Samsung-made Nook tablet announced by Barnes & Noble

Michelle Fleury reports from New York, where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook had its debut

Related Stories

Barnes & Noble has unveiled a customised version of an existing Samsung tablet as a replacement for the Nook HD+, which it manufactured itself.

The US book chain is marketing the device as the "first-ever full-featured Android tablet optimised for reading", based on its inclusion of pre-installed Nook apps and homescreen shortcuts.

However, its screen is lower resolution than Kobo's Android-powered Arc 7HD.

One analyst said it would be an "uphill struggle" to sell the new device.

"There is growing consumer apathy to this growing class of low-cost tablets," said Ben Wood, from the tech consultancy CCS Insight.

"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."

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook The tablet is branded with Samsung's logo but has the book store's apps pre-installed

The advantage that the 7in (17.8cm)-screened Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook has over Amazon's Fire tablets is that it can easily access the Google Play marketplace. Amazon's tablet uses a proprietary store with fewer apps available.

Costing $179 (£107), the new Nook is also cheaper than the Kindle Fire HDX and Kobo Arc 7HD.

However with only 216 pixels per inch, text will appear less sharp on its screen. Likewise, magazines and movies sold from the included Nook Newsstand and Nook Video apps will present less detail than similar purchases on either the two other Android machines or Apple's bestselling iPad Mini, which also has its own dedicated ebook store.

Amazon HDX and Kobo Arc 7HD Amazon and Kobo have book-focused tablets with higher resolution screens

Even so, one market watcher said the tie-up still made business sense. Samsung should benefit from the exposure of having its machine promoted in Barnes & Noble's stores and website, while the retailer gets to cut its costs after posting a $47m (£28.2m) net loss for its last financial year.

"It's very hard to make money out of mobile devices," said Ian Fogg, from the IHS consultancy.

"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."

At the moment the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is only available in the US.

Barnes and Noble will continue to sell e-ink readers, including the Nook GlowLight, which was launched in the UK earlier this month.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Technology stories


Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreNo encore Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Jon Sopel'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

BBC Future

(Science Photo Library)

Nasa’s amazing airport simulator

How to train 21st Century controllers


  • A robotClick Watch

    The latest in robotics including software that can design electronics to solve problems

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.