In the world of tablets and e-readers, Barnes & Noble’s Nook is usually viewed as an also-ran. But the bookseller hasn’t given up on the device, even if it no longer has pretensions of being a hardware company. The firm, which signed a deal with Samsung last year to build the Nook tablet, is adding a new model to its lineup.
Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Tab E Nook [pictured], the device will retail for $249. The tablet will feature a new 9.6-inch screen for viewing content in both portrait and landscape modes. Barnes & Noble is aiming to lure customers to its brand with a new trade-in program that will offer a credit of up to $200 toward the purchase of a Nook to anyone who brings in a select Nook, iPad, Kindle, or other Samsung device.
In addition to being an e-reader, the Galaxy Tab E Nook will be able to display other types of content as well. “We’re proud to partner with Samsung to give Barnes & Noble customers a comfortable, convenient way to enjoy their favorite reading, movies and TV shows on a number of devices and sizes to fit their needs,” said Fred Argir, chief digital officer at Barnes & Noble.
The new device will come with a built-in 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, in addition to a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. In terms of storage, the latest Nook boasts 16 GB in standard memory and a microSD slot that can expand up to 128 GB or memory. Users will also be able to multi-task on the Galaxy Tab E Nook, thanks to Samsung’s integrated Multi-Window feature that splits the tablet’s screen to run two apps simultaneously. It also comes with Microsoft Office pre-installed.
Barnes & Noble is pitching the tablet as a family device. The e-reader comes with Nook Profiles, a feature that allows different users to have access to personalized content and recommendations based on their profiles. “Parents will appreciate the ease of setting up profiles for their children with lots of relevant kid-friendly Nook content for them to enjoy,” the company said in a statement.
B&N’s Incentive Plan
In addition to its trade-in program, the bookseller is hoping to draw in new users with a number of incentives. Customers can choose from three free Nook e-books, along with three free digital magazines. And customers who purchase new Nooks will each receive a $5 credit to help them build their Nook libraries.
The company abandoned its own attempts to manufacture the tablet after the Nook failed to hold its own against Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad, and a host of Android tablets on the market. Instead, it brought Samsung in to handle the hardware design last year. Barnes & Noble will continue to provide the content.
The Galaxy Tab E Nook is the third device to spring from the partnership following the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook and the Galaxy Tab S2 Nook. Although not as ubiquitous as the Kindle or iPad, Barnes & Noble has an advantage in its network of bookstores, which offer lifetime in-store support for the device.