Barnes & Noble will launch its illuminated ereader, the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight, in the UK next month costing £109 in a range of UK retailers.
The Nook Simple Touch GlowLight with its row of LEDs illuminating the 6in E-Ink screen
The Nook Simple Touch GlowLight will be the first illuminated ereader to go on sale in the UK, but won't be the last, as Kobo is planning on launching its Glo ereader in the coming months.
Amazon announced its version, the Kindle Paperwhite, earlier this month but has yet to announce if or when it will launch in the UK.
Barnes & Noble, the world's biggest bookseller, has been selling its range of Nook ereaders and tablets in the US since 2009, and is now expanding to the UK. The company launched the GlowLight in the US back in April.
The GlowLight version will come with the same 6in E-Ink touchscreen (600 x 800 pixels) as the regular Nook Simple Touch, which is also launching in the UK next month, costing £79.
The E-Ink screens have a slight granular surface, which Barnes & Noble told us was to give users the feeling of turning the page of a real book.
The only physical button on the front of the device is the 'n' shaped home button below the screen, and on the GlowLight version, pressing this for a couple of seconds will turn on the row of LEDs above the screen.
The Nook Simple Touch and Simple Touch GlowLight weigh less than 200g and feature a 6in touchscreen.
Barnes & Noble told us it took them a long time to figure out how to get an even illumination across all parts of the screen, as well as making sure it wasn't interfering with the touchscreen technology.
In our brief time with the GlowLight in a dimmed bedroom, the reading experience was very close to reading in normal light without the harshness of the an emissive LCD screen.
The brightness can be turned up or down as needed, and Barnes and Noble told us they have had no complaints from customers in the US about sore eyes - something those reading with emmissive tablets complain of a lot.
The Nook Simple Touch has a battery life of two months, while the GlowLight will give you the same battery life if the lights are kept off, and up to one month even if you have the lights on all the time.
Both models have 2GB of storage (enough for 1,000 books), as well as expandable storage through a microSD card slot (up to 32GB). There is also Wi-Fi to let you connect to the Nook bookstore which promises 2.5 million books as well as magazines and newspapers.
Both the Nook Simple Touch and the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight weigh just less that 200g and come with a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. The contoured rear of the ereader features a matte, soft touch finish.
The contoured back of the Nook Simple Touch makes it feel more like a paperback according to Barnes & Noble.
While Amazon uses a proprietary ebook file format, which is only used on Kindles, the Nook ereaders support the widely used ePub format, which means you will be able to loan ebooks out from libraries around the country.
At £79 the Nook Simple Touch is £30 less than the comparative Kindle Touch while the Kindle Paperwhite has yet to be priced for the UK, though going by US prices, it is likely to be around £120 if/when it comes to the UK.
One of the most important aspects of Barnes & Noble succeeding with its launch in the UK, is getting enough retailers to stock the new ereaders. And it seems to have done well so far.
As well as John Lewis, Foyles and Blackwells, the Nook range will be sold in Currys/PC World, Dixons, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Argos.
Pre-orders for the Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch GlowLight are now been taken on the Nook UK website.
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