Product Launch by Luke Jones on Wednesday August 20, 2014.
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We told you earlier in the week how the first product from the Nook/Samsung union would be the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, and now that slate come e-reader has been launched. As you would expect, this is very much a Samsung Galaxy device, from the overall ethos to the nailed on design language, and that all makes me a little sad.You see, I actually quite like Nook's e-reader hardware, while I am still a fan of the software. Seeing the brand watered down to just being a tool on a Samsung product is sad, even if I wholly appreciate and like Samsung's own tablet output. This was of course inevitable as Nook was bleeding money as a hardware company and was syphoned off to a third party by owner Barnes & Noble. The result is the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, which like it or not is a Samsung device first and foremost, and oh it happens to have Nook?s software on board. Korean giant Samsung has gotten pretty good at the slate making game by now and the Tab 4 is another in a line of solid lower end offerings. The design will hardly surprise anyone as it is classic Galaxy, which may make this reader hard to differentiate in the market. I cannot stress enough how much this just looks like any other Samsung product, right down to that opinion dividing faux leather the company uses on the rear. Samsung does not always match its aspirations with quality, but the Galaxy Tab 4 does look like a solid piece of kit, but at $179.99 it should be. This trumps a Kindle in terms of looks and probably overall functionality, but then it is more expensive that Amazon?s all conquering readers. As mentioned, the hardware is a step up from your average reader and the Nook, ahem, we mean the Galaxy Tab 4 will make mincemeat out of basic web browsing and reading, its two bread and butter features. It sports a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM and a 7" TFT display with WXGA resolution, plenty to chew up those basic tasks. So the design is distinctly Samsung, which leaves the software department for Nook to shine. It looks like it does too, but again Samsung's fingers in the pie may be the compromise for some. The Korean company has used its basic Android skin that you would have seen on smartphones and tablets with the Galaxy branding. It is tough to complain about that considering it is a slick interface and makes this a tablet as much as an e-reader. Nook needs to be an impressive reading software, because let's face it, you can get very good reading apps on just about any old slate these days. For those engrained in previous Nook hardware, you will be pleased to know that the experience is largely unchanged, which is actually a very good thing. This remains one of the best reading software's available, and with a TFT screen will trump a normal tablet in terms of really getting into reading on a slate. The truth is, for all Samsung's interfering, the mobile giant is absolutely necessary and has given Nook a new lease of life and a fighting chance in the market.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at Glamorgan University before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news.