Barnes & Noble has been selling its Android-powered Nook tablets since 2009, in which time we’ve seen them mature from simple e-ink based models to those with 1080p displays. Lately, though, things have slowed down, and 2013 brought us only a single new Nook – and another e-ink model, at that. Had the Nook brand stagnated? Well, even if it has, it looks like it’s ready to get some fresh blood, as we learn today of a new arrangement between Samsung and Barnes & Noble that will see the release of co-branded Galaxy Tab Nook tablets.
The first such tablet is due this August, a Nook-branded seven-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 4. B&N gets Samsung’s trusted name to attract shoppers, and Samsung gets its products placed prominently in the retailer’s stores. The existing Nook devices aren’t going away to make room for Samsung, either (or at least, not all of them), and will continue to be sold alongside new Samsung models.
For the moment, we’re most curious about what pricing might look like for this Galaxy Tab 4 Nook model. The current seven-inch Nook HD is just about $130, while the Tab 4 7.0 sells in the US for more like $200. If the Tab 4 was a big upgrade, we suppose shoppers could live with a higher price tag, but the Tab 4 7.0 actually has a lower screen resolution than the nearly two-year-old Nook HD (1280 x 800 versus 1440 x 900). While we suppose that this new seven-inch Tab 4 Nook model could differ in specs from the existing Tab 4 7.0, there’s no mention of such changes here. If this really is the same hardware, unless Barnes & Noble can convince Samsung to let the Tab 4 go for closer to $150, the tablet might end up being a tough sell.