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Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light eReader Review

While the new Nook's light does enable night reading, there is the predictable tradeoff in battery life.

May 07, 2012
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Screen

The Nook SimpleTouch with Glow Light is built around a 3.5625 x 4.8125 inch eInk Pearl screen, which uses an IR grid touchscreen as its main interface, and is ringed by LEDs inside the case to light up the screen. The IR grid is as responsive as can be expected, though the refresh rate of the eInk screens is typically under 10Hz, meaning page changes will be slower than they are on tablets.

Front Image

Indoor & Outdoor Use

While eReaders with eInk screens are typically fantastic in direct sunlight, where they fall short most often is in low light. For this, the Nook SimpleTouch with Glow Light has a built-in "glow light," which shines an inoffensively bright light onto the screen so text and illustrations can be visible even in the darkest lighting conditions. For those of you who like night reading, this is a huge plus.

indoor-outdoor.jpg

NOTE: The images above are shot with a variety of lighting sources, which may cause some color shift.

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Legibility

As always, eReaders with eInk Pearl screens and an appropriate resolution look much like ink on a printed page should, and the Nook SimpleTouch with Glow Light is no different in this regard. High marks here.

legibility.jpg

Reflectance

Like most other eReaders with eInk screens, the Nook SimpleTouch with Glow Light does not reflect a large total of light, nor is the reflection pattern very sharp. This is a huge plus, as sharp reflection patterns can get very distracting, especially in brighter lighting conditions.

Screen Size & DPI

As previously mentioned, the Nook SimpleTouch with Glow Light has a 3.5625 × 4.8125 inch eInk Pearl screen, with resolution of 800 by 600, giving it a dots-per-inch (DPI) of 167, on the high end for an eReader. You will have no resolution issues here.

Battery Life

While the Nook SimpleTouch with Glow Light does manage to last well beyond the 24 hour mark with continuous reading of eBooks without the Glow Light, if you do enable the light for night reading, you’ll find that your battery life plummets to about 10 hours. This result is not terribly surprising, as eReaders do not have a big battery, as they do not generally require much juice to display a page.

Making light, however, does burn a lot of battery power. If you’re looking to maximize your battery life between charges, we suggest trying to limit the time you use your glow light. You’re not going to drain your battery life instantaneously by leaving it on, but your eReader will be capable of going for much longer without a recharge.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Barnes & Noble Nook Touch Comparison
  7. Amazon Kindle Touch Comparison
  8. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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