Samsung joins forces with Barnes & Noble for the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

Samsung hardware and Nook software aimed right at Amazon

Samsung Nook

Barnes & Noble wants to give its Nook tablets one last nudge into the ring with Amazon, and it's got Samsung in its corner to make it happen. The bookseller and Samsung Galaxy S5 maker have just unveiled their joint product: the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

Partly announced earlier this summer and shown off in the plastic today, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is essentially the same 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 accidentally leaked by the vendor this past March. That is, save for the software, of course, which is a Nook skin laid over Android 4.4 KitKat.

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Like on its previous tablets, the skin is heavily driven toward users buying and reading B&N's three million-plus books, newspapers and magazines. Samsung TouchWiz staples, like multi-window view, will be available as well.

Nook-exclusive apps like Nook Today and Nook Shop provide readers with fresh, daily content to buy, including games and other entertainment apps, just like the old Nooks offered. B&N is also offering a bunch of free content, like best-selling books, TV show episodes and $5 of Nook Shop credit - a $200 value, the book seller touts.

On top of that, the bookstore chain is pushing hard on its in-store customer support and free in-store Wi-Fi and deals for Nook owners. But underneath the hood, next to nothing has changed.

Same body, brand new face

The Nook software shines through a 7-inch 1280 x 800 resolution touchscreen, and it's powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM. Unfortunately, you'll only have 8GB of onboard storage to work with, but that's expandable by an additional 32GB through a microSD card slot.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook also sports a 1.2MP camera up front and a 3MP shooter around back, a first for B&N's tablets. (Not to mention, thanks in no small part to Samsung's existing hardware.)

Available right now in the US, you can pick up a Galaxy Tab 4 Nook for $179 (about £107, AU$192). Doug Carlson, Barnes & Noble EVP of Digital Content and Marketing, tells us at the event that the company has no information yet on a release in the UK, Australia and elsewhere, but we hope to see it break out of America soon.

Will it be enough to breathe new life into B&N's otherwise flattened tablet business? Stay tuned for our full review later for your answer to that.