Fondle: Nook Touch With GlowLight

All photos taken today Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Resized and resampled to VGA, click any to enlarge.

Several people reported to me that they saw the Nook Touch with GlowLight (or NookGL as I shorthand it on Twitter) yesterday and were prevented from photographing it.

Well, I decided that I’d see if I could find a demo model today and challenge some Barnes & Noble employee to stop me from photographing it!

As it turns out, those prohibited from photographing yesterday likely wouldn’t be prevented today. They got caught up in the day before an embargo deadline. I had no problems taking as many photos as I wanted today.

At post time, I know reviews of this are now online. I haven’t read any of those, so you’ll be getting my impressions only.

Unlike some other B&Ns, this one didn’t have any demo model under a light-blocking canopy:

And here we go:

The information the XDA Developers forum will want to know:

Yep, an incremental version of the Nook OS software. Will this require modifying existing rooting methods? We’ll soon find out. Some people will be receiving this in the mail this week.

And there’s the GlowLight soft button:

And here’s the GlowLight:

I kept it on full-blast while I tried it out.

I always turn to Lisbeth:

This is without the GlowLight on:

Back to the GlowLight being on:

The remaining photos are with the GlowLight at about fifty percent:

By now all of you will have noticed the blue band of light at the top, with some blue off to the side. I don’t know what this will be like in complete darkness. I tried to fashion a canopy with a brochure but there was just too much ambient light to make any difference.

On the other hand, the GlowLight does make a difference even in that direct store lighting, making the eInk screen a lot less gray than it usually appears.

GlowLight at lowest setting:

The new light gray band surrounding the Nook Touch with GlowLight:

So what did I think?

I couldn’t feel any difference in weight but that’s because of the AC cable and anti-theft tether attached to it. It still felt great in the hand and is still a great piece of hardware.

I did have one problem. With the Read In Store book, I had a freeze. I couldn’t turn a page with a tap or swipe, or even call up the menu with a tap in the center. A press of the N button called up the other general menu and I circled back to the book again and then had no problem.

As for the new anti-glare screen, it didn’t make any difference in the sharpness of the eInk that I could see. I used the NookGL and then looked at a Nook Touch and could see nothing different.

Is it worth the $139? Well, you’re getting that anti-glare screen and GlowLight for the original price of the Nook Touch. So compared to that, yeah, go for it.

If you have a Nook Touch and a booklight, I think you should make a trip to try this. You’ll likely put your Nook Touch on eBay or Craigslist (where it will probably be eagerly bought by someone as an extra for rooting experiments!).

I’d be very surprised if this didn’t do very well for Barnes & Noble. As for that bluish band of light at the top, at the very least it’s an indication that the GlowLight is on, so no one is likely to accidentally leave it on — unless it’s in direct sunlight. I’m hoping that in total darkness, that bluish band disappears as the light saturates the entire screen.

Some other developments …

B&N is still discounting Nook Books, as shown in a prior post:

Don’t tell me B&N doesn’t have any advantage over Amazon. That’s a big one right there. Amazon can’t price match any of those books without dispersing agents to every B&N store (I also expect they play whack-a-mole with the titles, with each store doing different ones to thwart any attempts by Amazon to enumerate all titles).

Although the sign claims up to 50% off these covers:

This one lacked the 50% Off sticker it had last time:

And I discovered two other things. This:

And this:

I’m very interested to see if the Nook Touch with GlowLight can be rooted as-is or if new methods will have to be devised. I just hope B&N hasn’t deliberately made it more difficult to root. That bad news would spread across the Net fast, disappointing many people and likely hurting sales.

In fact, I’ll go one step further. I think B&N is missing an opportunity here. If they made a version that was a tablet with the Nook as an app, they could probably charge an additional $20 for it and people would snap it up. Call it the Nook Touch with GlowLight: Tablet Edition (a mouthful, I know!) and clean up. Given how hairy rooting can still be, people would gladly drop $20 more to get a version that was “pre-rooted,” so to speak.

If B&N doesn’t do that, Kobo might switch to Android on its eReader and do it. Then where would B&N be? Screwed.

Now to post this and run off to read all those reviews.

For prior posts:

Barnes & Noble Nook Category
B&N Nook Touch Rooting Category


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