Just before I headed out to the IFA conference I was sent the Nook Glowlight e reader to review. We haven’t done an e reader review for some time. In fact the last one we did was the Coolerbooks e-reader which is no longer in circulation!
I have been a long time and avid user of the Kindle Paperwhite so I am used to having an e reader that I can read in the dark and that has access to pretty much any book that I can think of. I am also very used to the Kindle store interface. My initial reaction to the Nook was positive. Rather than going with the standard black I was sent the white edition which was a nice surprise and actually if I’d have chosen one I would probably have gone with the white myself. My biggest concern with it being white was would it get dirty in my bag and was it easy to clean if it did get dirty. After all you wouldn’t put a nice white device straight into a case would you? Well you could as there are cases for the Nook.
The Form Factor
The Nook is a little wider than the Kindle and feels a bit bulkier as a result but with it’s curved edges and soft case it feels much more feminine and tactile than the Kindle. It fits nicely in my handbag and when I was travelling it was easy to find and use even with my baby boy sat on my lap. Single handed use was possible with this device thanks to the touch screen. The N button is easy to find to turn the device into active mode and turning the glowlight capability on was simply just a case of holding down the N button. The only problem I had with the form factor was my little boy trying to grab at it whilst I was reading, it could do with a lock button just to disable that when I didn’t want the pages turned for me. Then again the Kindle doesn’t have that yet either! 😉
The first thing I did when I got the Nook was download my latest read – John Grisham’s Sycamore Row. I had in actual fact been reading this at home in hardback so I first had to find the book on the store and then find my page in the book. Finding this or any other John Grisham book was simple and quick. In fact I tried searching for all sorts of books and every single one was there and some were even cheaper in the Nook store than they were in the Kindle store which as a Kindle user I felt kind of hard done by! Certainly Barnes and Noble have been working hard on their store and books are much easier to find in their store than they are on the Kindle store when browsing on the device. I did also find some books on the Kindle that were cheaper than on the Nook Store. It depends what you read for which store is cheaper. You can also upload your own books to the Nook so you could buy from one store and use on the other I suspect but I didn’t try that out.
The Battery Life
So far so good is all I can say about the battery life on the Nook. It arrived with some charge in and I didn’t need to charge it all journey to Berlin and back but I did charge it when I got back as I let it run down to empty and then charged it for an hour and a half by which time it had got to 45% charge which isn’t bad really. Having run the two devices side by side I do tend to find the Kindle holds charge for longer but there isn’t a lot in it between them.
The screen is sharp and very similar to the Kindle Touch but has a different feel to the back light then the Kindle. It is a softer more ambient light and I do feel that it is more comfortable for me to read on the Nook than the Kindle with the back light on. I thought it would be the other way round with the Kindle being the more expensive device but I guess really you are paying for the brand these days.
What else… The accessories for the Nook are out there but they aren’t as prolific as the Kindle so if you are looking to accessorize this device then you may want to consider custom cases or be aware that the choices at least here in the UK are rather limited. If you are nipping across the pond then drop into a Barnes and Noble book store and you’ll find a much better range of cases at varying prices.
Do you go with Kindle because it uses Amazon’s store or do you go with the book specialist? Most would default to the Kindle just because it’s what they know and they can use their Christmas Amazon voucher to buy books but the savvy reader would choose the Nook. Not just because of it’s price but also because the prices in the store are just that bit cheaper and the device is just that bit more gentle on the eyes, hands and pocket. Next time you think about buying someone an e-reader consider the Nook as a serious contender.
We are hoping to get our hands on the Kobo next to take their latest offering for a bit of a spin so watch this space!