Barnes and Noble has been making e-readers since 2009 and they are one of the oldest companies still making them. They pioneered the concept of the modern front-lit display and were the first ones to employ color temperature. Their online bookstore is one of the largest in the world and their prices are the same as what you would find on their competitors. Their latest generation Nook Glowlight 4e was designed to appeal to people who don’t want to spend a lot of money or are new to e-readers. This devices major selling points are the manual page turn buttons, which is a lost art. The price is also a big draw, it retails for $119.
The Nook Glowlight 4e features a 6 inch E INK Carta HD display with 212 PPI. It has as sunken screen and bezel design, which makes text really pop. The vast majority of e-readers on the market have a flush screen and bezel with glass. Glass based screens tend to reflect the sun or overhead lights, whereas the Nook can handle all lighting conditions with ease. This is because e-paper absorbs light. It also comes with a built-in anti-glare screen protector, as well. There is a series of white and amber LED lights that project light evenly across the screen.
Underneath the hood is an Allwinner B300 quadcore 1.5 GHZ CPU processor, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. You will be able to charge the reader with a USB-C cable, It has Bluetooth 5.1 and WIFI 802.11 b/g/n to connect to the online bookstore, to purchase and download ebooks. Barnes and Noble has hotspots in all of their bookstores, which you can also connect to free of charge.
The Nook has the ability to sideload in your own personal collection of digital content. It officially supports EPUB and PDF, you can also buy ebooks from other bookstores in these two formats and load them in via Adobe Digital Editions, since both formats handle digital rights management (DRM.) You can also borrow books from the public library with Overdrive, you would download them from the Overdrive website to your computer and then use Adobe Digital Editions to then sideload them to the Nook. You should get around four weeks of usage, thanks to the 1400 mAh battery.
The Glowlight 4e is based on the same design and housing as the Glowlight 4. The only thing that has really changed is the lower amount of internal storage. This does not make a huge difference for the average reader, since it will still house thousands of books. B&N does sell audiobooks, but their e-readers do not support audio content yet. However, all of the cases and accessories designed for the Glowlight 4 are compatible with the 4e. If you live outside of the United States, it is hard to find this Nook, luckily you can buy it from the Good e-Reader Store.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.