Barnes and Noble are currently taking pre-orders for the brand new Nook Glowlight 4 Plus. It ships out in the first week of September for $199.99. This is the first device the bookseller has ever released, including a 3.5mm headphone jack used to listen to audiobooks. The Nook bookstore has a new tab for audiobooks; users can purchase and listen to them on the new audio player. Of course, being an e-reader, the primary function is to read digital books.
The Glowlight Glowlight 4 Plus features a 7.8-inch E INK Carta HD e-paper display with a 1,404 x 1,872 and 300 PPI resolution. The screen is flush with the bezel and protected by a layer of glass. A matte screen protector was installed at the factory; this is used to reduce glare from overhead lighting or the sun. Typically, an e-reader with a glass screen tends to reflect light. It is refreshing that B&N was this forward-thinking to include it.
The overall colour scheme is storm grey, but it is almost charcoal black. The physical page turn buttons are a lighter grey, using different buttons from previous generation Nook e-readers. They almost wrap around the edges, and the page turn buttons are positioned on both the right and left sides, appealing to right-handed and left-handed people. Traditionally B&N Nooks have a home button with an “N,” in the past, this button was raised, but with the advent of the new Nook, it is now capacitive. On the side of the reader is a Nook logo, which is a nice touch.
You can use the new Nook during the day or night. It has a front-lit display and colour temperature system to provide warm and cool lighting; slider bars control the screen’s luminosity. This is done so users can mix the two for a bright screen that is pure white, similar to the brightness of the Kindle Paperwhite 11th generation.
Underneath the hood is an Allwinner B300 1.8 GHZ quad-core processor with 2GB of LP-DDR4x RAM and 32GB of internal storage; no SD card will increase it further. You can connect to the bookstore to buy audiobooks and ebooks from Barnes and Noble with Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n. When. You open the bookstore; the first section is just for books and curated. There is a separate tab for audiobooks, which seems to be curated by a different team at BN, so the two will always be unique and not just mirrors of each other.
There are two ways that you can listen to audiobooks. The first way is through a wired connection for headphones or earbuds. The second is via Bluetooth 5.0, so you can pair wireless headphones. A new audiobook player will allow you to listen to audiobook purchases, but currently, you cannot sideload your files. You can play audiobooks, skip ahead 15 seconds or rewind by 15 seconds. You can scroll ahead with a slider bar or the table of contents; you can also augment the playback speed if you like narrators speaking like Alvin and the Chipmunks.
A black USB-C charging cable comes with the purchase of the unit, and the USB-C port is used for charging and transferring ebooks to it. The battery is slightly underwhelming, with a 2500 maH battery, which should provide about a month’s worth of reading before recharging. The dimensions are 198.36 x 146.86 x 7.77 mm and weighs 285g.
The Nook Glowlight 4 Plus and Nook Glowlight 4e are the first two e-readers to be produced by Barnes and Noble internally, under new management. If you recall, a couple of years ago, the bookseller was bought out by a Hedge Fund and was taken private. The Nook hardware, ebooks, audiobooks and e-commerce are under new management, and everyone is very bullish about making everything work together. These divisions have a startup vibe, with many young people excited about bookselling and wanting to grow the brand. The new Nook looks and feels lovely, and the large screen is perfect for reading outdoors on a warm and sunny day.
If you live in the United States or another country, you can still use the Nook Glowlight 4 Plus. You only need a random US address, like a museum, and use your local credit card to make purchases. Barnes and Noble never send anything to your address; all confirmations for digital sales are just sent via email. You can pre-order the Nook Glowlight 4 Plus from the Good e-Reader Store for $199.99; our company is an authorized distributor of the Nook, the first Canadian company ever.
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.