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back to article Glowing Nook knocked to under 50 quid for Xmas

Barnes & Noble will today knock a tenner off the price of its Nook SimpleTouch Glowlight e-reader, reducing the price to just under £50. It’s the latest move in the US bookseller’s attempts to battle for second place in the British ebook business. The Nook e-reader’s launch price was £109, but B&N has been selling the device for …

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For most people I know an e-reader is the third (non-work) screen.

Phone first, tablet second, e-reader third.

You can't beat them for month long battery life, and being able to pull one out of your bag at the airport/ferry terminal etc etc, and know you can use it for 8 or so hours of a delay, no problems.

Plus they are soon going to be as cheap as a hardback book anyway!.

My Kindle keyboard is going strong, although I did pick up one of the £29 nooks as a backup.

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Alert

Quite the opposite.

You can have my eReader when you prise it from my cold, dead hands(*). Phone and tablet? Kinda handy, but I wouldn't miss them if I had to give them up.

GJC

(*) [Omnes: "Your terms are acceptable."]

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I've got one of the £29 Nooks, and it's perfectly fine as an eReader - crisp enough screen, and using the on-screen keyboard isn't as bad an experience I thought it would be on an eInk display. It's a gateway device though, designed to get you using the Nook Store, and getting invested in the Nook ecosystem, so your next purchase will be a better Nook instead of a Kindle.

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I got a £29 Nook and rooted it. Underneath it runs Android so I installed a Kindle app, the standard Nook reader, Opera Mini, GMail, XE currency converter and some other bits and pieces. It's still an ereader, but it's also possible to use it at a pinch for other things. For the price I can't complain.

I do wish e-readers would ditch e-ink for something else though. e-ink is fine for novels and suchlike but they're no use for any other printed matter like magazines, illustrated books, comics, technical manuals etc.

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"I do wish e-readers would ditch e-ink for something else though."

Get a tablet, then?

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"Get a tablet, then?"

No, I mean another passive or low power display tech. One which does proper colour.

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Boffin

Color E-Ink

No, I mean another passive or low power display tech. One which does proper colour.

They exist, although currently the color is so washed out as to be almost indistinguishable from grey scale. The reviews so far have been uniformly low.

It's a technology that isn't quite ready yet. Presumably it will get better given a few years. I know that I'd trade in my e-reader the moment even a four-color screen appeared.

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Re: Color E-Ink

"They exist, although currently the color is so washed out as to be almost indistinguishable from grey scale. The reviews so far have been uniformly low."

There are at least 3 competing low power colour displays - E-ink triton which is colourized e-ink (literally), Mirasol and Liquavista. The latter two have novel display tech and relatively high refresh rates and deep colours and could offer passive and active lighting.

All of them have a fraction of the power draw of an LCD / OLED display and work well in natural light which makes them suitable for e-reader devices. Liquavista would even offer refresh rates fast enough for browsing and videos. Mirasol isn't quite so fast but is still fast compared to e-ink.

Amazon actually bought out Liquavista from Samsung so it's entirely possible that an device that uses it will appear soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Quite interested in this,

Does anyone have BOTH one of these and a kindle paperwhite in the household?

The discount makes this attractive i'm a (gloriously happy) paperwhite user, and the wife wants one too. Is this sub standard in any way?

The format issue doesn't matter. I use calibre to manage my ebooks so can convert between formats to suit.

The "feel" of the kindle is excellent, and i'd rather spend the money if the kindle is superior, but i'm guessing there's not much in it.

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Anonymous Coward

Way to miss the point.

E-reader are for reading BOOKS. This is why they are, book sized and use a screen optimised for plain text.

What you want is called "a tablet"

E-ink screens are absolutely PERFECT for the purpose they were designed for. Reading books. They are designed for this function and do it flawlessly. If you want to do something else (well), use the right tool.

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The lighting isn't as consistent or even as the paperwhite.

The device is a little bigger (screen's the same size), but that's because it has hardware page turn buttons.

Which means you can read it with gloves on - which you can't do with the paperwhite.

I use the Kindle in summer and switch to the Nook in winter because then I can read in the dark with gloves on, ie typical conditions on the way to and from work.

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Using a tablet or a smartphone for reading is just an exercise in straining your eyes and running the battery down. There's a place for e-readers and bar some amazing development in tablet/smartphone screen technology, there always will be.

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I agree...

I think with current tech the only way to get a standard tablet to be truly suitable for extended reading is to put an e-ink screen on the back :-) I'd love a laptop with a fold out e-ink screen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I agree...

