Wednesday, Samsung and Barnes & Noble unveiled the larger, 10.1-inch version of the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, which was initially released in August. The device is retailing at an introductory price of $300--packaged with an offer of access to $200 in free Nook content--and features the largest screen to date of any Nook device. Here, a look at what some of the technology sites, which have already begun to weigh in on the new hardware, are saying.
CNet probed the price point, asking "what kind of shelf life the 'introductory' price of $300 has?" A B&N spokesperson replied to CNet, saying only that the company has "not announced anything at this point" on future pricing. Samsung did not immediately respond to the query.
ZDNet offered its take on the technology itself, which it deemed strikingly similar to the non-Nook version from Samsung, with the added benefit of B&N content. "Like its smaller sibling, the 10.1-inch version is basically a Samsung Android tablet stuffed with some Nook-related goodies," wrote Sean Portnoy. "Beyond that, this is pretty much the same as the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1."
Tech Radar also noted the similarity between the new Nook and the Android tablets, adding that with the Nook's integration into the B&N retail ecosystem, they "fill the same role that Amazon's Kindle Fire line does in comparison to its normal, book-focused Kindles, like the Kindle Voyage: to get users to consume movies, TV shows and magazines in addition to e-books."
A B&N spokesperson also addressed the international availability of the new tablet, telling Tech Radar that while there are "no plans to expand internationally at this time, there is no prohibition in the contract for this. We recently launched our popular NOOK GlowLight in the UK and continue to offer our free NOOK Reading app for Win 8 in 32 countries."
Good EReader writes that "the screen itself won’t win many awards in terms of picture clear clarity," but for reading, "it should do the job." The outlet did point to the benefit of B&N's customer service, saying that the "biggest strength that Barnes and Noble has when selling this 10.1 tablet is their support network. If anything goes wrong with your device, you can simply bring it back to any bookstore and they can take a look at it. In most cases, they can swap out your old model for a new one right then and there."
The two companies announced the new partnership on co-branded tablets in June, in a year marked by B&N drastically scaling back its Nook efforts (weeks later, B&N separated its Nook Media and retail entities into two separate companies). B&N CEO Mike Huseby said that the partnership with Samsung permits B&N to "continue its pivot from a hardware-centric company, to a content-centric company.”