Samsung rolls out $179 Nook-branded Galaxy Tab

Although it's 'optimized' for reading, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is basically a rebranded version of Samsung’s existing Galaxy Tab 4, complete with all the same hardware specs.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.48.27 AM
Samsung president Tim Baxter and B&N CEO Mike Huseby

Samsung and Barnes & Noble on Wednesday unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch co-branded tablet that the companies say is the first-ever full-featured Android tablet optimized for reading.

The $179 tablet, which is basically a rebranded version of Samsung's existing Galaxy Tab 4 complete with all the same hardware specs, is available starting today both online and in Barnes & Noble bookstores.

"We've taken our bestselling Samsung Galaxy tablet and made it the best tablet available for reading and entertainment," said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, in a prepared statement. 

There are a few features that differentiate the device from its parent tablet, however. Users will find a Nook Newstand preinstalled with a digital collection of magazines, as well as a range of Nook apps and, of course, access to Barnes & Noble's collection of more than 3 million books.

Barnes & Noble is also giving new Samsung 4 Nook customers $200 worth of free reading and entertainment content, which includes three free eBooks, three free TV show episodes, and up to four 14-day free-trial subscriptions from a selection of magazines.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.27.14 AM

Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby said the tablet is a response to demands from Nook owners, who wanted an all-in-one device for reading, Web browsing, video watching and app usage.

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK is the most advanced NOOK ever, delivering the great NOOK experience our customers have come to love, with the high-performance tablet features they’ve asked for," Huseby said in a statement. "We invite reading and entertainment fans to visit their local Barnes & Noble store to experience the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK. Once they do, we're certain they will make this innovative device part of their daily routine."

Huseby said Barnes & Noble will continue to support existing Nook devices, such as the Nook GlowLight eReader. 

The bookseller began releasing its eReader tablets in 2012, but has struggled to keep the line alive as slow sales of the devices plagued the company's quarterly earnings reports. Barnes & Noble finally announced during its June earnings report that it would spin off the struggling Nook business, after it had outlined plans to relocate the Nook unit into smaller facilities to save money.