co-branded devices will combine popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 hardware with customized NOOK software to give customers powerful, full-featured tablets that are designed for reading, with easy access to Barnes & Noble's expansive digital collection of more than three million books, leading magazines and newspapers," Barnes & Noble said back in June.
The NOOK tablet also includes GPS, Wireless N connectivity, a 1.3MP camera on the front and a 3MP camera on the back. The tablet is powered by Android 4.4 "KitKat," and it surprisingly offers access to Google Play. That indicates that the NOOK user interface, which loads when you boot the device, is likely a special Android launcher that can be disabled.
To reel in new customers, Barnes & Noble has thrown in $200 worth of free contentsuch as three bestselling eBooks, one episode of three popular television shows, four 14-day free trial subscriptions to magazines, and $5 to spend in the NOOK Store. Free items will also be handed out during the company's Free Fridays program.
Will Samsung save the NOOK tablet brand? Only time will tell, but based on the provided information, book lovers may like this Samsung/Barnes & Noble marriage better than the previous in-house NOOK tablets. Google Play was made present on the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, but apparently that just wasn't enough to keep NOOK tablet revenues afloat.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK comes in either Black or White.