Personal Finance

eReaders and Leisure: More Than eBooks

If you’re the lucky owner of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, specifically the NOOK version, you’re already well aware of this device’s main claim to leisurely fame: it’s an eReader, giving you hundreds or thousands of books in a device that weighs less than a pound. The Samsung NOOK also features a number of proprietary apps to help make your reading and shopping experience better, offering suggestions and even freebies based on which titles you’ve read the most, which genres take up the most space in your library and which authors you have a preference for. However, this isn’t where the leisure aspect of this device ends.

As early as 2012, Forbes predicted that tablets would take over the business world within the next decade. Today, the vast majority of tablet owners use these miniature mobile computers for business, taking notes in meetings, attending video conferences and managing email accounts. The NOOK is capable of all these things, but wouldn’t it be refreshing to find out how you can use this “toy” to actually play around a bit? Learn all the ways that the new NOOK can keep you entertained here.

Movies and TV

According to Business Insider, there are more people watching movies and television shows on mobile devices like tablets than are watching television using, well, the television. Have you joined in yet? The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 from NOOK offers access to a massive library of film and TV titles, allowing you to rest assured that you’ll find something you’re interested in while perusing their online “shelves.”

To use your Samsung NOOK primarily as a mobile TV or theater, you’ll need a little extra equipment:

  • Headphones (earbuds work best for portability)
  • Standing case (to keep your device propped up and stable on level surfaces)
  • Anti-glare screen protector (to keep the picture crisp and clear)
  • 16 to 64 GB Micro SD card (to store all your favorite movies and TV shows without using up all your device’s onboard memory)

The more video you download onto your device, the more memory you’re going to need, not to mention battery power. While you can’t upgrade the Samsung Galaxy’s lithium-ion battery to a higher capacity, it’s possible to increase battery life by close to 50 percent by setting screen brightness around 75 percent or below, keeping background apps closed, turning off notifications and keeping temp files cleared out. The easier processing is for your device, the less battery power it takes to run complex programs like your video player.

Gaming

When most people think of gaming on a mobile device they think of Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga, but this isn’t the end of it by any means. The Google Play Store was offering over 1.3 million apps by the middle of 2014, according to Statista, including over 100 thousand gaming titles, not all of which would be considered “casual” by any means. There’s still a fair share of flash-based quickie games, designed to be played between classes, on break or after a long meeting, but Google Play also offers class titles like Rayman and Final Fantasy, along with up and coming independent games like the editor-recommended GunSlugs and Royal Revolt.

These games vary from platformer to hardcore RPG to FPS to strategy, just like the breadth of titles you would find on a major gaming system. However, these can be brought with you anywhere and run on any Android device; since the new NOOK runs Android KitKat out of the box, it gives users access to gaming titles as easily as Barnes and Noble can get you a strategy guide.

Chatting with Friends

Not nearly as revolutionary as other leisure options, the ability to video chat with friends from a mobile device other than a smartphone is a welcome change to anyone with fingers too big for a standard digital keyboard, or with a screen too small for details to be viewable. Now you can use your NOOK to contact friends and loved ones from anywhere you have Wi-Fi with familiar video chatting apps like Skype; with the new NOOK, you can even use Samsung’s split-screen feature to read a bedtime story to your child over video chat, while still able to see their face, from across the state or across the globe. You have to admit, that’s a great way to unwind after a long day of work away from home.

Settle In

At the end of the day, the new NOOK is as successful in play as it is in work, and utilizing it for both options is a great way to consolidate your devices and interests into a single place. Check your email in between levels of Candy Crush, finish an episode of Hannibal before joining into a big meeting, or just settle in at the end of the day and finish that great new book you’ve been reading–the ability to do it all from a single device offers freedom through mobility, without dispensing on responsibility. All work and no play is no way to live; it’s no way to use your NOOK, either.