Barnes and Noble surprised the electronic paper industry by launching their Nook Glowlight 4 in early December. This new e-reader has a number of key selling points. It has a high-resolution display and uses a quad-core processor, which should speed things up. It also features redesigned manual page turn buttons, which roll up to the back. They are on both the right side and the left side, so it appears to both right and left handed users.
The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 4 has a 6 inch E INK Carta HD display (I confirm with B&N if it uses an E INK Carta 1200 display panel) with 1440 × 1080 resolution and 300 PPI. The screen is not aligned with the bezel and instead has a sunken screen. I always like this type of design because the screens tend to be sharper. This is because most e-readers use a glass-based screen, which reflects light. The e-reader is jet black on the front and sides, and is lightweight and easy to hold.
There are series of white and amber LED lights, so you can control the front light display and color temperature system. This will be personalized with two scroll bars in the settings menu. There are physical page change buttons on both sides of the screen, and they roll inward, backward. At the bottom of the device is the home button, it is indicated by the N. If you press it, you will return to the home screen.
Under the hood is an Allwinner B300 quadcore 1.5 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. You will be able to charge the player with a USB-C cable, this is the first time that B&N has used a modern port on one of its E INK devices. It has Bluetooth 5.1 and WIFI to connect to the online bookstore, buy and download ebooks. The Nook has the ability to load your own personal collection of digital content. It officially supports EPUB and PDF, you can also buy eBooks from other bookstores in these two formats and upload them through Adobe Digital Editions, as both formats support Digital Rights Management (DRM). You can also borrow books from the public library with Overdrive, you have to download them from the website and then side-load them with ADE. You should get around four weeks of battery life from the 1400mAh battery.
The retail packaging looks really nice and clean. It has an all-white color scheme with a large image of the Nook Glowlight 4 on the box and on the sides, there is the Nook branding, in lettering and also a link to the Barnes and Noble website. On the back of the box is a tilted image of the Nook and some items included in the box, such as a USB-C cable, a quick start guide, and a built-in anti-glare screen protector. I think Barnes and Noble has more of an emphasis on the art of packaging because it is sold in over 600 bookstores, where millions of people will see it.
When you open the box, the first thing that greets you is the Nook. Our review sample did not have anti-static packaging, but your experience may vary. The Quick Start Guide is one page. It just lets you know where the power button is at the top, the two page turning buttons and if you hold the home button for two seconds it will give you options to control the lighting system. and one click will take you to the library. It also lets you know the USB-C port, where you can charge your device and also use it to transfer data from your MAC or PC.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post, and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.