Barnes & Noble introduces a new NOOK EBR

Barnes & Noble introduces a new NOOK EBR

Today is

Back to the Future Day (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

but I feel like I’m going back in time writing about a significant new NOOK model of EBR (E-Book Reader…not a backlit tablet). 😉

I think the last one was just about two years ago.

This one, the NOOK Glowlight Plus, is really an improvement.

It’s now “waterproof and dust proof”.

Kobo has a waterproof model…and Amazon doesn’t.

Now, I don’t think that’s enough to get anybody to switch from Amazon to B&N, and I’d be surprised if there is a huge market for first time EBR buyers at this point.

This one is $129.99…remember that it is competing for first time e-book customers with tablets, like the

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is only $49.99…38% the price of the NOOK Glowlight Plus. Buy a six-pack of Fire 7s, and get them for less than a third the cost of the NOOK Glowlight Plus.

If you weren’t sure if you’d like e-books, my guess is that you would start with a multi-function device at a third of the cost. It wouldn’t actually be a great comparison to an EBR, but how would you know?

How does this compare to the

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile*)


Well, the PW3 is on a special sale for $99.99…but it’s normally $119.99 for an ad-supported model, $139.99 without the discount for seeing ads on the lockscreen. It makes the price comparable…$10 cheaper with ad-support, $10 more without them.

Let me link to information on the NOOK before I go ahead:

press release

Official Site

User Guide

Tech Specs

  • The dots per inch (you can think of that as a good measure of image quality) is the same: 300 dpi.
  • The NGL+ has 2.5 GB of memory available for “NOOK Store content and side-loaded content (out of a total 4GB). The Paperwhite 3 has 4GB…but it doesn’t say how much is required for the system
  • The NGL+ is 6.4″ by 4.7″ by .34″ (thickness) and weighs 6.9 ounces. The PW3 is 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ (169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm) (so, a bit longer and thicker, and a tad narrower) and 7.2 ounces for wi-fi only (7.6 for wi-fi and 3G…you need more hardware): this goes to the NGP+
  • Both use a micro-USB connector for charging and connecting to a computer
  • Both have wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n. The NOOK says it has “a” as well. The Paperwhite also says it has “…support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)”
  • The NGL+ says it can read ePub and PDF, and show the following graphics: JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP. The PW3 says “Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion”
  • The NOOK claims to have a built-in anti-glare screen protector

Overall, I’d say they are comparable technically. People will be attracted by the waterproof claims…no more Ziploc bag at the beach or in the bathtub!

Barnes & Noble also gives you some free content (in addition to a $5 credit): “Content bundle includes three (3) free NOOK Books from a choice of 25 and three (3) free NOOK Magazine or NOOK Newspaper single issues from a choice of 25.”

To be very clear, I’m not suggesting it makes more sense to get this than the Kindle. Amazon has a lot of things going on for it on the software and features side, that B&N just doesn’t have. Customer Service in B&N physical stores was generally good for me, but I’ve had…less than optimal service from the online parts of it.

If you are already committed to the NOOK, though, and are looking for an upgrade or to add another device to your collection, this is a good bet.

Does this mean that Amazon will develop a waterproof Kindle EBR?

I honestly don’t think Amazon is feeling much pressure from other EBR manufacturers at this point.

After all, the Kobo Aura H20, a waterproof model was introduced last year.

That’s not to say that competition doesn’t matter at all…I’m just guessing that as far as the state of the EBR market, there isn’t a lot of direct comparison of different brands going on with consumers any more. The “stickiness” of SmartPhone brands is, no doubt, quite large. Not many iPhone users would cavalierly switch to an Android phone…or vice versa.

I think that’s even stronger with EBR users.

You can’t use an app designed for an iPhone on an Android device, and that affects your library. However, it’s generally far easier to migrate to the other version of app than it is with e-books. An app might cost ninety-nine cents where an e-book might cost $9.99. It just makes it harder to switch over.

Sure, you could read your Kindle books in a free Kindle reading app…but you don’t install apps like that on an EBR. A tablet is a different story, and I do think people are more flexible on brands there.

Amazon may even have a waterproof Kindle in the works…maybe even for introduction for this holiday season. I just don’t think they are going to see the press release about the NOOK GlowLight Plus and suddenly say, “Gee, folks, we’d better get cracking on something similar.” 😉

What do you think? Were you surprised that Barnes & Noble introduced a new EBR? Do you think that three years from now, Barnes & Noble will be a viable competitor in the e-book world? Would waterproof be an important quality for you in an EBR? Are you now or have you been in the past a NOOK user? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

3 Responses to “Barnes & Noble introduces a new NOOK EBR”

  1. Elaine Jordan Says:

    They have had services to waterproof your kindle for a while
    I think there are others

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Elaine!


      I wasn’t aware of that. The one you linked is $99 and you send your device away for two weeks…probably not for most people, but thanks for letting my readers know about the option.

      • Elaine Jordan Says:

        Yes, the two weeks is why I haven’t done it, but I do have a “spare” kindle I got for $29 in a special sale I could use, if I ever wanted to do this.
        This company also sells kindles new already done. I haven’t compared prices with Amazon however.
        They do other devices too
        I just use a waterproof soft case I got on Amazon for my hot tub and the pool, on vacation, but if we ever got a pool, might consider it:)

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