Barnes & Noble will be unveiling their new Nook hardware on Wednesday morning in NYC, but I won't be there. Instead, I plan to be out in front of my local B&N store at 9am tomorrow, waiting for it to open.
My inside sources at B&N have told me that the new stock has already been delivered to stores. The in-store demos are going to be reset Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, in time for the new hardware to be sold when the stores open.
Update: The product page for the new tablet is up, ad I am now back home with the one I bought.
And while I don't have full details on the special offers that will launch tomorrow, I can tell you the price. According to one source, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will cost $179. That is the full retail price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.
According to the info B&N gave out to app developers (link), the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will have the same specs as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Weighing in at 276 grams, the Tab 4 Nook will have a 7" TFT display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800. It will run Android on a quad-core 1.2GHz Marvell PXA1088 CPU with 1.5GB RAM 2 cameras (3MP and 1.3MP), Wifi, and Bluetooth. And when it comes to storage, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will have 8GB internal and a microSD card slot.
So how does that compare to the rest of the market?
Here's a quick rundown of the leading competition. I'll let you make up your own mind.
Kindle Fire HD (2013) - The Tab 4 Nook will likely have better performance than Amazon's budget tablet. The Tab 4 Nook has a faster CPU, cameras, and thanks to the microSD card slot more storage options, but the Tab 4 Nook loses in the screen dept and on price. The $139 Kindle Fire HD has the same screen resolution but a higher quality display.
Nook HD - This two year old tablet can be had as a refurb for under $100. It sports a much higher resolution screen than the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, but it will likely prove to have slightly weaker performance. The Nook HD also lacks the cameras and some other ancillary specs of the $179 Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, but it makes up for those shortcomings with a great price.
Nexus 7 (2013) - This tablet is the closest competitor to the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. It has a better and higher resolution screen, better cameras, hugely better CPU, and will almost certainly have better performance. And since you can find it as a refurb for $129, it also offers a better price. Update: But, as one reader reminded me, the Nexus 7 does not have a card slot. Thanks, Lynne!
Kindle Fire HDX (2013) - With a retail of $229, the Fire HDX is a media tablet that is not a direct competitor to a general purpose tablet like the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. And while it does have a better CPU, better screen, more storage, and more RAM, it also lacks the 3MP rear camera on the new Nook.
B&N is committed to buying a million tablets from Samsung over the next 12 months. According to the contract details filed with the SEC, B&N will also release a 10" model based on the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1. The larger tablet is set to launch about two months from tomorrow.