The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 4 is a brand new e-reader that just became available in December. It is now widely available in 600 bookstores and online on the booksellers website. This device has a number of hardware improvements, such as 2GB of RAM and a quad-core processor. The page turn buttons have undergone a radical new design and are easier to press. Will you buy the new Nook Glowlight 4?
The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 4 features a 6-inch E INK Carta HD display with a resolution of 1072×1404 and 300 PPI. The screen is not flush with the bezel and instead has a sunken screen. There is an all-new screen protector installed on the factory level, which helps protect the plastic e-paper display. This was a good move by B&N because it absorbs light and does not reflect it like glass based screens. When you are reading ebooks, the text looks crisper than the Kobo Sage or Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation. The overall color scheme is jet black on the front and the sides.
There are series of white and amber LED lights, so you can control the front-lit display and color temperature system. This will be customized with a two slider bars in the settings menu. The front-lit display can only be tuned to automatically turn on, at specific time of day. It does not have an ambient light sensor, instead it relies on the time of day. There are physical page turn buttons on both sides of the screen, and they curl inwards, towards the back. At the bottom of the unit, is the home button, this is denoted by the N. If you press it, you will go back to the home screen, if you hold it for a couple of seconds, the front-lit display will turn on.
Underneath the hood is an Allwinner B300 quadcore 1.5 GHZ CPU processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. You will be able to charge the reader with a USB-C cable, this is the first time B&N has ever employed a modern port on any of their E INK devices. 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. 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.) Out of the 32GB of storage, only 5GB can be used for sideloaded content. You should get around four weeks of usage, thanks to the 1400 mAh battery. The Nook has always used Android as the primary operating system, and this new model is employing Android 8.1, previous generation Nooks use Android 4.4.
Barnes and Noble has been sending mixed messages to consumers over the years. Sometimes, they are serious about the Nook and other times it seems like an afterthought. I have been really critical about Nook over the years, but the new management really wants to make it work, they seem to want to reinvest into the brand and bring it back from the ashes. Will customers give them a second chance? I know many, many people over the years have given up and fled to rival brands, such as Kindle or Kobo. Is this new Nook enough to win people back?
The Nook Glowlight 4 is available now for $149.99 and cases have 5 different colors and are $19.99 each. Obviously you can only buy the Nook in the US, but it does work internationally. You just need a random US billing address and your own credit card. B&N never mails anything to the address when you buy digital content.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.