I agree too! Why has n one thought of it, yet?

Surely, would fly off the shelves ! And one less gadget to carry.

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Re: I agree...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/23/microsoft_mulls_backside_display_for_mobiles/

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Pint

Cheers

Thanks for the heads-up, Reg - I was gutted to miss out on the £29 version but I've managed to get in on this one :)

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Text-to-speech

I know that normal Kindles lost their text to speech ability (presumably to drive those customers to buy the more expensive Fire) but why don't B&N undercut them on that front by offering text to speech in their 50GBP bargain?

My mum has an eye condition and loves reading, and the one thing that stopped me getting her a normal Kindle was that they no longer do text to speech. Add this and she'll get a Nook for Christmas instead!

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Re: Text-to-speech

I don't think it's got any kind of audio support in it (hardware-wise, no speaker or 'phones port). At least my £29 simple touch hasn't, and I don't think the Glowlight has either. Presumably there'd be too much cost and/or redesign hassle to add them in to make the additional capability worthwhile.

But like the others above, have to say very chuffed with my Nook, alongside my netbook and Nexus 7. Easily rooted and added a couple of other reader apps, so it can now happily support almost all formats (especially when paired with Calibre on the PC). Does everything it needs to, and in the worst case scenario it's almost at a disposable price. The extra £20 makes the Glowlight a little less so, but it's still cracking value.

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I gto a cheap Nook in the sale last year - liking it so far. The screen is good and the battery life is all that is claimed. I can't imagine reading books on my phone!

The one gripe I have with ebooks is the price - a lot of titles seem to be just the same price as the paper equivalent. I know it's been said that the physical productions costs are a small part of the overall cost of a book, and fair enough, but the customer perception (well mine anyway) is that ebooks are a worse deal - you can't lend them to a friend and you can't trade them in at the 2nd hand bookshop / ebay when you're done.

Having said that, there are a fair number of free titles out there if you look, for example from Baen (if you like scientifiction) and their non-free books are reasonably priced and DRM free too.

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Black Helicopters

For reasons known only to the morons we keep voting in (of all parties) electronic books are subject to VAT at 20% - without this you'd see a much better pricing structure.

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Electronic books are subject to VAT because you're not buying a book, you're buying a software licence.

If you object to that, then I suggest you petition those "morons" to legally define what an electronic books actually is and require Amazon, B&N et al to sell books on those terms to be exempt from the VAT.

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Sums again

They've been selling it for 69 quid, but knocking a tenner off the price brings it down to just under 50?

I'll swap you this slightly crumpled ten pound note for the change you got from your 69 pounds...

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Anonymous Coward

great but

I've been waiting for the price to go down, because 110 quid was way too much, and 70 quid (first reduction), was... still too much. 50 quid is just about fine, as I read that the device has good reviews, BUT if you look at the review closely, there's a an issue with a "tear", e.g. here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R39TPCCET9C2WZ/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R39TPCCET9C2WZ

and it does seem to be a widespread problem.

So... take your pick.

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Vic
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Re: great but

> there's a an issue with a "tear"

I had one like that.

I took it back to John Lewis, and they exchanged it for me on the spot.

I'm extremely happy with the replacement :-)

Vic.

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I got my nook glo thing for £69 when they first reduced the price.

It allows me to read books in the dark

which is nice

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Anonymous Coward

But it looks even more tacky than a gold iFolly5same

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" it looks even more tacky"

What's the area of the Venn diagram intersection of "People who can read" and "People who give a shit how tacky their e-reader looks"?

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Anonymous Coward

tacky... not tacky.. tacky

who gives? it's for reading, not looking i-cool. Or ms-rt-cool, lol. Or whatever-the-fuck-look-at-me-I'm-cool-device

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Did no one ever tell you ...

Never judge a book by it's cover

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Great to see the prices coming down. I'd be dreadfully sorry to see ebooks going away. Tablets just aren't the same for loads of reasons - weight, distractions, contrast, battery life, etc

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With the glow model make SURE to get a protective case, the screen gets scratched very easily and this allows the light to shine through very brightly. Isn't noticable when reading with the light off thankfully.

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Happy

True test of tech

Getting my wife to try tech is tough, but when she saw the eInk display on my old Kindle wehich I gave her she hasn't looked back. If I hadn't already gotten her that, getting a Nook at this price for ChristX would be top of my list!

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A hasp! A hasp! My kingdom for a hasp!

Will somebody PLEASE build in a hoop at the bottom corner(s) of their e-reader?! I read as I walk, or standing on the bus, and my kindle is too droppable! A simple integrated hoop or hole would let me fit a wrist-strap, or put it on a lanyard, or hang it on a hook, or run a kensington cable through it. Costs zilch, harms none, benefits many.

