It’s no secret Barnes & Noble is in a similar financial pickle to BlackBerry when it comes to its hardware manufacturing division, as the Nook line of e-readers and tablets seems but a paltry rival for Amazon’s Kindles at the box-office.
B&N has struggled greatly to clear Nook HD and Nook HD+ inventory in recent months, appealing to numerous promotions, discounts and so-called special offers in a desperate attempt to become relevant in an ever-competitive tablet landscape.
Only nothing’s worked so far, which is why the news of the book retailer looking to outsource upcoming Nook gizmos caught essentially no one off guard. But then B&N had a sudden and quite inexplicable change of heart, the brand new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight e-reader saw daylight and now a full-fledged fresh Nook tab is pretty much confirmed as well.
No idea how this thing is to be called, but its ties with previous Nook generations are made crystal clear by the BNTV800 model number. Mind you, last year’s Nook HD is internally known as BNTV400, whereas the Nook HD+ is numbered BNTV600. Hence, monikers such as Nook HDX (a la Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX), Nook HD Ultra or Nook HD Plus Plus (I’m going a little overboard, I know) are likely in the cards.
The question of “when” (as in when will it start selling) should be on everyone’s lips, not “if”, as the BNTV800 is surely real and coming soon, since someone bothered to take it for a quick benchmarking spin through GFX Bench.
As usual, the test’s database is generous with inside information, revealing the no doubt skinned version of Android running on the fourth-gen Nook tab will be based on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Even more importantly, there seems to be a quad-core 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU beneath the hood, increasing the thing’s raw speed over 2012 Nooks by leaps and bounds.
Remember, the 7-inch Nook HD came packing a modest and now no longer in production dual-core 1.3 GHz TI OMAP 4470 SoC, and the 9-inch HD+ touted the same mediocre chip, only running at a slightly higher 1.5 GHz clock speed.
As for the still somewhat nichey Tegra 4 platform, try to keep in mind that, while it’s a little hard on battery life, it’s pretty much as chipper as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU, found inside the latest Kindle Fire, not to mention light years ahead of the S4 Pro powering the Nexus 7 2013.
Then again, it’s not fair to pit the BNTV800 against the N7 2013 yet, as Barnes & Noble’s size preferences remain a mystery. There’s a good shot the 7-inch Nook will get a direct heir, but I wouldn’t rule out the new tab being a 9-incher either. Or maybe there are two versions in the works again.
In any case, GFX Bench’s screen resolution listing can’t really clear the air, being an odd 1,620 x 1,008 pixels. Could that be UXGA (1,600 x 1,200) with on-screen buttons? Possibly, but be sure to take it with a pinch of salt.
Via [GFX Bench]