Feeds
85%
B&N Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight e-reader review

Backlit screen casts Kindle into the shade?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review It’s not hard to imagine how Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch initial design meeting went. Assorted hardware engineers, industrial designers and marketing types assemble to examine Amazon’s Kindle Touch and work out how they can make something better.

And they have. On almost all points, the Simple Touch - and the Simple Touch with Glowlight, which I have in front of me here - trumps its rival.

Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch GlowLight

So what’s wrong with the Kindle Touch? Not a lot, to be honest. It’s a convenient size, there’s sufficient storage, it’s attractively priced, the screen is as good as e-ink gets, and there’s a decent catalogue of content you can buy to put on it. But for the Amazon tie-in - and that only applies to DRM’d material - it’s a fine e-book reader.

If you’re an Amazon customer already, there’s no reason not to buy one, unless you really feel the need to be able to buy e-books from multiple vendors. My various price comparisons have generally shown there’s not much of a saving to be made if you do want to shop around, but so much depends on which books you actually buy.

B&N Nook SimpleTouch with Glowlight

The matte back makes for a good grip; the micro USB port makes for good connectivity

The new Nook’s trick, then is to take all of the Kindle Touch’s already decent key features and improve on them just a little. The Kindle comes with 4GB of storage, for example, 3GB of which is available for book storage. The Simple Touch has only got 2GB, which is plenty for all but the most acquisitive of e-book collectors, but it also has a Micro SD slot good to take 32GB cards. The Simple Touch is lighter - 196g to the Kindle’s 213g - but not so you’d know it.

More importantly, the B&N offering is cheaper. The basic model retails for just £10 more than the touch-less Kindle - which also comes with 2GB of storage, but no memory card slot - while the version with the backlight costs the same as the un-illuminated Kindle Touch.

B&N Nook SimpleTouch with Glowlight

2GB insufficient storage for your needs? Add a Micro SD card

The Glowlight is what really puts the B&N product ahead. Now, I'm not a fan of touch-screen e-book readers. They add weight to an e-book reader and increase its thickness. They’re less responsive than phone or tablet capacitive sensors, and I feel constantly made aware not only of the need to press harder to trigger a scroll, a button press or a page turn, but notice the lag between the tap and the action. So much so that there’s always a moment’s uncertainty as to whether the touch was registered by the device, leading to many a multiple tap when one would have done.

Barnes & Noble Nook SimpleTouch tech specs

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Strike a light

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.