Samsung Galaxy Tab four Nook assessment: good for studying, however hardly one of the best price range pill
There was a time when Barnes & Noble was so huge, so dominating, that even Tom Hanks managed to appear to be a jerk when he performed a e-book-chain government. However occasions have modified, and as individuals started to order their books on-line — and even obtain them — B&N discovered itself struggling to maintain up. After dropping some huge cash final yr, the corporate determined it was time for a change: It vowed to cease making its personal tablets, and as an alternative staff up with some third-social gathering firm to raised tackle Amazon and its Kindle Hearth line. Seems, that third celebration was none aside from Samsung, and the fruits of their partnership, the $179 Galaxy Tab four Nook, is principally a repackaged model of the present Galaxy Tab four 7.zero. Nicely, virtually, anyway. The 7-inch slate comes pre-loaded with $200 value of free content material, and the core Nook app has been redesigned to the purpose that it truly presents a greater studying expertise than the common Nook Android app. However is that a ok purpose to purchase this as an alternative of a Kindle Hearth? Or another Android pill, for that matter?
Galaxy Tab four Nook
- Good-wanting design
- Brilliant display
- The Nook app right here is an enchancment over the common Nook for Android
- Worth consists of some free books, magazines and TV exhibits
- Brief battery life in comparison with competing units
- Sluggish efficiency
- Skimpy constructed-in storage
With an improved studying app, the Galaxy Tab four Nook could possibly be a compelling selection for loyal Barnes & Noble clients. But when all you need is a price range Android pill, you are able to do higher, even at this worth.
As you’ve got already gathered, this is identical hardware you will discover on the 7-inch Galaxy Tab four, which got here out 4 months in the past. Since we by no means acquired round to reviewing that, although, I am going to do a radical stroll-by means of right here as if it have been a model-new system. What’s humorous is that relying on the way you take a look at it, you truly have seen this pill earlier than: The Nook (obtainable in black and white) has the identical textured plastic backing as different current Samsung units. As I’ve stated about different merchandise, just like the Chromebook 2, the leathery plastic and chrome accents go a great distance in making an in any other case generic system look costlier than it’s. As a bonus, the textured plastic does not decide up fingerprints, and it is fairly scratch-resistant, too. Throughout my testing, I routinely tossed the pill in a bag with pointy gadgets like pens and keys, and it by no means emerged worse for put on.
The Galaxy Tab four Nook is a 7-inch system, so in fact it is small, light-weight and straightforward to carry. At zero.35 inch thick, it is a bit of chubby in comparison with different small-display slates, just like the eight-inch Galaxy Tab S. Even so, it weighs simply zero.6 pound, so let’s not nitpick to the purpose the place we’re calling this factor “heavy.” It isn’t. And apart from, you may even discover that these broad, flat edges make the pill simpler to carry.
For a price range gadget, the display is definitely fairly pretty. Positive, the 1,280 x 800 decision interprets to a not-so-nice pixel density of 216 ppi, however then once more, what extra did you anticipate on a $179 pill? For the cash, you get a shiny panel with good viewing angles that is nicely-fitted to studying and film-watching. Even at half-brightness, I had no issues utilizing it on an extended rail journey, with daylight streaming in by way of the window subsequent to me.
Flip the gadget round and you will find the standard spate of ports: a headphone jack up prime, a micro-USB charging socket on the underside, a speaker and three-megapixel digital camera round again and a 1.3MP one up entrance. The proper edge, in the meantime, is residence to a quantity rocker, energy button and IR blaster — a reasonably unusual function on a finances pill. Close by, you will additionally discover a microSD slot supporting playing cards as much as 32GB. It is a disgrace, that — you will want each final little bit of space for storing to reinforce the gadget’s skimpy 8GB of constructed-in reminiscence, solely 2GB of which is consumer-accessible.Software program
The best way Samsung and Barnes & Noble pitched the system, that is Samsung hardware combined with B&N’s Nook software program. That is just a little deceptive: This can be a Samsung pill, with Samsung’s consumer interface, however with some Nook apps sprinkled in, too. What we’ve right here is identical TouchWiz expertise — the whole lot from the icons to the onscreen keyboard to the settings menu is identical as on different Samsung tablets. Likewise, there’s Samsung’s signature Multi Window function, permitting you to view two apps aspect by aspect. It even has Google Play entry, so you’ll be able to obtain all of the apps you’d set up on another Android system — sure, together with Amazon Kindle. What’s good, although, is that in contrast to different Samsung tablets, this one does not embrace Sammy’s intrusive My Journal — massive panels that sit to the left of the house display and cannot be eliminated. I do not actually just like the Galaxy Tab four Nook, as you will see, however I do want different Samsung merchandise had this scaled-again UI.
Aside from that, the most important distinction is that Sammy pre-loaded the Nook pill with some key Barnes & Noble purposes, together with Nook Apps, Nook Library, Nook Search, Nook Settings, Nook Store, Nook Immediately (a customized suggestion engine) and Nook Highlights (helpful for those who select to underline stuff as you are studying). You will additionally discover (detachable) widgets in your library and the Nook Retailer — actually, each have been ready for me on the house display once I booted up the gadget.
