Barnes & Noble teams with Samsung for new Nook tablet

Earlier in the summer Barnes & Noble announced that its oft-troubled Nook division was to partner with Samsung to release a line of tablets carrying Nook software. Now, the first fruit of that partnership has seen release in the form of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a rebranded version of one of Samsung’s entry-level tablets, the Galaxy Tab 4. Currently only available in the USA, it’s priced at $179 with a seven inch, 1280 x 800 display, and is set apart from the previous model by the $200 worth of Nook-compatible books, magazines and TV shows with which it is pre-loaded. It is the first new Nook tablet since Barnes & Noble revealed last year that it would cease exclusive production of new tablets and instead move to a partnership model.

Besides acting as a gateway to the Nook store, the tablet allows access to the Google Play store, enabling users to download a far greater selection of apps than is available on the Nook’s most obvious competitor, the Kindle. It uses the Google Chrome browser and, in a first for a Nook, features both front and rear-facing cameras.

The Bookseller quotes Barnes & Noble c.e.o. Michael P Huseby describing the tablet as having been designed for ‘those who love to read in all forms as well as browse the web, watch videos, enjoy apps and more,’ suggesting that the company will continue to play up its roots and strengths as a bookseller first and foremost in a bid to separate the tablet from the pack.

Barnes & Noble will no doubt be hoping that this partnership can go some way towards reversing the fortunes of the Nook, which has been a consistent money-loser: so far this year the company has eaten $218 million of Nook losses, following on from losses of $260 million in 2013. Despite that heavy deficit, the bookseller remained in profit overall last year, posting $251 million against total revenue of $6.4 billion.

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