Amazon’s Kindle e-readers have become the household name in this market primarily for two reasons: the first is its voluminous library of content, and the second is the dirt-cheap price tags Amazon slaps on these devices. It is, however, hardly the only game in town, and despite business outlooks over the past years, Barnes & Noble continues to push its NOOK line of ebook readers into the market. Its latest offering tries to make those devices even more approachable and accessible by taking the price tag down a notch. With the NOOK GlowLight 4e, B&N is taking the fight to Amazon’s doorsteps, though it unsurprisingly cut a few corners to get there.
The ebook reader market has changed a lot over the past years, especially with the rise of brands like Onyx, BIGME, Remarkable, and the like. These companies have turned e-readers into more than just reading devices by incorporating tablet-like functionality, including the ability to take notes with a stylus. Some have even started using colored E Ink screens, closing the gap with traditional tablets even further.
Of course, there will always be an audience and a market for “old-school” devices that are simpler, cheaper, and longer-lasting. Barnes & Noble’s NOOK line was once in danger of dying out, but it continues to cater to those who might not want to tie themselves to Amazon’s business. It has now come out with a more affordable alternative to try and woo more budget-conscious readers into its fold.
As the name hints, the new NOOK readers take after the NOOK GlowLlight 4 that was launched last December. Both sport the same design, which means thick bezels on the soft-touch housing. Those bezels house physical buttons for page-turning, so there is an advantage to that somewhat dated look. This new model also supports USB-C charging, something that Amazon has finally caught up with.