Samsung and Barnes & Noble have teamed up for the bookseller’s latest tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Available today for $179, the new tablet will sport a 7-inch display, $200 in free content, and in-store customer support. But what else makes the Tab 4 Nook special? Here’s a look at the top five features of this new tablet.
The Tab 4 Nook has a 7-inch, 1280 x 800-pixel display, which is typical for most tablets at this size, but well below the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX‘s 1920 x 1200-pixel panel. The Amazon Fire HD, which costs $139, has a 1280 x 800-pixel screen. At 9.74 ounces, the Tab 4 Nook is lighter than the 10.7-ounce Fire HDX and the 10.9-ounce Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display.
In addition to running Android 4.4 KitKat, the Tab 4 Nook will have Barnes & Noble’s Nook software. However, it will be in app form, rather than a whole interface. On the bottom right of the home screen of the tablet is a Resume Reading button. When this button is pressed, the tablet will open the book you were reading to the exact spot you left off.
The Nook app will offer personalized recommendations based on your reading and viewing habits and preferences. Of course, B&N’s entire library of 3 million books, magazines and newspapers, and its TV and movie selections will also be available for Tab 4 Nook users.
In what could be the best feature for families, the Tab 4 Nook will support up to six accounts, so that parents can load content specific and appropriate to each of their children on separate interfaces. Interactive kids’ books features include Read to Me, Read and Play, and Read and Record to encourage learning. However, there was no mention of a FreeTime-like feature, which lets parents set time limits on the type of content their children are viewing.
While Amazon has Mayday, Barnes & Noble is counting on its bricks and mortar stores to offer in-person customer support. Tab 4 Nook owners will be able to bring their tablets into any Barnes & Noble store and get free tech support and help setting up their tablet.
Like other recent Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and the Galaxy S5, the Tab 4 Nook will have a multi-window mode, so users can have two apps open at once on the display. This could be useful when you’re reading a book and you want to look up a term or browse your email.
The Tab 4 Nook will have a front 1.3-MP camera, which should suffice for video chats. While the Nook’s rear-facing 3-MP camera is pretty ho-hum, the Amazon HDX lacks a rear camera altogether.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook doesn’t wow, but there are some reasons to consider it. The biggest selling points are the low $179 price and $200 of free content offered through Barnes & Noble. Plus, you’ll get access to the Google Play store, while Kindle tablets are limited to Amazon’s own store. Stay tuned for a full review.