- Brian Heater , Digital Trends
The Nook isn’t quite dead, but the uninspired Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook may be its death rattle.
- Jamison Cush , TabletPCReview
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is good, but suited best for those already invested in B&N content.
- Good color reproduction and viewing angles
- Fairly lightweight and comfortable to grip
- Slow performance even when launching Nook Apps
- Nook Apps redundant with Samsung and Android Apps
- Poor cameras
While Barnes & Nobles might have officially left the tablet-making business, that doesn't mean they've completely given up on the market. Their partnership with Samsung has given birth to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Even though it carries the 'Nook' descriptor, reviewers agree that the tablet is more of a Samsung effort and the Nook features and apps are relegated to the back seat.
For all intents and purposes the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook looks exactly the same as the Galaxy Tab 4. Like its twin, it comes with a faux leather texture back, rounded corners and some chrome accents. Measuring in at 7.36 x 4.25 x 0.35 inches, it is slightly smaller than competitors like the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch and also lighter at 276 grams. While not necessarily a breakthrough in the design department, experts note that the details make it look more premium than it is and the textured back offers a decent grip.
Despite its entry level pricing, the Tab 4 Nook surprised reviewers with the quality of its 7-inch, 1,280x800 resolution display. While this translates to a pixel density of 216ppi, they didn't notice any fuzziness around text when using the Nook app to read books or magazines. Sadly, the screen is a step-back from the 2012 Nook HD tablet's resolution of 1,440x900, but ultimately critics describe it as a decent enough display with good color reproduction and viewing angles.
As a Samsung device, the Tab 4 Nook comes equipped with the standard TouchWiz interface complete with the popular multitasking mode. Barnes & Nobles has included a few unique touches to the UI: Nook Search, Nook Shop, Nook Today, Nook Highlights, Nook Settings and Nook Apps. Many reviewers found these apps to be redundant, especially Nook Apps as the device already comes pre-installed with Google Play AND Samsung Apps store. Critics often found themselves ignoring or avoiding the additional Nook apps as they didn't serve a unique purpose.
Samsung and Barnes & Nobles might market the Tab 4 Nook as a reading device, but even with this fair warning, experts were disappointed with its performance. The 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM trailed significantly behind its competitors in synthetic benchmark tests and unfortunately translated to real-world use. Engadget experienced slowdown in almost every aspect from booting up the device to switching the display mode from portrait to landscape. While they note that the device can handle basic tasks they add that the result is not always smooth and, "Another device – even a competing budget tablet – will probably feel faster."
As for the rear camera, critics warn that it's nothing to write home about. CNET states, "both create dull, grainy photos devoid of detail and with washed-out colors."
In general, reviewers have a hard time recommending the Tab 4 Nook. Laptop Mag says, "If you're locked into an existing B&N library, we recommend loading Nook's app onto an Amazon slate." Mashable adds, "With its middling features…the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook can't compete with the forward-leaning Amazon Kindle Fire or mid-size tablet-market-leading Apple iPad Mini."
Reviews (6.3/10 Avg. rating)
This tablet is a ho-hum deal for general users and only a marginal one for the B&N faithful
If you're simply hunting for a 7-inch tablet, the path is far muddier. First, 8-inch tablets are putting severe price pressure on 7-inchers, and some makers of Android tablets are sidelining new 7-inchers altogether. Second, poor performance makes it hard to recommend the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook as a general-purpose tablet for anything beyond light tasks such as e-mail and Web browsing (and, of course, e-reading). Even with the ongoing $20 instant rebate, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is not close to the cheapest nor even the most appealing 7-inch option around. It's a good choice if the in-store assista... Full review
Great build and decent display but mediocre performance
For $180, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is a great deal for those already heavily invested in Barnes & Noble Nook content outside of just ebooks, especially if they have an aging Nook Tablet or ancient Nook Color and are looking for an upgrade. It’s worth repeating that heavy ebook readers should just stick with a traditional eReader as E ink displays are just too good for reading.
The Tab 4 Nook also edges out the Amazon Kindle Fire models. There are two 7-inch tablets in that lineup, the technically superior $230 Fire HDX and low-end $140 Fire HD. Those tablets are en... Full review
Middling hardware specs with uninspired software offerings
Just good enough
A decent option at that price point
This tablet is a step in the right direction
A Galaxy in Nook's clothing
Good for reading, but hardly the best budget tablet
This should come as a shock to no one, but the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is only a good idea if you're already a loyal Barnes & Noble customer. Setting aside the fact that it comes with free content (a gimmick, if you ask me), this tablet is appealing because it offers a better reading experience than even the regular Nook for Android app. Until Barnes & Noble redesigns its standard Android application, this is the best Nook experience you're going to get, short of buying one of B&N's standalone, e-ink e-readers.
Even then, that's a stretch: It's not like the regular Nook app... Full review
An average Android tablet that isn't a very good value
Sub-par performance, impressive battery life
The nearly 11 hours of battery life on the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook makes a pretty compelling reason to consider picking one up for the family. And for $179 you'll get the lightweight slate with $200 worth of Barnes & Noble content, as well as access to some fun Samsung extras such as multitasking. Sadly, the parental controls are painfully complicated and the performance is sub-par.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD and ASUS MeMO Pad 7 are $40 less and offer identical display resolution, if shorter battery life. The Google Nexus 7 is just $20 more, and offers a 1920 x 1200-pixel display an... Full review
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