Barnes & Noble and Samsung today unveiled a new Nook-branded tablet at a press event in New York. The $179, 7-inch “Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook” is available today.

Speaking on stage at the event, Barnes & Noble CEO Mike Huseby called the device the first Android tablet optimized for reading. The launch comes as little surprise; the device was long-rumored and oft teased by both insiders and Barnes & Noble itself.

What we have here is a custom-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, with a Barnes & Noble “Newsstand” app and “Nook Store” app, which features movies, games, and, of course, books. The Nook version also includes a custom home screen and reader profiles. Aside from the long-winded name and custom apps, it’s not clear exactly how the device will challenge more successful reading-centric tablets like the Kindle Fire.

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Above: Barnes & Noble CEO Mike Huseby on-stage at the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook announcement event.

Barnes & Noble touts that it will offer “in-store customer service at no cost and no appointments necessary” for the “life of the device.” A clear jab at Apple for requiring Genius Bar appointments.

Here’s a closer look at the awkwardly-named device:

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More information:

Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest Sout... read more »

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), the world's largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 704 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 635 co... read more »

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