Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight review: Hands-on

The Nook Simple Touch Glowlight is designed for bedtime reading

What is a hands on review?
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review
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Nook Simple Touch Glowlight review

Update: The Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight and Nook Simple Touch are now available in the UK from John Lewis, Argos, Asda, Sainsbury's, Dixons, Waitrose, Blackwells and Foyles. The ereaders are also available to buy from www.nook.co.uk.

The Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight from US bookseller Barnes & Noble is finally coming to the UK in October. According to the retailer, there'll be 2.5 million titles available, including newspapers and magazines. The ereader sports a built-in nightlight - although you'll also be able to buy it without the light in the form of the cheaper Nook Simple Touch.

Going up against the likes of the Amazon Kindle 4 and the Amazon Kindle Touch, the Nook has got a lot of work to do to make its mark, but with a strong heritage in the US, it's certainly well placed to take on the big boys of the ereader world, launching alongside the Nook HD+ 9-inch tablet and Nook HD 7-inch tablet.

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight: Design

The new Nook sports a much squarer shape than its main rivals, which means that it fits very comfortably in the hand. The matte rubber finish that covers the back of the device also extends to the bezel around the screen, giving you plenty of grip.

As the gadget uses a toucscreen, physical controls are kept to a minimum - there's a small n-shaped Nook button underneath the screen which is used to wake the device from sleep mode and also to turn on the Glowlight. You'll find two page turn buttons on either side of the screen, but you can also use the touchscreen to flip from one page to the next.

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight: Features

There's 2GB of storage on board (1GB spare and 750MB reserved for Barnes & Noble content), which should hold up to 1,000 books. It's also got a micro SD card slot so that you can expand the storage capacity easily enough.

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight: Screen

The 6-inch screen uses an E Ink Pearl Display for a reading experience that's designed to be as close to paper as possible. To make reading in the dark equally comfortable, the screen isn't backlit, but is actually lit up at the front instead.

We had the opportunity to try this out briefly in a darked room (alongside a Kindle and and a new iPad for comparison) and we were certainly impressed with how well the screen was lit, without making our eyes hurt. The light is adjustable, so it can be used in pitch black or simply to shed a little light on what you're reading on the train.

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight: Battery

As you'd expect, the light places further strain on the battery, with the manufacturer suggesting that you'll get around two months of use without it, or one month with regular use for bedtime reading, which is still pretty good going.

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight: Verdict

With the Nook having only just made its way over from the States, this is the first time that we've had the opportunity to get our hands on one. We were very impressed with the comfy, square shape of the lightweight device, along with the grippy finish, not to mention the Glowlight tech. This could be the first real rival to the best-selling Kindle on UK shores. Stay tuned for a full review.

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight release date: Available now

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight price: £109 (with Glowlight), £79 (without Glowlight)

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.