Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Ebook Reader Review

The new Nook Glowlight is a follow up model from its predecessor, the Nook Simple Touch. This new ebook reader sports several big improvements in design and hardware, and personally, I have been rather excited over it.




The most obvious change can be seen in the aesthetics of the Nook Glowlight, ditching the old dark gray color for a white external casing and screen bezel. I believe that this simple change alone is going to set its sales figure soaring. The truth is, many consumers choose their gadgets based on design and aesthetics. Since changing its outfit to white, I would dare say that the Glowlight is now the cutest, best-looking ebook reader in the market, with great appeal especially to the female demographics. The ‘Kawaii’ factor is high on this one.

Looks aside, there are also various noteworthy design details. For instance, this reader is extremely light and slim. It measures in at 6.5 x 5 x 0.42 inches in dimensions and weighs a feather light 6.2 ounces, which is lighter than most ebook readers out there including the new Kindle Paperwhite. In terms of dimensions, is it also a little thinner than the previous generation model.

Other than the change in color, the locations of the buttons have also change a little with the Nook Glowlight. For starters, the page turn buttons on the front have been removed. You can now turn pages by swiping the side of the screen with your thumb or fingers. The huge power button that was found on the older model have also been removed for a smaller, more discreet power button on the side of the device, very much like those found on tablet models. The removal of these physical buttons gives the ebook reader a more sleek and futuristic look.




As in the name, the Nook Glowlight incorporates built-in front lighting that enables you to read in the dark. The lighting on this model is much improved compared to its predecessor where the light distribution throughout the screen is now more even than before. The reader still makes use of a 758 x 1024 resolution infrared touch screen and although it is less responsive than a capacitive touch screen, it stills does its job quite competently for an ebook reader.

Barnes & Nobles have also done some housekeeping with the user interface on the new Glowlight ebook reader. The interface feels less cluttered with many of the features simplified, making it a little easier to use than before. You can change the size of the fonts through the menu that can be launched by tapping at the bottom of the screen. We really wished that they had incorporated the pinch to zoom feature with this new model. Page transition is good where there are no major ‘flash’ or ‘animations’ when you flip between pages, which can be quite distracting in the middle of a read.


All in all, the Nook Glowlight is a pretty decent, good-looking ebook reader. We really appreciated all the improvements made in design, hardware and software but we wouldn’t go as far as calling it the best in the market. Although decent, there are very little features on the ebook reader that sets it apart from the rest. Both the Nook Glowlight and Amazon Kindle Paper weight is priced at $119 each and it is worthwhile to note that the Nook reader does not come with ads at this price point, unlike the Amazon model.


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