Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus Review

November 4, 2015 - Kindle Unlimited

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s Guide

Bookworms who done a burst to digital, and are invested in a Barnes Noble universe, have good reason to be excited. After a two-year wait, a association has finally updated a E Ink e-reader. The Nook GlowLight Plus ($129.99) improves on a design, arrangement and interface of a prior generation, though irritating opening loiter and a shorter battery life might stop we from plopping down your hard-earned income for this e-reader.


The bronze aluminum-wrapped Nook GlowLight Plus looks glossy and fresh. It’s a sheer and lush contrariety to see a Nook’s creamy face set subsequent to a black Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. However, a soothing reason of a Paperwhite reminds me of a friendly winter night by a fire, while a GlowLight Plus feels cold and lifeless.  

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The 6.4 x 4.7 x 0.34-inch GlowLight Plus weighs 6.9 ounces, that creates it smaller and lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite (6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36 inches, 7.2 ounces).

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideThere’s not many to a GlowLight Plus in terms of buttons and ports. On a tip left edge, a appetite symbol can arise a device from sleep. On a bottom dilemma is a micro USB pier for charging. And on a reduce bezel is a small, touch-sensitive N symbol that functions as a home button. 

Unfortunately, Barnes Noble forsaken a volume of onboard storage from a last-generation GlowLight, from 4GB to 3GB. The Paperwhite has confirmed 4GB, that binds about 2,000 e-books. Both Amazon and BN also offer total storage on a company’s servers to reason your library. But a smaller memory might impact any non-Barnes Noble calm we wish to lift with you.


Because Barnes Noble knows we substantially wish to review in a bathtub, by a pool or around whirlwinds of appetite famous as children, a Nook GlowLight Plus facilities a imperishable pattern that is IP67-certified. It’s waterproof in uninformed H2O for adult to 30 mins during a limit abyss of 3.28 feet, and it’s dustproof.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideAfter we submerged a GlowLight Plus in a bin of New York City daub H2O for 30 minutes, a e-reader was usually fine. we overwhelmed a appetite symbol to arise it from sleep, and was means to fast open “A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray.


The 6-inch E Ink arrangement on a Nook GlowLight Plus now facilities a fortitude of 300 dpi, that accurately matches a arrangement on a Kindle Paperwhite. The resolution, matched with a 16 levels of gray scale, means a fonts seem crook and easier to review than on prior generations of a GlowLight. we gifted no eyestrain after 2 hours spent reading “A Thousand Pieces of You” by Claudia Gray.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideLike Amazon’s e-reader, a Nook also offers a glare-reduction film on tip of a screen, creation it easy to review in approach sunlight. That same shade is done with a polymer that’s fingerprint- and scratch-resistant.

The GlowLight Plus facilities a touch-sensitive bar to adjust a liughtness of a backlight. When incited adult all a way, a Nook gets brighter than a Paperwhite, arrangement 106 nits of liughtness vs. 72 on a Kindle. we wish a GlowLight Plus had a sensor to automatically adjust a backlight formed on my surroundings, like a $199 Kindle Voyage does.

MORE: Barnes Nobles Nook HD Review

Using a colorimeter, we also totalled tone heat (warmer temperatures are improved on a eye). Both a Nook and Kindle purebred really identical numbers, though a 6,905 on a Paperwhite is a bit warmer than a 6,935 we accessible on a GlowLight Plus.

User Interface

The Nook GlowLight Plus has a home shade remarkably identical to a Kindle’s. Both underline dual rows of book covers: The tip quarrel shows your many new activity from your library, and a bottom quarrel shows endorsed picks from a company’s store, formed on your prior purchases. However, a dual don’t put a navigation bar in a same place; it’s on a bottom of a GlowLight Plus and during a tip of a Paperwhite.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideThe biggest disproportion between a Kindle and Nook interfaces, however, comes from a morality of a Barnes Noble device.

While Amazon scarcely overwhelms we with options in a nav bar, BN is unclothed bones. You can check your library, shop, search, refurbish settings or click on BN Readouts (a curated list of e-book samples that’s updated daily). And that’s it. However, Amazon’s options to bond to a Goodreads amicable network and X-Ray facilities are accessible and useful collection to have during your fingertips.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideYou can adjust a GlowLight liughtness from Settings, or we can daub a tip of a shade to entrance discerning settings for that, Wi-Fi standing and battery level. On a tip left dilemma of a home shade is a small idol that looks like an open book, that opens your many recently accessed e-book.

Reading Experience

In general, we didn’t find a GlowLight Plus to be quite responsive.

Sure, swiping or drumming to spin a page took reduction than a second. But we witnessed a conspicuous loiter on a Nook GlowLight Plus compared to a page-turn speeds on a Kindle Paperwhite while reading a same book, “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr. In several instances, when a section was waking from sleep, it took as many as 6 seconds before we could start regulating a GlowLight Plus. And switching from a primogenitor to a child’s profile, we counted adult to 5 seconds. 

On a Kindle Paperwhite, waking from nap takes reduction than a second, and form switches took 2 seconds.