Meanwhile. WH Smith's kobo mini is £29 these days too. And didn't I read here a while back that someone patented the notion of putting an e-ink screen on the back of a phone? That would allow custom pimping, but also best-of-both-worlds e-reading. Whyyyyyy are we waiiiiiiting?

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Re: A hasp! A hasp! My kingdom for a hasp!

This?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/23/microsoft_mulls_backside_display_for_mobiles/

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Re: A hasp! A hasp! My kingdom for a hasp!

Good idea, if jossled on the bus or tube you won't drop it and get trampled trying to pick it up from under all those feet. Kobo Mini is a bit of a bargain, but too small for some I picked up the Kobo Touch for £39.99, and it seems a good device, certainly E-ink ia great for reading unlike the e reader app on my tablet.

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Anonymous Coward

quick sale, quick review

the good: (other than the price and the specs)

- can be rooted, instructions on the internets, some claim to use it for email and even - gulp - google maps...

- presentation box surprisingly... attractive, all elements neatly laid out. Good present.

- page turning quick, refresh flash tolerable, back light adjustable

the bad:

- hardware buttons f... awkward to use (and I thought I like hardware buttons in readers!)

- epub and pdf only. What the f... happened with good old txt?! No problem, can be rooted

- text won't flow from edge to edge, waste of precious space. No problem, can be rooted

- no landscape mode. No problem, can be rooted

- no audio (would be useful as an mp3 player but - oh, come on!)

- micro-USB fit is tighter than.. ehm... well, exactly

the tinfoil ugly:

- to set it up you HAVE TO connect to a wifi, as google would put it "to enhance and broaden your overall experience". No wifi, no book-reading, old chap. So, for the ultra-tinfoils, use free public wifi, enter fake e-mail, fake name, agree to the abbreviated terms and conditions - approx. 167 pages long (I'm NOT kidding), and - you are free to read. Don't ask me how it syncs with amazon or other purchases, haven't tried it, have no intention to. I'm sure it'll sync with my abebooks paper books just fine.

Conclusions: one sold, one on hold for me wife. Unit put under observation for the potential "tear" problem.

p.s. incidentally, my wife tries to get several academic books, fairly serious stuff. Inter-library loan is £1.50 per book - per SEARCH. And if they don't get it for you - tough luck, but money goes. She went to abebooks last night and pulled something like 15 books, they'll be all shipped from various places round the globe, total cost - around 75 quid. Then she had a sensible thought: check the amazon prices, maybe they're cheaper there. And then she gaped at the same title, all "kindle" editions: 46 quid... 35 quid... 88 quid... Oh, the glory of e-commerce, eh?

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Re: quick sale, quick review

To fill in the blank - after rooting and adding Kindle app the Nook synch's fine with Amazon (it appears on the "deliver to:" list on the Amazon website as "<account name>'s Android").

The only slight glitch is the hardware fwd/back buttons don't work with the Kindle App (at least the version I side-loaded, which I think is the current one). That said the touchscreen swipe works fine for page turning etc, so it's a fairly minor issue. Maybe a different APK available, but not had time to go hunting around (and not sure it's worth the effort anyway).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: quick sale, quick review

There's no need to root devices.

Download "Calibre" ebook management software.

Detects what device is, and converts to correct format when you upload the books to the device. It's a lovely bit of software.

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Re: quick sale, quick review

Amazon's DRM gets in the way there. I use Calibre, and know of a few plug-ins for it that are supposed to "assist" with getting round the DRM to convert protected books, but I've never found one that actually does. I would agree though that aside from that slightly dodgy issue it's a superb bit of software for the job.

It may just be me doing something wrong there or my Google-Fu failing at last, but that's the mileage I got. Anyway rooting the Nook was easy and painless, and with the Amazon app you get all the synching and cross-device updating to any other Kindle hardware or software installs (like I have on my PC too, plus the wife's Kindle) as well (whether this is good or not I leave to your individual judgement).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: quick sale, quick review

What DRM issues are you having?

No plugins or add ons here and mine happily converts any format to any other.

Plug in kindle, transfer books. If' it's in the wrong format I get a little yes/no dialog box that asks me if I want it in the correct format. I click yes, it converts and uploads.

I've never had an ebook refuse to convert or upload.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: quick sale, quick review

Not arguing BTW..genuinely interested as i've been singing calibres praises to anyone with en e-reader because my experience of it was so good.

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