New Nook lets you read in dark without external light

Barnes & Noble Glow light technology eliminates need for external lighting

- By Edward C. Baig USA TODAY

Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight costs $139 and will be available in May. Barnes & Noble says light was most-requested feature.

NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble on Thursday unveiled a Nook electronic reader that it says becomes the first E-inkbased device that lets you read in the dark, without an external reading light.

The Nook Simple Touch with Glow light is “the most versatile e-reader that’s ever been created,” says CEO William Lynch Jr. You can read with it on a sunny beach as well as in a dark bedroom.

E Ink screens like the one on the Nook and Amazon’s rival Kindle devices replicate well the experience of reading on paper — even in the bright outdoors. But until now, such screens were rendered useless in the dark without a light, same as a physical book. Barnes & Noble’s Glow light technology changes that.

There’s been speculatio­n online that Amazon is preparing its own Kindle E Ink reader with built-in lighting technology for this year. Amazon declined to comment.

This latest Nook costs $139 and will become available in early May, though Barnes & Noble has started taking preorders on its website and in stores. Barnes & Noble isn’t making changes to the other Nook readers in its lineup, including the light-free but otherwise similar $99 E-ink-based Nook Simple Touch reader.

The company’s color Nook Color and Nook Tablet reader tablets, along with the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Apple ipad, use different screen technologi­es that do let you read in the dark but not easily outside.

Both of Barnes & Noble’s E Ink devices have highcontra­st, six-inch grayscale touch-screens, 2GB of storage, ample room for about 1,000 books, with a slot to expand through micro sd. Both deliver ebooks and magazines through Wi-fi and carry the same paperback-size footprint. The Glow light version is actually a tad lighter — 6.95-ounces vs. 7.48 ounces.

Most Barnes & Noble e-book titles cost $9.99 or less. Lynch declined to comment on the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit filed Wednesday against Apple and major publishers that charged they had conspired to raise the prices that consumers pay for e-books.

In demonstrat­ions, the soft light appeared to fill the screen uniformly. You can manually adjust brightness, but there’s no sensor that would automatica­lly detect the lighting conditions in the room. The new reader comes with a built-in screen protector and power adapter. Page turns are fast. With Wi-fi off, the company says, you can read for more than a month on one battery charge, based on a half-hour of daily reading with Glowlight set at its default brightness level.

Barnes & Noble said a light was the most-requested feature since Simple Touch’s debut. Two out of every three readers it recently polled read in bed; and 42% said they have moved to another room to avoid disturbing their partner.

 ??  ?? Into the dark: New Nook needs no light.
Into the dark: New Nook needs no light.

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