B&N NOOK GlowLight eReader has more storage, but no SD card slot

Barnes & Noble’s latest NOOK is now available for $119. The NOOK GlowLight is a bit lighter than its predecessor, has a higher-resolution display, improved screen refresh technology, and more storage.

If you don’t need those features you can still pick up last year’s NOOK Simple Touch GlowLight for $99 (or less). But the improvements help keep B&N’s hardware competitive with Amazon’s latest Kindle products… or at least competitive enough to keep folks who have been using NOOKs for the last few years from straying.

As for attracting new customers, that could be a bit tougher — although the 4GB of storage and presence in retail stores could help.

NOOK GlowLight

The new NOOK GlowLight sports a 6 inch, 1024 x 758 pixel E Ink Pearl display with Regal screen refresh technology which means that you won’t have to see the display fade to black while refreshing the page as often. The latest Amazon Kindle and Kobo Aura eReaders have the same technology.

The NOOK GlowLight weighs 6.2 ounces, which B&N points out makes it 15 percent lighter than a Kindle Paperwhite. It’s also a bit thinner and lighter than the 7.5 ounce, 0.47 inch thick NOOK Simple Touch.

B&N’s new eReader measures 6.5″ x 0.5″ x 0.42″ and has a screen with 62 percent more pixels than the 600 x 800 pixel NOOK Simple Touch. It also has a faster 800 MHz processor (it’s predecessor had a 600 MHz CPU).

The NOOK GlowLight gets up to 8 weeks of battery life (if you read for about a half hour per day with the WiFi turned off and the GlowLight turned off or adjusted to its default brightness settings.

One of the main things that continues to set NOOK eReaders apart from Kindles is support for digital books in the EPUB format. But with Amazon dominating the eBook space these days, that might not be as big an advantage as it was a few years ago.

Another thing that helps set it apart for some folks who like to tinker may be the fact that the NOOK GlowLight software is based on Android 2.1 Eclair, which could make the device a bit more hacker-friendly than a Kindle or Kobo device (although that’s not exactly something B&N encourages.

A feature that used to help set B&N’s eReaders apart from Amazon’s was the inclusion of SD card slots for extra storage. But the NOOK GlowLight is the first NOOK device to ship without support for removable storage. The company also did away with hardware buttons for turning pages. You’ll have to use the touchscreen to flip digital pages on the NOOK GlowLight.

via B&N press release and The Digital Reader

  • CampGareth

    I’d be more inclined to look towards china for a device running android 4.0, as I’m personally finding the lack of apps for android 2.1 annoying on my nook, like I now don’t have play store access or even a nice web browser (opera will do I guess)

  • WrongMuch

    This is a very uninformed article. The CPU that Nook SImple Touch and the older GlowLight model use has an 800 MHz frequency as well. Not entirely sure about the exact Android version the new one uses, but I’ve seen one other site mention it’s 2.3. At least make an attempt to check your facts, before you publish them!

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder
      • WrongMuch

        Wow! That’s indeed what it says on the B&N site as well, but it’s just plain wrong! Check any other source, including Wikipedia, older reviews, the forum at xda-developers.com for both Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight and you’ll see that EVERYWHERE the CPU is mentioned, it’s 800 Mhz! I guess B&N are trying to make it look like the new model has a faster CPU (it may turn out to be faster, due to optimized architecture, if it’s a newer generation CPU, but it’s still 800 MHz).

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        They could be downgrading or underclocking the CPU in the Simple Touch now that a new model is available… it’d help differentiate the $79 model from the $119 model.

        I’ve clarified the article to refer to the $79 Simple Touch rather than the GlowLight (or even older models) — but until I rip apart the latest models with my own hands, I’m going to with what B&N says.

  • Michael Thompson

    I can only think of one reason to not have an SD card slot, and that is greed.
    Artificial limitations placed on devices with the intent of forcing you to utilize alternate services designed to generate revenue either directly though purchases or indirectly through metrics generation resulting from their use.

    Perhaps not as big of an issue in an e reader, but there nonetheless.

  • MarylandBill

    No page turn buttons are a negative in my opinion. As is the color. In my experience, a dark reader increases the contrast a bit. As for the external storage… as long as they don’t restrict access to the storage, it really should be a non issue. Heck, even if they leave 512 MB for side loaded content, it would probably be fine, but all of it would be better.

  • Joseph

    Seriously, for this price you could get an android tablet and just download an ereader app. There are new ones all the time. I just saw this one on kickstarter, http://puremediasoftware.com/ it actually lets you censor or edit your ebooks to your liking.