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Nook GlowLight review

6.8/10 AVG.

Nook GlowLight
Nook GlowLight
Nook GlowLight
Nook GlowLight

Informr score
The Nook GlowLight currently has an Informr score of 6.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 8 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Brighter and more uniform screen light
  • Rubber trim provides better grip and durability
  • No full page refreshes during reading

What's bad

  • No microSD slot
  • Screen light still suffers from shadowing and blooming
  • Inaccurate touch screen

The Nook GlowLight is the second generation e-reader from Barnes & Noble and is designed to compete directly with Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite. In order to get a leg up on its competition, Barnes & Noble's has updated almost all of the features from its original Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

At 175 grams, the GlowLight is 15% lighter than the Kindle with which it competes, although it it’s slightly thicker at 0.42 inches. For a more streamlined look, Barnes and Noble's removed practically all physical buttons except for the "n" shaped home button. In order to turn pages, you must now use the touchscreen. Unlike its competitors, this eReader utilizes infrared instead of capacitive touch, which, according to Engadget, actually makes the touch less accurate.

Aside from dimensions, the GlowLight also has a different look and feel from its predecessor. Out is the standard black and in is a white body color, which "makes the screen's black text stand out…" according to The Verge.

In addition to a new color, the device also has a new rubber trim around the edges. Gizmodo notes that while the trim does help improve grip and protect it from inevitable drops, it also makes it a little too wide to fit into the back pocket of a pair of jeans. Luckily, the rubber grip is removable, however Good eReader cautions against taking it off as it exposes some assemblies and the motherboard.

In terms of hardware, the GlowLight offers a 1GHz processor, 4GB of onboard storage and a display resolution of 758 pixels. Critics note that the updated e-ink display is sharper, reduces image ghosting and eliminates full-page refreshes during reading. In addition to the display quality, the screen light also received an upgrade. Experts found the new light brighter and more uniform than its predecessor although PC Mag states that there are still issues such as "shadowing" and "blooming" at the top edge.

The only downgrade of the device is the removal of the microSD slot, though reviewers were more than happy with the amount of onboard storage.

Overall, critics find the Nook GlowLight to be an excellent e-reader though a bit underwhelming when compared to the competition. Digital Trends states, "It's not a bad device…it's just not a step forward" and CNET adds, "I do think the new GlowLight will help…retain…existing customers and maybe even acquire some new ones…"

Screen Size
4 GB
Reading Time
1440 hours

What the Critics Are Saying...

Tech Advisor

The Nook GlowLight is a decent eReader if you're looking for one with a backlight. It's lighter than Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite but its rival is available at the same price with more features.

- Chris Martin, Tech Advisor

An ereader that competes with Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite on design and price, if not on quality.

- Jeff Parsons, TechRadar

The Nook GlowLight is incredibly lightweight and offers some unique features, such as the button that takes the user back to their book, and the ability to turn the GlowLight off completely. However, the rubber bumper concerned testers, as they weren't comfortable with the fact that it came away fro...

- Sarah White, TabletPCReview

The Nook GlowLight is impressive due to its lesser weight, and brighter edge lighting than the Paperwhite. However, Amazon’s e-reader is still our favourite, thanks to its faster performance, more even lighting and font rendering, and the Paperwhite’s still best-in-class eBook store. But...

- Jamie Lendino, ITProPortal
Digital Trends

The new Nook GlowLight has a better screen and brighter light, but that light is still uneven, its lack of page turn buttons make it difficult to use for lefties, and the overall package can’t match the Kindle Paperwhite.

- K. T. Bradford, Digital Trends

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Screen Size

The Nook GlowLight's screen size is 6 inches with 758 x 1024 pixels resolution.


There is a built-in backlight for reading in the dark.

4 GB

Internal memory is 4 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.


This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Reading Time
1440 hours

The e-reader is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1530 mAh battery. Battery life is rated for up to 1440 hours reading time according to Barnes & Noble's.

Nook GlowLight Specs

Release Date October 30, 2013
Regions Available USA, United Kingdom
SIM Card Size No
Operating System Android 2.1 Eclair

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Processor Texas Instruments OMAP 3 800 MHz
Internal Storage 4 GB
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1530 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Reading Time Up to 1440 hours
Standby Time Up to 60 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 16.5 x 12.7 x 1.1 cm (6.5 x 5 x 0.4 in)
Weight 176 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution 758 x 1024 pixels
Pixel Density Unknown
Size 6 inches
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare Unknown
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Page Turn Key Unknown
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Wi-Fi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Video Playback No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Vibration Alert No
Additional Information
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Nook GlowLight Reviews
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