NEW YORK – Barnes & Noble and Samsung have unveiled a reading-focused tablet that will replace the bookseller’s own Nook tablets.
The 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will sell for $179, the same entry price of the non-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.
The move had been expected since Barnes & Noble said in June that it would team up with Samsung to release co-branded Nook tablets in August.
For the first time, the Nook will have a camera. The 1.3-megapixel camera on the front is on par with what’s on other tablets, but the 3.0-megapixel rear one isn’t as sharp.
The Nook offers access to the Nook app store and Google’s Play store for Android apps – the latter unavailable in previous Nook tablets.
The New York company spent years investing in its Nook e-book reader and e-book library, which struggled to be profitable. In December, the chain said it was evaluating the future of its tablets.
Still, it offered a new non-tablet e-book reader during the holiday season.
Barnes & Noble CEO Mike Huseby has said Nook tablets hadn’t done well in the past because they were not full-featured.
This one, he said, has a camera and other features expected in Android tablets, plus additional features targeted at readers.
While a Nook app can be installed on most Android tablets, the Nook tablet offers a home screen with quick links to favorites and recently read books.
You can pause reading to check email or Facebook, then hit a book icon on the corner of the home screen to instantly resume your book.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets emphasize reading, alongside shopping, movies and other Amazon services. They have had more success than Nooks.
Barnes & Noble says it will continue to make and sell its $99 Nook GlowLight e-readers.
In July, Barnes & Noble said it would separate the Nook and retail businesses.
The retail business includes bookstores and BN.com and has outperformed the Nook unit. Nook Media encompasses Barnes & Noble’s digital and college businesses.
The company expects the separation to be complete by April.