Nook GlowLight review

Is the Nook GlowLight worth a glowing recommendation?

Nook GlowLight
The outlook is bright for the GlowLight

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Reading on the device is what it's all about and Nook has increased the screen resolution from the 800 x 600 of the old Nook Simple Touch GlowLight to 1024 x 758 with 212ppi for sharper text and no page flashing when you're in-book.

The backlight can be set to varying degrees of brightness in the settings and will illuminate to that level when you hold down the "n" button on the front.

Its overall capacity has been upped since the last model but it always remains comfortable and I was able to read for a long period with the backlight enabled without inducing any eye strain.

Nook GlowLight

The backlight is comfortably bright

And you'll be reading for a long time too. Nook hasn't specified exactly what battery is tucked away inside the GlowLight but says you'll be able to keep reading for up to eight weeks on a single charge.

The anti-glare nature of an e-ink display is what has always bolstered ereaders above tablets and I found the Nook's screen to be perfectly adequate, even in direct sunlight. Measuring in at 165 x 127 x 10mm, the Nook GlowLight is a shade smaller than your average paperback book.

The rounded edges go some way to making it appear smaller as well. The silicone rubber trim around the edge of the device isn't sealed down however, and a fingernail can exploit gaps that could be susceptible to dust or liquid.

It also means you can remove the rubber band and swap it for another colour - you can currently choose from blue or red - although you'll need to fork out some extra cash for the pleasure.

Nook GlowLight

There's room for a lot of dust and dirt under the rubber trim

Like any good content-delivery system, the Nook comes with a recommendations feature that will curate titles on the Nook store that might appeal to you, displaying it all in the "picked for you" section.

Working in a similar way to Amazon's Kindle ecosystem, all your purchases are stored on the Nook cloud server for use on multiple devices. So you'll be able to get to your library on a Nook HD tablet or through the Nook Reading apps on Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8.1.

Handily, each device can be synced to your library so that you can pick up reading the same book on a new device right from where you left off on the old one. There's also the option to sample any book on the Nook store before purchasing it, so you can get a taster of the latest Stephen King without having to stump up the cash right away.

Nook GlowLight

Your reading progress is stored on the Nook cloud and can be accessed anywhere using the Nook app

Currently the UK Nook store boasts over three million titles, which is about on a par with Amazon's offering, with new releases and special offers added frequently.

The decision to remove the microSD card slot is a bold one. Ultimately, with cloud storage and the ability to store 2,000 books locally, you're never really going to need it. It's a nice feature to have but if it means a cheaper device with minimal compromise then I can see the thinking behind it.

Barnes & Noble hasn't stuck the Nook GlowLight full of features, and the new and improved screen still doesn't best the Kobo Aura HD in terms of pixel resolution. But there's a like-ability to the device that comes from its appearance, price and simplicity to use – more on that later.

Nook GlowLight

Ereaders are for reading, and that's just what the Nook does, for less than an Amazon Kindle

Ereaders are very good tools for fulfilling one specific task: reading, and the Nook GlowLight has all the features you'll need, while managing to keep the overall price of the hardware lower than Amazon's offering.

It doesn't feel quite as robust in the hands as the Kindle does, but I was very happy with the low weight and smaller dimensions. It was easy to carry the Nook GlowLight around all day in my bag and forget I had it in there at all.