B&N’s back in the tablet game, releases the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook (with Samsung’s help)

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook review.

Barnes & Noble may have given up on making tablets, but it hasn’t given up on its Nook software, and has instead partnered with Samsung to release a new Nook-branded slate. It doesn’t come as a complete surprise, because the company said in early June it had joined forces with the mobile manufacturer, and would be releasing a spin-off version of a low-end Galaxy Tab.

The result is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, which takes the existing Tab 4 tablet, and sprinkles the Android operating system with some Nook book reading magic. B&N describes the tablet as being the first ever full-featured tablet optimized for reading. Sounds great, but we’re sure Amazon will have something to say about that. And didn’t B&N release several Nook tablets itself? Those are full-featured.

There’s access to the Nook bookstore, where you’ll find more than three million books, comics, and the Nook Newsstand for digital editions of popular magazines and newspapers. The Nook Video store will let you rent or purchase movies, while there is a range of apps to download through the Nook Apps store. To tempt you into buying the Tab 4 Nook, B&N is offering $200 worth of Nook content, including three pre-selected books, three TV episodes, and some magazine subscriptions. Finally, your Nook account will be credited with $5 to get you started.

Related: We’re pleased for you B&N, but we’ll miss your quirkiness

Samsung hasn’t altered the Tab 4’s hardware. This means you’ll get a 7-inch, 1280 x 720 pixel resolution screen, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1,5GB of RAM, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. The photographic ability is a first for a Nook tablet, and the Tab 4’s setup also has a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera.

How much will Samsung charge for the Tab 4 Nook, and is Barnes & Noble subsidizing the cost to help shift the new tablet? No, it doesn’t appear that way, as the price has been set for $180 (after a $20 rebate), which is almost identical to Samsung’s stock version. Crucially, it’s $50 more than the entry-level Amazon Kindle Fire, but a little cheaper than the better specced Kindle Fire HD. There is one big advantage of choosing the Nook tablet, and that’s access to Google Play, something which isn’t possible on Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

You can head over to Barnes & Noble online, or a retail store today and secure yourself a Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

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