Barnes & Noble is hoping to revive its Nook tablet brand through a partnership with Samsung.
The American bookstore chain is shifting its strategy with its tablets, opting to enlist the help of manufacturers instead of making its own devices. The company announced the strategy last summer, and the result of its first collaboration is the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.
The device, the company's first tablet in two years, is a 7-inch full-featured Android tablet that is designed for reading. However, it's not simply a re-branded Android device. The tablet runs a customized version of Nook software along with Android 4.4 Kitkat.
"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK is the most advanced NOOK ever, delivering the great NOOK experience our customers have come to love, with the high-performance tablet features they've asked for," Michael P. Huseby, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, said in a press release.
"We've taken our bestselling Samsung Galaxy and made it the best tablet available for reading and entertainment... We are excited to bring the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook to customers through Barnes & Noble's bookstores nationwide," said Samsung Electronics America President Tim Baxter.
The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, which was released last April. It has a 1.3 megapixel front camera and three megapixel rear camera. The Wi-Fi version of the device will come with a full suite of Google apps and eight gigabytes of memory. However, it does have some variations that make it more suited for e-book readers. The home screen displays recommended and recently read books, similar to older version of Nook tablets. The device also has a Reading Now button that allows users to get back to what they were reading more quickly.
Last June, Barnes & Noble said that it will stop making full-color Nook tablets. Before the announcement, Nook and e-book sales had dropped significantly. The company's e-reader division had dropped 34 percent and digital content sales were down 8.9 percent.
The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is currently available for $179 after a $20 instant rebate. As a bonus to customers, Barnes & Nobles will offer $200 worth of free content and a $5 credit to the Nook Store. The Nook Store has millions of books, along with a large selection of movies and TV shows through Nook Video.