Barnes and Noble unveiled their second generation Nook with Glowlight at an exclusive event in New York City on Monday. Good e-Reader was live on the scene getting the exclusive scoop on what this new device brings to the table.
The new Barnes and Noble Nook with Glowlight has a six inch screen and a resolution of 1024×768 pixels. It has 62% more pixels than the first generation model and should result in a better eBook reading experience. One of the big factors is the new glowlight, which sees a more evenly distributed light on the screen. The first generation model did not have the most uniformed lightning when you were in a darkened environment. You often saw the light being very clear at the top and started to wane about half way down. The new light is very much akin to the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura in terms of clarity. Underneath the hood is a 800 MHZ processor, 256 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of internal memory. There is no expandable memory, so you will have to stay under your cap.
“Barnes & Noble was the first company to recognize and answer E Ink customers’ number one request with a breakthrough integrated light for reading in the dark and today, with the new NOOK GlowLight, we’ve taken the reading experience to a new level,” said Mahesh Veerina, Chief Operating Officer of NOOK Media. “We developed an all new lightweight design that’s extremely comfortable to hold in one hand for people who love to read anytime, anywhere. Lighter and brighter, with crisp, sharp text, no full page flashing and no ads, our redesigned reading experience is more immersive than ever making the device a must-have item for long-form readers. We welcome customers to their local Barnes & Noble store where they can try the new NOOK GlowLight and see it shine.”
Barnes and Noble is employing the latest generation E Ink technology with Pearl’s Regal wave. This eliminates the full page refreshes that normally plague e-readers every page or every six pages. Instead, you will only see it happen every chapter. This new tech is really noticeable when you are browsing B&N’s online store and checking out books that are on a carousal.
There was a big design change in the way the new Nook model looks compared to the earlier iterations. You can tell that you can drop this thing and it will not break and has a large rubber casing that should protect it from day to day use. The physical page turn keys are also absent, which means you have to solely interact with the touchscreen. It is quite lightweight too, coming in at 6 oz.
Barnes and Noble borrowed a page out of Kobo’s playbook by offering new covers in a multitude of colors. These simply clip on and come in 6 different colors at launch, with more planned down the road. This will allow you to customize your reader without having to buy one in a particular color.
The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 2013 edition uses Android 2.3 as the core operating system. Although there is 4 GB of internal memory only 512 MB is reserved for loading in your own books. The rest of it is allocated towards content only purchased from Barnes and Noble.
For people who love to escape to a great book, content is what matters most and the new NOOK GlowLight introduces an all-new customer experience intuitively designed to minimize distractions and let stories shine. The home screen has been refreshed to make it easier and faster for customers to jump right into their current books, magazines and newspapers directly from the home screen, even if they’re reading more than one item at a time in the new “Reading Now” section.
This e-reader still maintains the permanent navigation bar at the bottom of the page and it is quite easy to access the Library, Shop, or Search. Customers can also now easily view their entire collection of books, magazines, newspapers, and side-loaded content right in the Library, where book covers are rendered beautifully on the device’s new display. You can even use 3rd party programs like Calibre to send your book collection right to the device. The newspaper and college newspaper sections give you tons of daily news from most major USA publications. eBooks really shine with the enhanced screen and cover art looks great.
The new Nook gives you a very solid reading experience. Choose from 6 customized fonts, select from 7 font sizes, select one of 3 margin settings (thin, normal, expanded), or select one of 3 line spacing options (condensed, normal, expanded). If you are unhappy with any of these options, you can just establish the publisher defaults.
We had a good bit of one-on-one time to play around with this new device, and everything has changed from the prior models. The UI is completely different but borrows subtle elements from prior readers. It feels more intuitive than ever before to read and manage your collections. The Glowlight really gives the Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura a run for their money and you would be hard-pressed to find any flaws in the light distribution.
It is going on sale today in the B&N bookstores and college bookstores, as well as on the Barnes and Noble website, and will retail for $119.00 in the US without cost-savings measures like advertising. Current Barnes and Noble members will receive a ten percent discount.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.