Look, another Nook

Let’s be honest: the e-reader market isn’t what it used to be. Amazon has long dominated the market, and Kobo is still doing its thing — but even then, it always feels like an unexpected surprise when a new device arrives from either. Market forces aren’t exactly driving mind-blowing innovation here.

Barnes & Noble is still plugging away, too, turns out. In fact, the company just revealed its second Nook device this year. Joining the 10-inch Lenovo-designed tablet is the followup to 2017’s GlowLight 3.

A little over a month after Amazon added a long-awaited USB-C port to the Paperwhite, Barnes & Noble is doing the same with the GlowLight 4, while quadrupling the built-in storage from 8- to 32GB.

The physical page turn buttons are still intact, though they appear streamlined a bit, now flush with the soft touch casing. Overall, the design is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, though the company’s not going into a lot of detail here, ahead of next week’s availability. The screen is 6 inches, at 300 DPI – same as its predecessor. Ditto for the battery, which is rated at one month.

Nothing particularly exciting on the face of it, beyond the fact that B&N continues plugging away – which is certainly a win for those understandably looking for an alternative to Amazon.

The company’s CEO also sounds oddly invigorated by the whole thing, noting in a release, “Barnes & Noble is now investing significantly in our NOOK line of products. The GlowLight 4 is the second NOOK device to launch this year as we set about to bring a new family of devices to our customers and to reinvigorate NOOK in the coming months and years. The team is working steadfastly to develop new NOOK products, and we are delighted to see such a strong pipeline of innovation into 2022.”

So, there you go. 2022 is the year of the Nook. You heard it here first. Meantime, the GlowLight 4 launches December 8, priced at $150 – that’s $20 more than the Lenovo tablet. There are also some $20 cases. Will all of the reading everyone insisted they were doing during the pandemic reinvigorate the e-reader market? Probably not. But Barnes & Noble says it’s raring to go.