Barnes and Noble’s flagship Nook Glowlight Plus with a 7.8-inch screen has been sold out since February and hasn’t been available in stores for even longer. The bookseller recently removed the product from the Nook eReader landing page and they only advertise the latest gen Nook Glowlight 4, Nook Glowlight 4e and Lenovo Nook Tablet 10. They still have a product page for the Nook Glowlight Plus, and the only model available is the refurbished version, but you can only order it online. Is Barnes and Noble abandoning this model?
The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight Plus 7.8 was released in the middle of 2019 and is getting very long in the tooth. Most good e-readers these days use the new E INK Carta 1200 e-paper technology which increases page speed by 25% and overall performance by 30%. The latest generation of Kindle Paperwhite uses it and the same with the Kobo Sage and Pocketbook Era. If Barnes and Noble is going to replace its Plus model, they should at least use this technology. They must also incorporate a capacitive touch screen instead of Neonode zForce IR. They should also include more white and amber LED lights, since most comparable reading lights have 27, B&N only uses 17.
The internal hardware is also dismal. It only uses a single Freescale Solo Lite IMX6 1GHZ processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The vast majority of other competitors use at least a quadcore processor, double or triple the RAM, and at least 32GB to 64GB of storage. Even in 2019 when this model came out, it was underpowered compared to the competition.
I haven’t heard of any new Nooks being developed. The last thing I heard was that it was sold out due to component shortages, due to COVID. There are thousands of container ships that are standard outside major ports, both in China and outside of San Jose. Factories in China are still not working at full capacity, which is why many big brand products are sold out or won’t be available for 2-3 months. I think it makes more sense that they make a new flagship model. But what features will it have? If the bookseller was smart, it would include audiobook functionality. Why? This is because they don’t sell audiobooks in their iOS app and recently disabled in-app purchases in their Android app. So, customers have to buy them from the website, sync with their app, and listen to the content. It would be so much easier to buy and listen directly on the eReader, there’s a lot less friction.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.