Above we review a time loiter while opening a book on a Nook Glow Plus and a Kindle Paper White.

MORE: Barnes Nobles Nook Touch Review

Forget typing on a Nook’s on-screen keyboard. You contingency be really counsel and delayed or you’ll get too distant forward of a device.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideYou can share what book you’re reading with your Facebook feed, though a GlowLight Plus doesn’t support Twitter or any other amicable networks.

Beyond sharing, when inside an e-book, we have flattering singular options. You can adjust a rise and spacing, supplement a bookmark, burst to a specific place in a book, hunt a calm or get sum on a announcement such as announcement date and a summary. Pressing and holding calm can move adult a definition. Or we can emanate a note, prominence a calm or share it. This keeps a concentration on usually a text.

However, we won’t find any of a some-more engaging bells and whistles that we have on a Kindle, such as a wording builder or Word Wise mode, that puts definitions for formidable difference in line on a page.

Nook Content

Barnes Noble claims it has 4 million e-books in a Nook store, that is on a standard with Amazon’s store. Like Amazon, BN offers representation e-books for giveaway and recommends stories formed on your past reading habits. After a consult of a tip 10 novella e-books on a New York Times’ Best Sellers’ list, it’s also transparent a pricing is allied opposite stores.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideYou also have entrance to a Nook newsstand, that includes a integrate hundred inhabitant newspapers such as USA Today and a The Wall Street Journal, as good as some-more than 500 informal papers such as The Kansas City Star. we was agreeably astounded to find a library of scarcely 1,000 college newspapers, such as a The Harvard Crimson, accessible by a Nook Store.

Magazines are a worse sell on E Ink, though they do exist in a Nook Store. In fact, you’ll find some-more than 130 bestsellers, such as Us Weekly, Food Network Magazine and even Maxim.

Non-Nook Content

Outside of Barnes Noble, a GlowLight Plus supports EPUB, PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF and BMP. That’s fewer record forms than a Kindle Paperwhite supports. For instance, we won’t be means to review Microsoft Office files on a Nook.

The GlowLight Plus can also be used to steal titles from 10,000 libraries from around a country.

Parental Controls

The Nook GlowLight Plus lets we share a e-reader as a family device, permitting we to sync adult to 5 personal profiles and libraries of content. For children’s accounts, we can shorten entrance to a Nook Shop, need passwords for all purchases, usually arrangement Kids Content when in a Nook Shop, retard side-loaded files from appearing in a library and concede entrance to Reads for kids.

Credit: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuideCredit: Jeremy Lips / Tom’s GuideThese are all really useful controls, though not scarcely as strong as a parental assistance that Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite offers by Kindle FreeTime. That underline lets relatives lane accurately what a kids are reading and for how long. Parents can even offer incentives to spend some-more time reading.

Barnes Noble Perks

Barnes Noble still operates 647 sell stores around a United States. (There are 45 within 50 miles of my New York City office.) Through those stores, Nook owners get a few small extras. For instance, we can get lifetime in-store tech support for free. When you’re in a stores, we can review Nook e-books for giveaway for adult to an hour per day, and you’ll get giveaway in-store Wi-Fi.

People who squeeze a GlowLight Plus get $5 to start a selling experience, and they will get to select from a preference of nominal Nook content. Specifically, we get 3 books from a probable 20 good titles, including “The Gravedigger’s Daughter” by Joyce Carol Oates, “Think Big, Act Bigger” by Jeffrey Hayzlett and “On A Night Like This” by Barbara Freethy. You also get 3 single-issue magazines from a preference of some-more than 25, such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire and Food Network Magazine. Barnes Noble members can also get 10 percent off a squeeze of a Nook GlowLight Plus.

If that’s not adequate incentive, Barnes Noble is also charity trade-in deals that can acquire we between $25 and $200 toward a squeeze of a new Nook device. The bookseller is usurpation aged Nooks or Kindles, and we can use a income to buy an e-reader or Nook tablet.

Battery Life

Barnes and Noble claims a GlowLight Plus will final adult to 6 weeks on a singular charge. That’s formed on 30 mins of reading per day, with one page modernise per notation with a light set during 30 percent liughtness and a wireless off. That matches Amazon’s explain for a Kindle Paperwhite. However, that’s dual weeks reduction than a previous-generation Nook GlowLight. we was astounded to have run down a battery in a matter of a few days during my testing, though we frequently had a light incited adult all a approach and used a device for several hours a day.

Barnes Noble ships a GlowLight Plus with a micro USB charging cable, though no wall outlet. You can squeeze one from a association for $9.95, that is $10 reduction than what Amazon charges for a Kindle wall charger.

Bottom Line

If you’re committed to an existent library of Barnes Noble digital calm and you’re unfortunate for an E Ink e-reader, a $129 Nook GlowLight will happily accompany we to a pool or to bed — something a Amazon foe can’t do. However, a $119 Kindle Paperwhite is faster, offers some-more features, some-more storage and improved parental controls. Barnes Noble simply doesn’t offer adequate to clear shopping a GlowLight Plus.

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