Moreover, Samsung and Barnes & Noble tossed in some free content material — a motley assortment of books, magazines, films and TV exhibits stated to be value $200. There’s one thing for everybody right here; the flip aspect is that a lot of it is going to in all probability register as junk. In your bookshelf, To Kill a Mockingbird sits alongside a Danielle Metal romance and the child’s title Pete the Cat. For movie and TV, there’s the pilot episode of Veep, amongst different exhibits, in addition to The Lego Film. (Luckily, the Nook has a parental management function permitting for various consumer profiles.) If it is magazines you are after, you could have a selection of three: Us Weekly, Nationwide Geographic and Sports activities Illustrated. Lastly, you will get $5 in Nook Retailer credit score. It is a good gesture, nevertheless it will not go far: 5 bucks is not sufficient to purchase most e-books in B&N’s catalog. Once more, I am positive the 2 corporations meant nicely, but when it have been a selection between additional content material and a pill with quicker efficiency and longer battery life, I might select the latter in a heartbeat.
What’s stunned me is that that is not a replica-and-paste of the common Nook for Android app. Whereas the Nook software on my Moto X combines the library, search and retailer features into one place, the Galaxy Tab four Nook incorporates totally different apps for all these issues. Whichever you employ, the core performance is identical: Along with studying content material, you possibly can entry the shop, spotlight passages and fee/evaluate stuff. However right here, the icons are totally different, and you do not all the time need to drill as far into menus to get what you need (see: font choices, search, desk of contents). Highlighting textual content can also be simpler within the Samsung app than the common Android one. If something, the UI feels extra just like Barnes & Noble’s e-ink e-readers, which is humorous as a result of that may appear to be a completely totally different class of product. Definitely, this can be a extra nice Nook expertise than what you’d get on different Android units. One thing to remember in case you’re already a loyal Barnes & Noble buyer.
Beside the varied Nook apps, Samsung put in a number of different third-social gathering packages as nicely, together with Dropbox, Hancom Workplace 2014, Netflix, OfficeSuite 7 (the extra strong of the 2 workplace packages right here) and the sport Rayman Jungle Run. You will additionally discover a shortcut to Samsung’s personal curated app retailer — you already know, ought to Google Play not be sufficient. Clearly, this can be a little bit of a combined bag, however to every his personal. You’ll be able to a minimum of uninstall something that does not go well with you.Efficiency and battery life
I solely noticed the Galaxy Tab four Nook for the primary time final week, however already I’ve heard Barnes & Noble reps say a number of occasions that the pill is constructed for studying. To some extent, they’re simply stating the apparent: Samsung and Barnes & Noble constructed a pill collectively, and it is supposed to supply an amazing studying expertise, as a result of that is what B&N is sweet at. Duh. However I additionally suspect the 2 corporations have been making an attempt to maintain our expectations in examine. Even for a price range pill, this factor is kinda sluggish, and I feel Samsung and Barnes & Noble each realize it. Underneath the hood, it has the identical internals because the common Galaxy Tab four 7.zero — a 1.2GHz quad-core Marvell PXA 1088 processor and 1.5GB of RAM, a mixture that sorely trails the competitors in benchmark exams. The outcomes have been so dangerous, the truth is, that I assumed at first the numbers may be flukes. Certainly, I ran the checks many, many occasions, and the outcomes have been all the time far under different tablets, even the equally priced ASUS MeMO Pad 7, final yr’s Nexus 7 and the 7-inch Amazon Hearth HDX.
That sluggishness rears its head in actual-phrase use, too. The accelerometer was typically sluggish to catch up as I flipped the system from portrait to panorama mode and again. Net searching is clean sufficient, although the benchmarks recommend you’d have a fair snappier expertise on competing units. Chilly-booting the gadget takes an extended 24 seconds, forcing you to attend via animated splash screens for each Samsung and Nook. Multi Window mode works, however it could possibly take a second or two for a brand new app to load when you determine to exchange one of many two panes. Even the Nook library — the app that issues most — was typically sluggish to load up my bookshelf. Like different Samsung units, the Nook was initially sluggish to attenuate apps once I pressed the house button. Fortunately, there is a answer, and it truly has to do with S Voice, of all issues: Simply go into S Voice settings and uncheck the field “open by way of the house key.” That method, whenever you press the house button, the gadget will not wait to see for those who’ll do a double-press to launch the voice assistant. With that difficulty, a minimum of, I used to be capable of enhance the efficiency.
The issue, too, is that for the parents shopping for this, the Galaxy Tab four Nook is not only for studying. If it have been, they’d get a standalone e-reader and name it a day. But when you are going to get an Android pill, notably one with multi-window help and entry to the Google Play retailer, you in all probability need to do extra than simply learn e-books. You need to obtain apps. Stream films. Browse the online. Perhaps play the occasional recreation. The Galaxy Tab four Nook can do most of that, however not all the time easily. One other system — even a competing price range pill — will in all probability really feel quicker.
