If you’ve recently picked up a new Samsung Tab 4 NOOK, you’re probably excited about the prospects of this eReader/tablet combination device. While the NOOK is designed with reading in mind, as a Samsung device it’s also optimized for battery life, processing speed and more, making it possible to use for any number of alternative functions.


Next Level GPS

The new NOOK features and Android operating system (specifically 4.4, otherwise known as KitKat), making it 100 percent compatible with Google Maps. This makes this eReader as much of a GPS as any smartphone—however, this isn’t all there is to it. With apps designed to help you find the cheapest gas station in your vicinity, accident and traffic delay warnings, up to the minute weather reporting and more, turning your NOOK into your car’s central command is actually a pretty great idea. Google offers excellent stock voice recognition software, making it possible to find affordable fuel as easily as saying “Ok Google, open GasBuddy” when your tank starts to run a little low.

In order to do this, you need to install the right apps, make sure you have full permissions enabled for “Ok Google,” as well as allowing voice commands to work from any screen. You’ll also need a car charger and a mounting stand for your device, although CNET doesn’t recommend dashboard mounting due to the size of a NOOK in comparison to a standard GPS unit. Instead, mount the device on your center console or below your stereo system, then just plug it in and get going!


Portable Entertainment System

The Samsung Tab 4 from Nook ships with a fair amount of free content, and that goes beyond books. You can download and stream video direct from Barnes and Noble, turning your NOOK into a mobile miniature theater. With great processing power and crisp HD visuals, the only thing that could possibly slow down your streaming experience is spotty Wi-Fi; either download your favorite films and television shows to your NOOK’s micro SD card, or make sure your connection is stable.

However, there’s more to entertainment than movies! While the NOOK was designed with books in mind—both textual and graphic novels—you can also use your eReader as a portable gaming system thanks to the thousands of tablet-friendly games available on the Google Play Store. Whether you’re into casual games like Angry Birds and Bejeweled or prefer to get a little more hardcore with the classic Final Fantasy VI, it’s all available online. Consumer Reports recommends testing free games with similar graphical requirements on your tablet before shelling out your hard-earned money for the title you really want, just to be sure it will run smoothly on your device, but with the processing power of the Samsung Galaxy NOOK, this shouldn’t be an issue.


Digital Art Desk

Android tablet PCs have always been great for the occasional doodle, but that’s about where it’s always ended for the most part; today, that just isn’t the case. With the release of Adobe Photoshop Touch in 2013, devices like the new NOOK gained the ability to go toe to toe with laptop computers in regards to digital art production. According to Tech Hive, this app isn’t for the faint of heart or the user with a digital art hobby: rather, this is a hardcore image editing and digital art platform that allows you to create pixel masterpieces for as long as your tablet has battery power. Unlike many other image editing and illustration apps, Photoshop Touch is completely stable, with next to no crashes reported since its initial release—although that doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town. Other apps offering vector drawing, digital painting and true to life pen and paper allow users to customize their mobile art desk to only include the tools they actually need.

If you’re interested in turning your NOOK into your creative playground, you’ll want to get an active or detail stylus (with a pointed tip, not the round-tipped stylus you probably already own), an extra micro SD card with enough space to store your masterpieces, and an anti-glare screen protector. Once you’ve chosen your apps, you’re ready to make art anywhere.


Keeping Things Simple

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using your NOOK for its original purpose; it’s a pretty fantastic eReader, with experts reporting battery life up to around 10 hours and enough built-in storage for hundreds, possibly even thousands of books. No worries if you decide you want your eReader for electronic reading only—the entire interface, from icons to operating system, has been streamlined to make that activity more user-friendly on this device than ever before. The important thing is that you’re getting everything you want from your NOOK, that’s easy with this level of processing power and functionality. However, if you ever decide you want to diversify your portable library a bit, the sky’s the limit! Just choose the right apps and accessories to put together the setup you really want.