Barnes & Noble’s next NOOK tablet won’t be made by Barnes & Noble. Following disappointing sales for its NOOK HD tablet line the book retailer announced it would seek hardware partners for future devices… and now it looks like Samsung is the first of those partners.
Over the past year, Barnes & Noble has given mixed signals about its tablet strategy. The company said it was still involved in the design process for future tablets. At one point we even saw evidence that the company was testing new hardware with NVIDIA Tegra 4 chips. But by February it looked like “hardware partners” were again key to the company’s strategy.
That’s kind of a shame in some ways — the NOOK HD line of products actually had some great hardware including excellent displays and case designs that were meant for holding in your hands for long reading sessions. On the other hand it’s probably a lot cheaper to slap some custom software and the NOOK name on an existing product, which could make the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK a much more profitable device for B&N.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK will feature a 7 inch display and it will probably have a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU, a 1280 x 800 pixel display, 1.5GB of RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a 3MP rear camera, and 1.3MP front-facing camera. It should have a microSD card slot, at least 8GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery.
Samsung’s version of the tablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz, but the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK will feature NOOK software with an emphasis on eBooks, magazines, and other content from the NOOK Shop.
When the Samsung and B&N co-branded tablet launches in August it’ll be available at Barnes & Noble stores across the United States and online at bn.com.
If you don’t want to wait until this fall, B&N is offering a Father’s Day deal on the NOOK HD. Buy one now for $129 and up and you get a free cover. Or you can pick up a refurbished model from A4C for as little as $70.
B&N will also continue to offer the NOOK GlowLight for customers looking for an digital book reader with an E Ink display.