As the name hints, the new NOOK readers take after the NOOK GlowLlight 4 that was launched last December. Both sport the same design, which means thick bezels on the soft-touch housing. Those bezels house physical buttons for page-turning, so there is an advantage to that somewhat dated look. This new model also supports USB-C charging, something that Amazon has finally caught up with.
The biggest difference is in the price tag, with the NOOK GlowLight 4e selling for only $119.99. That low price does come at a cost in features, but hopefully the differences won’t be so noticeable. The GlowLight 4e, for example, only has a 6-inch 212 dpi screen compared to the 300 dpi of the original. The battery is also rated to last weeks on a single charge rather than up to a month, though that will naturally vary depending on use. It also only has 8GB of data storage, which is a rather large drop compared to the 32GB of the $150 NOOK GlowLight 4.
The B&N NOOK GlowLight 4e is aiming at the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 with slightly similar specs, especially the 8GB of storage and USB-C port, but a higher $140 price tag. That said, it is still considerably more expensive than the base 6-inch Kindle, which goes for below $100. Ebook purists might not be too happy with the compromises that Barnes & Noble made to reach that lower price point, but the NOOK GlowLight 4e does open the door to more readers who may prefer to get their books outside of Amazon but don’t have the luxury of splurging on a more expensive device.