Proponents of E Ink are big fans of being able to read on an electric device for long periods of time without wrecking their eyeballs – myself included. That said, not being able to read in the dark without an external light is a big drawback. That is, was a big drawback. Not so anymore, now that the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is here.
Barnes & Noble isn’t specifically saying what is going into their lighting technology, but whatever it is, it’s patent-pending. In addition to the built-in lighting and the E Ink display, the Simple Touch features an infrared touchscreen and an anti-glare coating for reading in direct sunlight. Better yet, that nightlight is adjustable, so spouses can keep it low while their significant others are beside them in bed.
The battery life won’t be hurt too much by the new lighting, either. Barnes & Noble claims that even with the light on, the battery should last for over a month on one charge.
The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is available for pre-order now for $139. The device will ship in May.
B&N has explained to us that the new NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight was developed based on feedback from their customers who said that they like reading in bed, but don’t like upsetting their partners with a light. B&N listened to this feedback and went to work developing GlowLight. The technology behind GlowLight took them over 18 months to develop, and they say that it was a big challenge for them to create an evenly back-lit display.
We got to spend some time with the new NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight and have come away impressed with its display technology. We tried reading on the device in a dark room, and the experience is excellent. Personally, we felt that the built-in lighting used in the GlowLight offers an even better experience than regular E-Ink, as it feels less strenuous on your eyes. With that said, you’ll want to turn the GlowLight function off in sunny environments. But to turn on the GlowLight, all you have to do is hold down on the NOOK button. There is also a setting which allows you to adjust the brightness setting of the GlowLight.
It’s also notable that the new NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight weighs 5% less than the NOOK Simple Touch, although their designs are almost identical. Either way, B&N has managed to come out with a killer feature that should offer them a significant edge over the competition.
Check our our hands-on photos below.