Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Glo, and Nook Glowlight Triparison

We unveiled our first TRIPARISON a few weeks ago and are back with the latest installment. Today we are going to check out the three e-readers commercially released that allow you to read in the dark. The Kobo Glo, Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, and Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight are the three that are widely available. Over the course of our video we demonstrate how all three perform in complete darkness. You will get a strong sense of how the screens differ from each other and evaluate what would be best for your particular set of circumstances. Finally, we show you the full reading experience and the things you can do to augment fonts, text, and more!

Michael Kozlowski (5209 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about electronic readers and technology for the last four years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to international events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a myriad of others. If you have any questions about any of his articles, please send an email to

  • lauredhel

    I’ve been fine-tuning sideloaded book text in my Kobo for nearly a year now. The reason you’re not able to adjust line spacing and margins in this sideloaded book is because you’ve chosen to sideload a book where those things are fixed. Strip the fixed formatting out with a Calibre epub to epub conversion, and you’ll be fine.

    I was looking forward to a video comparing these three readers at a similar illumination level. I’m disappointed that instead you chose to crank the Kobo to its full level and leave it there, and then complain in the conclusion about the consequences of that. Obviously, a lower light level is needed in a pitch-dark room. Keeping the Kobo on full for most of the video makes it difficult for your readers to to draw their own conclusions about real-life dark-room reading experience. I did spot a moment where you turned it down, from 13:20 – it was nice to be able to note the evenness of the Kobo illumination there, in contrast to the greenish splotches and headlighting on the PW. The headlight effect at the bottom of the PW is definitely extending into the text area, too, contrary to Amazon’s claims.

    Did you test the Kobo Glo with an SD card? I have heard of some reboots with that.

  • eReaderFan

    agree, this was kind of unfair to Kobo.  You should compare with the brightness at comparable levels and not one being so bright that the camera can’t see it. Also, you fail to mention how clear the text looked on the Kobo Glow.  I could barely read what was on the Nook, and maybe a little bit better on the Kindle, but on the Kobo Glow I could read the whole page. 

  • LexingtonBadger

    The Kindle Paperwhite looked like the lighting was a little uneven and blotchy in some spots. Maybe it was just showing up like that on video and looks better in person but I dunno. Even with the blue/purple hue on the Kobo Glo it still looked somewhat better. It seems like it’s the most evenly lit and nicer to look at, especially when it’s not cranked up all the way.

    Pair that with Kindle’s limited file support, those would be the only two things personally keeping me from buying the Paperwhite. Overall, it seems pretty great but I feel like it’s personally kind of a deal breaker to not be able to read e-books I’ve borrowed from the library on it.

    Now if only Kobo offered a 3G version like Kindle does, haha.

  • 4321 Al Pink

    I agree with the previous posts.
    Seems unfair to leave the Kobo up on full light (too much for the camera in a dark room) then call it a problem with the machine. Incorrect operation of the Kobo. Hey; if there too much light….. turn it DOWN!

  • JBT

    Could you guys also compare the Bookeen Cyberbook Odyssey HD Frontlight and the Onyx Boox i62HD Firefly? It looks like that these new illuminated ereaders have more conssistent lighting than Amazon’s Paperwhite just like the Kobo Glo. I think the Paperwhite has a manufacturing flaw (uneven/blotchy lighting at the bottom) and need to be addressed by Amazon.

    Anyone know if Sony is coming out with their own frontlit ereader?

  • Basswood

    While I much prefer the format options of the Kobo Glo, I’m a little concerned about the blueish light for night time reading before sleep. There is strong evidence to suggest blueish light inhibits sleep (as this is closer to daylight colour temperature), whereas warmer light (e.g. incandescent light, or firelight) does not have this effect. It is thought this is an artefact of human evolution and the early harnessing of fire by our ancestors.

    Software is available for computers to adjust the colour balance automatically at night (see: for example).

    The Kindle Paperwhite looks significantly better in this respect, but I would really like it if a manufacturer would release a illuminated e-reader with a somewhat warmer light still. Reading before bed helps me get to sleep, I don’t want the illumination to work against this!

    (I suppose I could just wear some tinted glasses in bed—that’d really impress my girlfriend!—although she’s got no sleeping problems and would probably be fast asleep by then so maybe she’d never know…)

  • Joske

    I think Goodereader earns more on good reviews for Kindle and Nook !

  • Thatboutique54

    i am looking to by a reader for someone with macular degeneration. which one is my best choice if any?

  • Tracey Cross

    I totally agree with you. On one of their youtube vids they say the paperwhite blows all other ereaders away. Not what I’m thinking or a lot of other kobo owners. Hate having reviewers that are biased.

  • mmmgusto

    solidarity baby, give us a device with adjustable colour temperature.

  • dyani

    Not sure if they’ve upgraded the Kobo Glo since this review was published, but it does have a translator…