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New Barnes and Noble NOOK tablet passes FCC testing

The NOOK Tablet 7" from Barnes and Noble. (Source: FCC)
The NOOK Tablet 7" from Barnes and Noble. (Source: FCC)
A recently released FCC report gives us an insight into what to expect from Barnes and Noble's newest device. Is the company looking to reenter the tablet market?

After years of struggling to break into the tablet market with its NOOK line of devices, Barnes and Noble discontinued the tablets back in 2014. The company opted instead to partner with Samsung for the manufacture and sale of any future devices. Since then, Samsung has released several tablets through Barnes and Nobles retail outlets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK, and others. These tablets were essentially Samsung Galaxy tablets; Barnes and Noble had no other input outside of preloaded software.

However, FCC documents made available on October 28th show details for the upcoming NOOK Tablet 7" from Barnes and Noble. The new device (model number BNTV450) sports the Barnes and Noble logo on its back, hinting that the bookseller might begin selling tablets under their own brand once again. The device was manufactured by Shenzhen Jingwah Information Technology Co., Ltd., a Chinese electronics company.

The tablet appears to be a lower-end model powered by a quad-core Meditek MT8163 processor with Mali-T720 MP2 graphics, the same SoC found in rival Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet. The NOOK Tablet 7” also includes 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a micro-USB port, front- and rear-facing cameras, expandable storage via micro-SD, a single speaker on the back of the unit, and a 3000 mAh/11.1 Wh battery. Screen resolution, onboard storage size, and memory capacity have yet to be determined, but will most likely be at the lower end of the spectrum.

On the software side, the tablet is running a current unknown version of Google’s Android operating system, complete with the Google Play Store. This isn't a surprise as Barnes and Noble discontinued its own app store in March of this year. Additionally, Barnes and Noble will load their custom NOOK suite of apps onto the device.

The NOOK Tablet 7” may be Barnes and Noble’s answer to Amazon’s Fire line of tablets, which have been popular low-cost Android devices made primarily for media consumption and reading books.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

The NOOK Tablet 7" 3000 mAh batter. (Source: FCC)
The NOOK Tablet 7" 3000 mAh batter. (Source: FCC)
The mainboard of the NOOK Tablet 7", showing a Mediatek MT8163. (Source: FCC)
The mainboard of the NOOK Tablet 7", showing a Mediatek MT8163. (Source: FCC)


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Sam Medley, 2016-10-31 (Update: 2016-10-31)