By Corey Sandler

Take your Tab 4 NOOK and place it on a desk or table in front of you. See the figure for a guided tour of the front of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK. All of the following descriptions are based on looking at the tablet lying on its back, with its top facing away from you and the bottom closest to you.

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The front

The front is home to several items of note, one strictly for advertising purposes:

  • A Samsung logo at the top of the front

  • The front-facing camera lens

  • The LCD color touchscreen

  • Three keys are at the bottom. They are, from left to right:

    • Recent. Touch and hold it to see apps you’ve used recently.

    • Home. Wherever you are on your tablet, press this key to go to the Home screen.

    • Back. Touch to return to the previous screen or option.

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The left side of the Tab 4 NOOK

Move along. There’s nothing to see here, folks. Really. Nothing. The left side of the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK is so elegantly empty it should go on display at a museum of contemporary art.

The right side of the Tab 4 NOOK

The right side is where you’ll find several essential keys, a blaster, a pinhole, and a slot. Yes, blaster. From top to bottom on the right side, they are:

  • A tiny hole behind which hides a microphone. It picks up sound for videos, video conferences, and your voice for Internet (not cellular) phone calls. Make sure neither the protective case you use, nor your hand, blocks the opening.

  • The Power/Lock key. Press and hold it for a second or two to turn your Tab 4 NOOK on or off. Press it briefly and release to lock the tablet or wake it from sleep.

  • The Volume key. When the Home screen is displayed, press one end or the other of this rocket key to adjust the volume. When you’re playing music, any adjustments you make here affect only music volume. Either way, you know how they work: + means louder and – means quieter, all the way down to mute.

  • The Infrared Blaster. Sorry to have to tell you, but this isn’t the latest version of Han Solo’s particle beam energy weapon. What you have here is an infrared beam that can do things like control your flat-screen TV.

  • Memory card slot. This tiny opening can accept a little sliver of microSD or microSDHC card that holds information in addition to your tablet’s built-in memory. And though 32GB is a whole lot of room, if you fill up one card, you can simply remove it and install a new card.

The top side of the Tab 4 NOOK

Nice and simple, and logically designed: there is but one thing to see here: a headset jack. Here’s where you stick a 3.5mm connector for earbuds or connect to an external sound system.

The headset jack works well with earbuds or headphones, but you can also output audio from your Tab 4 NOOK to stereo systems with advanced controls and large speakers.

The bottom of the Tab 4 NOOK

There’s just one thing to note down here. Although it’s lonely, it’s actually a very important, multipurpose portal: the microUSB port. Here’s where you attach the USB cable that came with your tablet. That cable, in turn, attaches to the AC adapter, allowing you to recharge the internal battery.

You can disconnect that same cable from the AC adapter, then connect the cable to a PC or laptop to transfer or sync music or files.

The back of the Tab 4 NOOK

The tablet’s back gives the tablet something to hold up the front. To see it, turn your tablet over so that the front is facing down. Although you don’t have to baby your device, for safety’s sake put a cloth or a magazine under the screen.

Two items of note are on the back (plus some more advertising and a bit of legalese). Here’s what you’ll find:

  • The rear-facing camera. This is your tablet’s main camera, for taking photos or videos while you watch the LCD on the other side.

  • In the lower-right corner is a grill that covers the speaker. If you’re going to listen closely to music or speech, don’t lay the tablet flat on its back; to get the best sound, you have to make sure the speaker isn’t covered.

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