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Samsung-made Nook tablet announced by Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble has released a modified version of a Samsung tablet that already exists on the market as an alternative to the Nook HD+, which they constructed themselves. The device is being marketed by the company as the “first ever full featured Android tablet optimised for reading”, this is due to it having pre-installed Nook apps and the shortcuts on the homescreen.

But the screen resolution is considerably lower than Kobo’s Android-powered Arc 7HD. An analyst stated that it would be an “uphill struggle” to get this new device sold.

“There is growing consumer apathy to this growing class of low-cost tablets. Although there is the Nook angle on this, it goes into the melting pot with numerous other tablets that will appear in this price point as we run up to Christmas. Amazon has pretty much locked out the market in reading-focused tablets anyway, the only thing I’d applaud here is the fact that Barnes & Noble has gone to Samsung, which can give it scale and quality,” said Ben Wood, from the tech consultancy CCS Insight.

Some of the better aspects and features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook compared to Amazon’s Fire tablets is its simplistic access to the marketplace of Google Play and Amazon’s tablet has an alternative store and less apps available. The screen measures 7in (17.8cm) and costs $179 (£107), making it cheaper than the Kindle Fire HDX and Kobo Arc 7HD. The only downfall is the text on the screen will be less sharp – having only 216 pixels per inch. This will also be the case with things like magazines and films sold on the Nook Newsstand and Nook Video apps (both of which are included), the quality will appear less sharp than Apple’s iPad Mini, for example.

Despite this, many still think that it makes business sense and that Samsung will benefit somewhat from the buzz surrounding the Barnes & Noble promotion in their stores and website.

“It’s very hard to make money out of mobile devices, but by having this partnership, Barnes & Noble can have its own content and services pre-installed so that they are not just front-of-mind but also front-of-eyes for consumers. If it wants to get its apps used on other people’s devices it has to persuade people to install them instead of a Kindle app or another competitor – that visibility is very important,” said Ian Fogg, from the IHS consultancy.

Presently, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is primarily available only in the US. Barnes and Noble will keep selling e-ink readers; this includes the Nook GlowLight, which was released in the United Kingdom earlier in the last month.

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