Does the $180 water-resistant Kobo Aura H2O finally have big-league competition—from Barnes & Noble, in the form of the Nook GlowLight Plus?
An E Ink device, the GlowLight Plus is the “First Waterproof, Dustproof Nook.” It sells for $129.99.
For now, alas, I can’t answer the who’s-better question. The press release tells of 300 dpi and of course backlighting, but I don’t see a screen size listed. Six inches? The Kobo is 6.8 inches. Has a mere six inches become so much the standard that B&N won’t even bother mentioning screen size?
I also wonder if B&N offers the same number of typographical options, such as all-text bold. Go here for what details are available from B&N and here for CNet’s take. Memory is 2.6GB, weight is 6.9 ounces, and the GlowLight Plus offers capacity touch, said to be more precise than infrared.
Of course, the other inevitable comparison would be with the Amazon Paperwhite, on sale today for $99.99 and regularly priced at $120. It’s also 300 dpi. Also, Kobo sells a Paperwhite competitor with the same DPI count.
In the battle with Amazon, simply in the interest of consumer choice, let’s hope that B&N and Kobo can make better showings. Amazon has a built-in head start in the breadth of its book inventory and in pricing.
The GlowLight Plus is the first new GlowLight device from B&N in two years.
From the just-posted B&N news release:
NOOK GlowLight Plus has an advanced design that allows it to withstand water and dust, so customers can read at the beach, in the bathtub or alongside the pool without worry. The company designed the first-ever waterproof and dustproof NOOK for customers who requested a durable, portable design for their reading device.
Its sleek build, seamless construction and aluminum body make NOOK GlowLight Plus as beautiful as it is durable for an elegant and enjoyable reading experience. With a stylish, textured white border and a bronze-colored aluminum back, NOOK GlowLight Plus has a premium look and feel at an affordable price. Customers can effortlessly carry thousands of books in a lightweight device, featuring NOOK’s slimmest design ever. Weighing just 6.9 ounces, it is perfectly portable in any purse, bag or jacket pocket for reading on the go.
Advanced Display for Easy Reading in Low Light and Bright Sun
NOOK GlowLight Plus offers an intuitive, paper-like reading experience in any light that avid readers will appreciate. Its high-resolution, most-advanced E Ink display makes words pop off the screen for easy reading. The display features 300 dpi, enhanced contrast and twice as many pixels as NOOK GlowLight™. The glare-free screen and adjustable ambient lighting enables readers to enjoy an evenly dispersed light so they can dig into their favorite book in dim light or total darkness.
Regarding the waterproofing, B&N says: “Waterproof in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1 meter (3.28 feet). Avoid immersion in saltwater or other liquids. USB port must be completely dry before use.”
So how will Amazon and Kobo respond?
Related: New stock buyback offers hope for Barnes & Noble’s future, by TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows. Also see Nate’s writeup of the new GlowLightPlus.