Samsung is becoming Barnes & Noble's first partner to create a Nook-branded tablet today with the unveiling and release of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The name is a mouthful, but it basically means that the tablet is a rebranded version of Samsung's existing Galaxy Tab 4 tablet — part of its low-end line — that's now been customized with some Nook software. The tablet has a 7-inch, 1280 x 800 display and will sell for $179. That's basically the same price that Samsung's existing version of the Tab 4 sells for, but Barnes & Noble is banking on Nook's reading-focused apps as being enough to tip the scales in its favor.
Same specs as the Galaxy Tab 4
Barnes & Noble began releasing tablets in 2012, but quickly cut off the effort and actually announced less than a year later that it would no longer make Nook tablets. The company's Nook unit has constantly been a sore spot on its quarterly earnings reports, so much so that it finally announced plans to spin off the division, which at this point is focused on ebook readers. At the same time, it's also been working with partners to keep the Nook tablet line alive, with Samsung's release today being the first results of that effort.
That means that Nook is back on the map as far as low-cost tablets go, but it's still facing huge competition from all the same places. Most notably, that's still Amazon with its Kindle Fires: the comparable Fire HD sells for $139, while the much-improved Fire HDX sells for $229. Notably though, the Nook allows for access to the full Google Play Store, meaning the app selection will be far larger than what you'd get on Amazon's tablet. And even if this tablet isn't the success Barnes & Noble might dream for it to be, that should hardly be of issue to Samsung, which has proven time and again that it's a master at filling the market with anything and everything that there's the slightest bit of space for.