A Lenovo Nook? Barnes & Noble’s tablet is coming back next week

Barnes & Noble Nook — soon to be made by Lenovo
(Image credit: Future)

We haven't seen a new Barnes & Noble Nook tablet or e-reader since 2018 — but Lenovo's changing that. We just learned that the Nook brand will return next week in a tablet — and possibly not an e-reader. 

This comes from The Verge, which quotes Susan McCulloch, Barnes & Noble’s senior director for Nook operations, that a new NOOK tablet "designed with Lenovo" will launch next week. 

Will this be a branded version of the Lenovo Tab P11 that was announced at CES? We'll have to wait and see. Unfortunately, Lenovo's last stab at a monochrome e-ink Nook was not a success: the Nook GlowLight 3 suffered from poor interface design and sluggish performance, which just gets in the way of your reading. 

Interestingly enough, the Nook's history includes full-color tablets that are forked versions of Android, and were set to compete with Amazon's Fire tablet. The first Nook arrived in 2009, and paired an e-ink screen with a smaller color touchscreen. Then, 2010's Barnes & Noble Nook Color tablet switched over to a full-color panel. 

Most recently, Barnes & Noble released the $129 10.1-inch Nook, its largest Android-based tablet ever. On March 17, Good e-Reader reported that all of the Barnes and Noble Nook e-readers were sold out, as the retailer caught changing out its supply before the new announcement.

The big question about a new Nook is how it will continue to fight the war against the Amazon Kindle — the current king of the field. The TCL Nxtpaper that debuted at CES 2021 showed one possible path: a full-color E Ink display.

Either way, the tablet as a product has evolved notably since Barnes & Noble last fielded a competitive model. Two of Amazon's main Kindles are water-proof, the iPad has gone for productivity and Samsung's attacking Apple with models that are competitively priced.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.