Samsung says the Galaxy Tab four Nook’s battery can last as long as 10 hours. With mild utilization, which may properly be true. However in our (admittedly taxing) video rundown check, the battery died out a couple of hours sooner. All in all, the pill was capable of final by means of about seven and a half hours of looping a 1080p video at fastened brightness, with social networks periodically refreshing within the background. Once more, your mileage will range, however it’s value noting that different units can do higher. ASUS’ MeMO Pad 7 additionally received about an hour greater than the Nook. In the meantime, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX managed almost eleven hours in the identical grueling check. Even the 2013 Nexus 7 will get about the identical runtime because the Galaxy Tab four Nook — and the efficiency is barely higher, too.The competitors
When the unique Nook Pill got here out, it was straightforward to forgive a few of its shortcomings, simply because the worth was pretty low. On the time, $249 was low cost for an Android pill, particularly when flagships routinely bought for $500 and up. This can be a totally different time, although, and whereas $one hundred seventy is not dangerous for this new Nook gadget, it additionally faces stiffer competitors. The ASUS MeMO Pad 7, as an example, has a lower cost of $one hundred fifty, full with an IPS show, double the interior storage, longer battery life, a microSDXC slot supporting greater-capability playing cards and a quad-core processor that lotions the Galaxy Tab four Nook in benchmarks.
In the meantime, Dell sells the $one hundred sixty Venue 7, which has a 1,280 x 800 IPS display and a better-decision 5MP rear digital camera. (I have never examined that, so I can not vouch for the efficiency.) Lastly, it comes with 16GB of storage, and may accommodate reminiscence playing cards as giant as 64GB. It goes with out saying, too, that any Android pill is able to operating the usual Nook app. As far as I can inform, then, the one factor the Galaxy Tab four Nook has going for it’s Multi Window help, however what good is that if the processor is just too weak to deal with it?
Should you’re prepared to spend extra, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Hearth HDX begins at $229 with 16GB of storage ($244 with out advertisements on the lock display). For the cash, virtually the whole lot is best: The battery life is a number of hours longer, and the efficiency is stronger, because of a reasonably up-to-date Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. The display is sharper too, with 1,920 x 1,200 decision and a decent pixel density of 323 ppi. You will not get Google Play entry, sadly, however Amazon’s personal app retailer has grown steadily through the years, and its digital content material choice is simply as numerous as Barnes & Noble’s.
Amazon even principally matches B&N on technical help: Whereas Barnes & Noble presents lifetime in-retailer service for its Nook tablets, Amazon’s constructed-in “Mayday” function enables you to entry reside assist anytime. Aside from the truth that Amazon’s pill prices $50 extra, it is arduous to say why you’d get the Galaxy Tab four Nook as an alternative. As a result of even when getting access to Google Play is essential to you, you’d nonetheless be higher off with final yr’s Nexus 7. It prices $229, identical to the Kindle Hearth HDX, and it too has a 1,920 x 1,200 display. The efficiency will not be fairly as brisk because the HDX, nevertheless it ought to nonetheless be snappier than the brand new Nook pill. The battery life is just like the Nook as properly, so you are not giving up something in the best way of endurance.Wrap-up
This could come as a shock to nobody, however the Galaxy Tab four Nook is simply a good suggestion in case you’re already a loyal Barnes & Noble buyer. Setting apart the truth that it comes with free content material (a gimmick, in the event you ask me), this pill is interesting as a result of it gives a greater studying expertise than even the common Nook for Android app. Till Barnes & Noble redesigns its commonplace Android software, that is the perfect Nook expertise you are going to get, in need of shopping for considered one of B&N’s standalone, e-ink e-readers.
Even then, that is a stretch: It isn’t just like the common Nook app is so dangerous that you simply should not think about different Android tablets. In case you’re not even a Nook buyer, then there’s undoubtedly no purpose to purchase this. Positive, the design is good, and the display is shiny, however the battery life is brief in comparison with competing units, and the efficiency is slower. Including insult to damage, you get much less constructed-in storage for apps, books, pictures and music, and the microSD slot does not formally help playing cards bigger than 32GB. For individuals who simply need a finances Android tab, and do not care the place they purchase their books, you are able to do higher, even for $179.
Tags: barnes and noble, BarnesAndNoble, galaxy tab four, Galaxy Tab four Nook, galaxytab4, galaxytab4nook, mobilepostcross, Nook, assessment, samsung, uk-critiques
- Key specs
- <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/samsung/galaxy/tab4/7-zero/” title=”Samsung Galaxy Tab4 7.zero critiques” goal=”_blank”> Critiques • 1 </a>
- Type issue Pill
- Working system Android (KitKat [4.4])
- Display measurement 7 inches
- Storage sort Inner storage (eight GB, Flash), Reminiscence card
- Digital camera (built-in) three&#one hundred sixty;megapixels
- Dimensions 7.36 x four.25 x zero.35 in
- Weight 9.seventy four oz
- Introduced 2014-04-01
<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/samsung/galaxy/tab/four-nook/”> Samsung Galaxy Tab four NOOK </a>