Barnes & Noble promises the Nook isn’t dead, reveals Nook GlowLight 4

Barnes & Noble promises the Nook isn’t dead, reveals Nook GlowLight 4

Book seller Barnes & Noble has been selling Nook e-readers for over a decade, leading them to become a major player in the e-reader market for several years. Besides normal book features, the Android-based operating system made some models popular for modding, such as the 2011 Nook Simple Touch. Barnes & Noble doesn’t control nearly as much of the e-reader market as it once did, but the company isn’t done with the Nook lineup yet.

Barnes & Noble has just announced the Nook GlowLight 4 (via The Verge), replacing the 2017 GlowLight 3 as the cheapest option for a Nook e-reader. It’s priced at $150, which is $40 more than the Amazon Kindle without ads, or $60 more than a Kindle with ads. If Barnes & Noble is hoping to win over Kindle owners, that might have to wait for sales.

SpecificationNook GlowLight 4
Display
  • 6-inch 300dpi e-ink screen
  • GlowLight backlight with optional Night Mode
RAM & Storage32GB internal storage (29.1GB free for content)
Battery & Charging“Approximately one month”
PortUSB Type-C
AudioNone
ConnectivityWi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
Other Features
  • ePub, PDF, Adobe DRM ePub/PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG and BMP file support
  • Free Wi-Fi at all B&N stores and at 30,000 AT&T hotspots worldwide
  • Physical page-turning buttons

The GlowLight 4 has the same 6-inch 300ppi e-paper display (with a backlight) as the previous GlowLight 3, but the bezels have been slimmed down, and battery life has been increased to around 50 days on a single charge. There’s also 32GB of internal storage, instead of the 8GB on the previous model, and the microUSB port has been swapped for a USB Type-C connector.

Even though this is an upgrade over the older Nook, it’s still missing features that are common on other e-readers (and even some previous models in Barnes & Noble’s own lineup). There’s no microSD card slot for adding more storage, no audio playback for audiobooks, and no water resistance. However, you can transfer standard PDF and ePub books to the GlowLight 4 over USB, which is still a selling point compared to the Kindle (where eBooks usually need to be converted first).

The Nook GlowLight 4 will be released on December 8th, and you can buy it from the Barnes & Noble website.

About author

Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.