Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is a Bad Idea for B&N


If you haven’t already heard the big new that every tech website on the web is posting about today, Barnes and Noble has announced that they will be releasing a co-branded tablet with Samsung this August.

That in itself isn’t a bad idea for a struggling B&N that has experienced declining tablet sales over the past couple of years. They don’t have to design a new tablet and be responsible for making their own hardware. Instead they have the luxury of relying on one of the largest and most well-known tablet manufactures in the business.

The biggest issue that I have is B&N isn’t going to release their own custom Nook device. They are going to use Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4, which I just happened to review so I’m very familiar with that particular tablet, especially after going in-depth with a 50 tips and tricks article and video this morning (weird timing).

I really like the Galaxy Tab 4. The hardware is solid and if feels like a quality tablet. But the best thing about it is Samsung’s custom user interface. It has a cleaner look than stock Android and offers some extra features like being able to have two apps open at once.

But B&N isn’t going to use Samsung’s software, they are going to use their own custom Nook software with the Galaxy Tab 4 hardware. Samsung has been developing their own custom software for years with phones and tablets. It’s really going to be hard for B&N to create something that gives customers a reason to choose the Nook Tab 4 over the regular Galaxy Tab 4 that’s already available for purchase right now.

Another problem with that idea of using the Galaxy Tab 4’s hardware is the screen. Personally I like the screen and think it looks pretty good. But there’s the fact that it has lower resolution than B&N’s current 7-inch tablet, the Nook HD. When it comes to ereading, higher resolution is always better because it helps make text appear sharper and clearer. So B&N is going to be going backwards on that front, from a tablet they released nearly 2 years prior, no less.

The Galaxy Tab 4 does offer some advantages over the Nook HD, no doubt. It has a zippier quad-core processor opposed to a dual-core processor. And it has front and rear cameras; the Nook HD has neither. But otherwise things are very similar as far as hardware features.

Another possible issue is going to be the price, which B&N hasn’t announced yet. Right now the Nook HD sells for a measly $129. The Galaxy Tab 4 retails for $199. How is B&N going to sell a tablet with a lower resolution screen for $70 more? Why wouldn’t people just buy a regular Galaxy Tab 4 to begin with?

I don’t know. The partnership with Samsung is a good idea, but I wish B&N could have found a way to customize the hardware to their needs a little more. On the software side, their main goal is to showcase B&N’s selection of books, magazines and newspapers. I already have access to all that on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 with the Nook Android app. Why would people want to buy a Nook device for something that they can have on just about any Android tablet?

That better be some really stellar custom Nook software…

5 Responses to “Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is a Bad Idea for B&N”

  1. I have nook hd+ but the screen-touch isn’t very sensitive… I got it because I can load my own files and videos on the sd card… Otherwise I would have waited for a kindle tablet…

    Another gripe is I can’t download my amazon apps to nook or playstore apps to kindle… This could be a user-based problem of course! 😉

    I like the iPad, but not enough fits on our old original… Lol

  2. i have anook hd+ and i have the amazon kindle app and even the play store……is your nook up to date? take it in to BN for help with that.

    now about the article. if the price is the same then i do not see any issue with it vs the regular tab 4. i am not really a big fan of touchwiz as an interface. now i’m not a big fan of either interface nook’s of touchwiz. i use a custom launcher regardless so it really does not matter anyways.

    plus BN has free customer service.

    • I think kathyo was referring to apps other than the Amazon Kindle apps that are downloadable from the Kindle store. I could install and use the Kindle apps just fine on my Nook HD+, but other apps from the Kindle store wouldn’t install. Kathyo, if you really want maximum flexibility that will let you install and run apps from both Google Play and Kindle stores, then consider purchasing an N2A SD card that will let you run Android without the BN restrictions.

  3. I am happy with my Nook HD+, and am not planning to purchase another tablet anytime soon. My biggest gripe with BN’s recent moves is that they jacked up their ebook prices about 2 months ago. Now their ebooks are at least 20% more expensive than ebooks at Google Play and Amazon store. I have been buying all my ebooks from Google Play since then.

  4. The Nook HD+ is fine .The I have to checkup the ebook price