While most ebook readers stick to rubbery or glossy plastic for the body, Barnes & Noble opted for an aluminum back plate in a nice bronze color on the new GlowLight Plus. The front is made of a sturdy white plastic, which has a grippy texture for comfort. Even though it’s made of metal, the ebook reader is thin and light, weighing just 6.9 ounces, which is lighter than both the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Aura H2O, the latter being its only other waterproof competitor.
It has a high-resolution, E Ink screen with 300 dpi, enhanced contrast, and twice as many pixels as the original Nook GlowLight. The screen doesn’t have any glare, and text looks crisp and clear on the virtual page. B&N offers adjustable ambient lighting so the Nook doesn’t blind you when you’re in a dim room or reading at night. You can choose between a number of hand-crafted fonts, too, in case you don’t like the look of the default text. The Nook’s battery should last for six weeks of use, if you read for 30 minutes every day with the screen at 30 percent brightness, with wireless connectivity off.
The screen doesn’t have any glare, and text looks crisp and clear on the virtual page.
Barnes & Noble makes it easy for you to find good books, and with B&N Readout, you can preview them before you buy. The GlowLight Plus will show you a selection of different excerpts from books you may like each day in the hopes that you splurge on new titles. It’s an unobtrusive feature, though, so you don’t feel like you’re getting hit over the head with ads. The book seller is quick to point out that its ebook reader doesn’t have any ads invading your quiet reading experience like Amazon does. You can, of course, get any books, magazines, or newspapers from the B&N store, and you’re welcome to browse around on the Nook just like you would in the bookstore.
If you happen to have kids, or you share your Nook with someone else, you can set up separate profiles for different users. In settings, you can restrict certain profiles to ensure that your tender six-year-old doesn’t stumble across Fifty Shades of Grey or something like that.
Should the new Nook GlowLight Plus strike your fancy, you can get it at Barnes & Noble stores and online at NOOK.com for $130. Barnes & Noble Members get a 10-percent discount, too. B&N also has several covers and sleeves for the new Nook, including one that authors can sign if you’re into author signings. You can also draw your own design on that cover, but beware — It’s permanent.
To sweeten the deal further, the book seller gives buyers their choice of three books from a selection of 20 great titles, such as The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates, Think Big, Act Bigger by Jeffrey Hayzlett, and On A Night Like This by Barbara Freethy. Additionally, B&N gives new Nook owners a $5 credit for its store, and buyers can also choose three magazines from a selection of more than 25 magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Food Network Magazine. All in all, it’s a pretty great deal, but it’ll be interesting to see how well it does against Amazon’s latest ebook readers.