The Nook’s got a new look.
Barnes & Noble and Samsung are teaming up to bring the bookseller’s Nook eBook services to one of the Korean tech giant’s tablets in the form of a new device called the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Launching Wednesday, the co-branded tablet will sell for $179, after a $20 mail-in rebate.
The Tab Nook is essentially a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, a 7-inch tablet that runs on Google’s Android operating system, that’s been loaded with exclusive Barnes & Noble Nook apps.
You can already get Barnes & Noble’s Nook app on any Android device, but the hook with the Galaxy Tab Nook is that the experience has been streamlined. Instead of forcing you to go through the standard Nook app in order to find your books and movies, browse the Nook store, or read a magazine, the Galaxy Tab Nook has separate apps for the store, the reading experience, and book search.
The apps themselves have also been optimized to make perusing them easier thanks to a new, more visual design.
What’s more, Samsung has added ever-present Nook widgets to the Tab Nook’s home screen, which allow you to browse your available books, magazines, and movies without having to open an app.
Barnes & Noble has also thrown in an extra $200 worth of goodies, including the first episodes of shows like Veep and Orphan Black, as well as issues of Sports Illustrated. And if you’ve got kids around, the Nook comes with a multiuser mode that lets you limit what apps your children can use and access.
Beyond the Nook apps, the Tab Nook is still a full-fledged Android tablet. So you’ll be able to browse the Web and download all of your favorite apps and movies from the Google Play store; previous versions of the Nook tablet, which was made only by Barnes & Noble, were criticized for their dearth of apps.
The Tab 4 Nook has 8 GB of built-in storage. A microSD card slot allows you to add 32 GB of additional storage space.
Barnes & Noble’s collaboration with Samsung follows the bookseller’s decision to stop producing its own tablets in June 2013, due to the expenses involved in the production process and the dominance of Amazon’s Kindle tablets. But with Samsung’s help, the Barnes & Noble tablet has been reborn.