One of the wonders of E-Ink has always been that it doesn't require a backlit display. The text is sharp and easy to read on-screen without the typical glow of most of the other devices that we're used to. But when the eReaders that adopted E-Ink jettisoned backlights, they unwittingly inaugurated a kind of dark age— reading in bed or in the back seat while on a night drive presented a challenge. Solving that problem is the new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight from Barnes & Noble.
Externally, new Nook is a lot like the old one, but the lighting technology is a killer new feature. The patent-pending GlowLight casts a soft, even light over the entire screen and can be adjusted from dim and modest to bold and bright. In the daytime, just switch it completely off to enjoy the same crisp E-Ink experience that you're used to.
The light comes without any added weight to the previous Nook Simple Touch, in fact the GlowLight model is .5 ounces lighter.
The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight does add a $40 premium to the price tag, however, retailing for $139 as compared with the lightless version's $99. It's available for pre-order now at Barnes & Noble's website.