Barnes & Noble isn’t exactly a household name in the UK, but in the States it’s a book-selling behemoth, with hundreds of stores complimenting a vast library of e-books, as well as a line of readers to consume them on. In autumn 2012, B&N expanded its reach to the UK (if only in website form), challenging the likes of Amazon and Kobo with its Nook range of tablets and e-readers, including the first with a front-lit display. We’ve seen minimal activity from the company since, but after almost two years without fresh hardware, the new Nook GlowLight launches in the UK today. The second-generation GlowLight e-reader, with significantly improved 6-inch display, is now available for £89 at various retailers including Argos, Currys/PC World, John Lewis, Sainsburys, ASDA and bookshop chain Foyles.
While the Nook GlowLight might best its predecessor, Barnes & Noble has suffered for its dormant period. Particularly, the Nook’s front-lit display tech hasn’t advanced at the same pace as those of its main rivals, the second-generation Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Aura, despite launching later than both. You can imagine when it went on sale in the US last October sporting the same price tag as the Paperwhite, our full review didn’t exactly paint it as an exciting proposition, despite a polished user experience and access to millions of books, magazines and newspapers.
In the UK, the GlowLight is entering the market at roughly £20 less than its closest competitors, which is significant when affordability is a key selling point for all e-readers.