Consumer Review of the Sale Priced Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight

e-Book Reader front viewBarnes & Noble just announced that between now and May 11th the handy and popular Nook Glowlight e-book reader will be offered at a discounted price of only $99, for Mother’s Day. That price includes free shipping if you purchase the Glowlight online, too, so the savings adds up to close to 20% off the regular retail price. Colorful and protective Nook Glowlight Clip covers are also being offered at a 20% discount.

If you are shopping for a great Mother’s Day gift that she will use all year long for years to come, the Glowlight is a wonderful idea. But plenty of people who just want a reliable and affordable e-book reader, not a Mother’s Day present, will also take advantage of the seasonal sale to snag one for themselves at an attractive price.

Comparing the Glowlight and the Kindle Paperwhite

To help you figure out whether the Glowlight is the right choice for your e-reader needs, here is an overview that explains the main features and compares them to the most popular e-reader of all, the Kindle.

The Glowlight lives up to its name because of the way that the entire page is illuminated in a more evenly consistent and pleasing way. The Glowlight is small, with a 6-inch display, and that makes it especially portable. Meanwhile it weighs in at a very light 6.2 ounces. That is more than an ounce lighter than the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, but the Glowlight is capable of storing 2,000 books – whereas the Kindle Paperwhite only stores about half that many. The fonts are crisp and the resolution is high, making reading easy on the eyes and ensuring that the display on the page is elegant and vivid.

The screen size (6 inches), battery life (approximately 8 weeks), resolution, and pixels per inch (212)on both the Glowlight and the Kindle Paperwhite are virtually identical, and both use advanced E-Ink display technology. Both devices also normally sell for around $119. But at the Mother’s Day price of $99, particularly considering that you can carry almost twice as many books on it without adding to the bulk or weight, the Glowlight is really competitive choice.

The Glowlight versus the Nook HD and Nook HD+

That leaves another question to be answered. How does the Glowlight match up against the other Barnes & Noble products, the Nook HD and the Nook HD+, for price and performance?

The Nook has a slightly larger 7-inch screen, while the HD+ boasts a 9-inch screen, which is 50% bigger than the Glowlight. At 1.13 pounds the HD+ is also the lightest of the tablets like iPad and Kindle Fire, and it has advanced features like Google Play. The Nook HD and HD+ also blow the Glowlight out of the water when it comes to much faster processing speeds. The Glowlight has an 800 MHZ single-core processor, whereas the Nook HD and Nook HD+ offer blistering fast processing speeds of 1.3 and 1.5 GHZ, respectively.

But there is a reason why the Glowlight is lighter, smaller, more portable, less expensive, and has a slower processor. Those larger models have built-in dual speakers, email and Internet browsing capability, Bluetooth, and other features that are not necessarily related to the core purpose of book reading. They also have about a 10-hour battery life, whereas the Glowlight – with its more streamlined menu of features limited to reading versus engaging in forms of multimedia entertainment like movie and TV watching – will still be going strong for up to two months.

You also pay a premium for those additional entertainment options, because the price tag for the Nook HD starts at $129 and the base price for the Nook HD+ is $179. The Nook HD, while less capable, does seem to have a sturdier build than the Nook HD+, and can probably withstand a lot more bumps, jolts, and jostling.

Do You Want a Computer or Just an E-Reader?

So one decision you need to make when comparing these models is whether or not you need a device that doubles as both an e-reader and a multimedia entertainment system and Internet browser.

Once you opt to buy a tablet computer, you are dealing with a whole different type of gadget and will need to do comparison shopping on another level – examining the pros and cons of products such as the Apple iPad. When comparing e-readers to e-readers you are comparing apples to apples, in other words, whereas when you start looking at a device that does much more but also serves as an e-reader you are essentially comparing tablet computers, not just e-readers.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there are lots of choices these days, and all of them have uniquely fantastic features. But for consumers specifically interested in a streamlined e-reader without all the other apps and multimedia bells and whistles, the decision might be pretty easy to make. They will probably find it hard to beat the value of a hard-working and ultra-portable Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight at a Mother’s Day price of less than $100.

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