Barnes and Noble has just released their first e-reader since 2009, with the advent of the Nook Glowlight Plus. It sounds fairly good on paper, with the same high resolution screen found on the Amazon Kindle Voyage and is waterproof, much akin to the Kobo H2O. It also has software not found in any other e-readers on the market, such as Nook Profiles and Nook Readouts. Has Barnes and Noble hit a home run with the Nook Glowlight Plus and most importantly, will you buy it?
The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight Plus features a six inch e-Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1430 x 1080 and 300 PPI. This e-reader is waterproof, similar to the Kobo Aura H2o. It is IP67 certified, which means you could leave it submerged in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1 meter.
There is no word yet on what processor this model has but it does employ 512 MB of RAM. One of the good things about the Glowlight Plus is that it does not have the same limitations of previous models. You used to have only 512 MB of internal memory for your own e-book collection, but this has been since upgraded to 2GB. In total, you now have 4 GB of available storage, but use it wisely, since there is no SD card.
The Nook Glowlight Plus is a modern e-reader that does not push the envelop with its hardware, but remains competitive. This is very refreshing for the bookseller to offer a compelling alternative for users who have since switched to doing business with Amazon or Kobo.
On the software front, there has been some noticeable UI changes and a few new features like Nook profiles and Nook Readouts.
B&N Readouts comprises of book excerpts in popular genres and topics, including Fiction, Romance, Mysteries & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult, Lifestyle, Books & Ideas, Science & Tech and Business & Innovation. It also offers customers sneak peeks of upcoming books and special bonus content from authors and publishers. There is also featured articles from a myriad of magazines too, giving you a sense of featured stories, without having to actually download or purchase the entire issue.
Barnes and Noble Nook Profiles is similar to what they did with the Nook Color and Nook Tablet. It allows you to setup separate profiles for up to six users, which is ideal for people who share their e-readers. Individual users can decide which titles they want to share with the other profiles and there is some developed parental controls, so that kids can’t make their own purchases.
Is this an e-reader you will buy? It does offer software features not found on any other dedicated e-ink device on the market. I think its a viable upgrade if you have the Nook Simple Touch, Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, the features found on the new model will be absolutely huge. If you have the Nook Glowlight from 2013, I think the waterproof nature will be a tremendous boon. There is a large contingent of readers that like to read while soaking in a bath, or are a klutz like me and dump coffee on it. What do you guys think? Will you buy it, or wait for more reviews before making a decision?
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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.