Why the Samsung Nook Tablet Is Worth a Second Look

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-08-22 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Barnes & Noble, the prominent bookseller, has had a hard time growing the sales of the Nook tablet in the face of fierce competition from the Amazon Kindle—not to mention all the other tablets on the market. But it will keep trying with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch, co-branded tablet that is one part Android tablet and one part e-reader. The companies announced at a special press event on Aug. 20 that the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is the first device yet to offer full tablet features while still focusing on the reading experience. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is by no means a groundbreaking tablet. The device is essentially the existing Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, but it comes with some additional software that the companies say differentiate it from the existing product. It's perhaps also worth noting that the device's price starts at $179, making it one of the cheaper slates on the market. Barnes & Noble is sweetening the pot even more by offering $200 in freebies to entice customers to buy the new tablet. This slide show examines whether Samsung's take on the Nook tablet with its low price and supplemental software is worth a second look.

 
 
 
  • Why the Samsung Nook Tablet Is Worth a Second Look

    By Don Reisinger
    Why the Samsung Nook Tablet Is Worth a Second Look
  • You Can't Beat the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook's Price

    It's hard to find fault with the value Samsung and Barnes & Noble are delivering in the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. As discussed, the device costs just $179, making it one of the cheapest options on store shelves today. To put it into perspective, Apple's iPad—the benchmark by which all other tablets are judged—starts at $499.
    You Can't Beat the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook's Price
  • Barnes & Noble Offers Solid Reading Experiences

    One of the big advantages to buying the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is the device's reading experience. Barnes & Noble has for years been offering books in full color that deliver outstanding reading experiences in both low light and direct sunlight. Reading a book through the Nook platform is quite appealing and shouldn't be overlooked, even though the tablet is now made by Samsung.
    Barnes & Noble Offers Solid Reading Experiences
  • The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook's Design Is Quite Strong

    The design of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is appealing and aesthetically pleasing. It's not any different from the Galaxy Tab 4 itself, as Samsung and Barnes & Noble realized that to change the device's already strong looks would be a mistake. The bezel around the screen is thin, the black and white versions are nicely colored, and the device fits easily into a purse or bag for traveling purposes. From a design perspective, it's hard to find fault with the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.
    The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook's Design Is Quite Strong
  • The Freebies Make It Worth Considering

    Barnes & Noble is smart to offer some freebies with the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. As noted, customers who buy the device will get $200 worth of free content, including access to three ebooks, three free TV show episodes, and a 14-day free trial for a selection of magazines. Not only is Barnes & Noble making the prospect of buying the tablet more appealing, it's getting customers to buy into its content, which is a key component in any plan to keep owners engaged.
    The Freebies Make It Worth Considering
  • The Strong Android Experience Is There

    As both Samsung and Barnes & Noble pointed out, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is based on Android. What that means is customers will find the full Android experience in the device, including access to all of Google's services, like Gmail and Google Docs, as well as the Chrome browser and other items typically found in a standard tablet. While reading might be the focus with the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, it's by no means the only feature to check out.
    The Strong Android Experience Is There
  • Nook Profiles Adds Some Much-Needed Personalization

    Nook Profiles comes with the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. What that means is everyone in the home can create their own unique profiles on the device and see only the content they've purchased or are interested in. Since tablets are often shared in the home, having unique profiles for family members to see only their own content is very important.
    Nook Profiles Adds Some Much-Needed Personalization
  • Barnes & Noble's Nook Ebook Selection Is Strong

    Although Amazon's ebook selection gets the most attention, Barnes & Noble's collection of titles is nothing to scoff at. Just about every major title is available as an ebook, as well as old-time classics, kids' books and more. Barnes & Noble even offers catalogs and newspapers for users to subscribe to.
    Barnes & Noble's Nook Ebook Selection Is Strong
  • There's the Brick-and-Mortar Element

    One of the big selling points for Amazon's tablet line has been its 24/7, on-device support. While Barnes & Noble doesn't offer that with the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, the company has said that the tablet can be brought into any of its brick-and-mortar stores for support or service. That puts Barnes & Noble on the same level as Apple in terms of support, which should satisfy those who want one-on-one contact with support people when something breaks down.
    There's the Brick-and-Mortar Element
  • Samsung Is Certainly No Slouch

    All of this talk of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook leaves out one major component: Samsung. The mobile firm has been making solid tablets for a long time, and the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is certainly no different. With Samsung, Barnes & Noble has a reputable partner that can attract customers with solid designs, quality components and a massive marketing platform. The Samsung component in this deal is very important.
    Samsung Is Certainly No Slouch
  • The Focus on Reading Seems to Make Sense

    Although the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is competing in a broad marketplace with many competitors, the sales pitch that the device is ideal for readers seems like a good one. Barnes & Noble's chief ebook (and e-reader) competitor, Amazon, has moved away from the focus on reading, thinking that tablet features reign supreme. By bringing the focus back to reading—and having the features built in to back that up—Barnes & Noble is positioning the device for success.
    The Focus on Reading Seems to Make Sense
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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