Barnes & Noble hasn’t had much luck competing with Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers, its Nook tablets selling poorly enough to prompt an announcement from the bookseller in June that it was spinning off the whole division. That hasn’t stopped the company from actively trying to better the line, though; it’ll still sell the e-readers in stores even after the split is complete, and it’s delegated manufacture of new Nook devices to Samsung.
The latter company joined with Barnes & Noble this morning in New York City to announce the new Nook. Technically co-branded as the “Galaxy Tab 4 Nook,” the new device is just what it sounds like: a rebadged Tab 4 7.0 with a special suite of Nook features and services baked in, and offered at Barnes & Noble stores at a discounted price of $179 (after a $20 mail-in rebate). The new Nook also comes bundled with a pretty solid set of free toss-ins: up to three bestselling books, three downloadable television episodes, $5 in Nook cash credit, and four “top magazine” subscriptions – all of which provide the previous 12 issues at no additional charge.
For a buyer as reading-focused as we assume the typical Nook consumer is, that’s no small amount of incentive. And backed up by the promise of in-store customer support and tutorials from cross-trained Barnes & Nobile booksellers, the new Nook might just be the kind of thing that charges your battery. (More savvy tablet shoppers might be prompted to find better specs or features elsewhere.)
So what’s it like to hold? And what else is included in Barnes & Noble’s software customizations? Find out in our hands-on video below!