Interesting news on dedicated e-readers is few and far between these days, but we’re quite excited to hear that Barnes & Noble may be updating its Nook Simple Touch with something all e-readers sorely need: a light. The Digital Reader reports that both the Nook and Kindle will soon be getting frontlights, but that Barnes & Noble will again beat the Kindle to market (as it did with the Nook Color and Nook Simple Touch). The new Simple Touch will have a fully integrated frontlight called a “GlowLight.”
Most of us are used to the concept of a backlight, or a light behind the screen that shines up through it, but due to the oddness of the E Ink screens used in e-readers, you cannot place a light behind the screen. Instead, it must shine down on it. Those of you who have used a Game Boy Advance SP may understand this concept better. Front lights tend to be a bit more washed out than backlights, but for an e-reader, any light may be good light.
We haven’t heard about much else changing on the reader and it appears to look mostly like the original Nook Simple Touch.
The new Simple Touch could launch as soon as today or sometime next week (possibly Thursday). We’ll have more information as soon as we hear about it.
Update: Barnes & Noble has officially announced the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. It will be available in early May for $140. Details are here.