Nook GlowLight review

Is the Nook GlowLight worth a glowing recommendation?

Nook GlowLight
The outlook is bright for the GlowLight

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Although at first I was a bit dismissive of the Nook GlowLight (I thought it looked a bit like a child's toy) I actually grew to like it over the five or so days I spent reviewing it.

It fit snugly into my bag and felt comfortable in my hands when I pulled it out for a spot of reading on the bus.

We liked

The backlight is a great feature, and I wouldn't buy or recommend any ereader without it. On the Nook GlowLight it was crisp and evenly distributed across the screen and great for reading in low light. What I particularly liked was getting this feature for less than £90.

The battery life and simplicity of the interface are also strong positives here and it's to be commended that Nook shaved space and weight from the device but kept the battery life unaffected.

We disliked

There is a noticeable delay and sluggishness when it comes to the touchscreen. Loading up the store, downloading and opening books all takes time and it's something that comes as a surprise having grown familiar with speedy tablets.

Also, it goes without saying that Barnes & Noble doesn't have the visibility or the resources that Amazon does. So while books are competitively priced on the Nook store, I'm not convinced that the US bookseller will be able to match its retailer rival when it comes to special offers and exclusive content.

Final verdict

The Nook GlowLight isn't better than the Kindle Paperwhite, but it is a viable alternative for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's cheaper upfront by £20. If you're looking for just a standard ereader with a backlight, then this will suffice.

Secondly, the design is different enough from Amazon's sharp, black rectangle to give you a moment's consideration. If, like me, you've had enough of black and grey gadgets and like the thought of a clean white look, then this could be for you. Yes, it's massively subjective, but all I'm saying is consider it.

As an ereader the Nook GlowLight is a perfectly serviceable device – it has its drawbacks and there are omissions, such as microSD support. But if you're looking to pick up a reliable ereader with all the basic features you'll need and a bulging library of titles to take advantage of, then this is £89 well spent.