Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Touch with GlowLight Review (Video)

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Touch with GlowLight

Yesterday in the Kindle Paperwhite video review there was a brief comparison of the Kindle Paperwhite and the GlowLight Nook Touch. Today I decided to put together a full comparison between the two to show the differences in screen lighting and to do a walkthrough of their main features. I also put together these lists below to highlight the similarities and advantages of each.

Kindle Paperwhite and Nook GlowLight Similarities

  • Both ebook readers have 6-inch E Ink screens.
  • Both come equipped with frontlights to better illuminate the display in lower lighting, and both offer adjustable brightness.
  • Same price of $119, although the Kindle comes with ads that cost an extra $20 to remove.
  • The homescreen layouts are similar, both offering list view and cover view with the same sort or organizing features and collections.
  • Both have 2GB of internal storage (about 1GB usable on the Nook, and 1.25GB on the Kindle).
  • Both have touchscreens (different tech, though).
  • Similar font choices and sizes and layout adjusting options.
  • Access to library ebooks.
  • Highlights, notes, search, dictionary look-up, sharing via Facebook and Twitter, generated table of contents, bookmarks, free cloud storage of ebooks.
  • Both have WiFi.
  • Both connect to their respective stores for content.
  • Similar battery life.
  • 1 year warranty.

Kindle Paperwhite Advantages

  • Supports Amazon’s ebooks and periodicals.
  • The lighting is whiter and more uniform, although not perfectly uniform.
  • The LED lights are more hidden and thus less distracting.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite uses a higher resolution screen than the Nook that makes everything appear sharper and clearer.
  • Support for Kindle Games and Kindle Apps.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite has a basic web browser for visiting web sites and downloading PRC, MOBI, and TXT ebooks (the GlowLight Nook has a hidden web browser and there’s a reason it was hidden—it’s terrible).
  • X-Ray feature analyzes a book’s contents with references from Wikipedia and Shelfari.
  • Reading progress feature analyzes reading time and estimates how long it will take you to finish a chapter and the whole book.
  • Landscape mode.
  • Can set different dictionaries.
  • Better PDF support, but neither device is very good in that regard.
  • The ads (Special Offers) aren’t all bad; you get coupon deals otherwise unavailable, and sometimes free credit to spend at Amazon.
  • Optional free 3G wireless (works for Amazon, Wikipedia, and Shelfari).
  • View popular highlights and public notes other readers have left in the book.
  • Annotations backup.
  • Partial page refresh can be turned on and off.
  • Contrast darken feature for PDFs.
  • Search Wikipedia from an ebook.
  • Borrow 1 free ebook per month for Prime Members.
  • Supports multiple languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, and Portuguese.
  • Highlight words and paragraphs in ebooks to get translations into dozens of languages using Bing Translator.
  • Send to Kindle apps and email address makes emailing ebooks and documents to the Kindle Paperwhite easy.
  • Can have ebooks from public libraries wirelessly delivered (Nook has to transfer via USB).
  • Kindle Panel View for comics and manga (I’ve yet to see this actually work yet, however).
  • Optional auto-wake, auto-sleep cover accessory.
  • Thinner design.

Nook Touch with GlowLight Advantages

  • Supports B&N’s ebooks and periodicals as well as ebooks with Adobe DRM sold from a wide selection of ebook stores.
  • Supports the most widely used format: EPUB.
  • The Nook has a microSD card slot and supports cards up to 32GB.
  • The frontlight can be turned off (the light stays on ever so slightly on the Kindle Paperwhite even at the lowest setting).
  • Physical buttons: there’s an "n" button that brings up a menu and turns the GlowLight on and off, and buttons on each side for turning pages.
  • Can fast scan through pages by holding the page buttons down.
  • The GlowLight Nook Touch can be rooted to run Android apps (the Kindle app even works, among many others; in fact a good share of the advantages above for the Kindle get nullified with a rooted Nook Touch).
  • No screensaver ads.
  • Comes with USB wall charger.
  • From my experience the infrared touchscreen is slightly more responsive than the Kindle Paperwhite’s capacitive screen; both are really good but with the Kindle I find myself having to tap things more than once to get a response occasionally.
  • Design is more comfortable to hold.
  • LendMe feature makes lending certain ebooks easy, and can be done directly from the Nook Glow itself.
  • Set custom screensavers.
  • In store customer support.
  • Option to set screen timeout by 2, 5, 15, and 60 minutes.
  • Turn on and off publisher defaults.
  • Free in store reading (read certain ebooks for free at Barnes and Noble stores for up to one hour a day).
  • Lighter by half an ounce.

Kindle Paperwhite vs GlowLight Nook Touch: Specs

Kindle Paperwhite GlowLight Nook Touch
Screen 6-inch E Ink Pearl with Paperwhite 6-inch E Ink Pearl with GlowLight
Resolution 1024 x 758 800 x 600
Touchscreen Capacitive Infrared
Processor ? 800MHz TI OMAP 3
Operating System Linux Android
Storage 2GB, no memory card slot 2GB, microSD card slot
Wireless WiFi, 3G optional WiFi
Web Browser Yes No
Page Buttons None Yes, 2 both sides
File Support AZW, PRC, MOBI,
Audio No No
Battery Up to 2 months Up to 2 months
Weight 7.5 ounces (213 grams) 6.95 ounces (197 grams)
Dimensions 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ 6.5″ x 5″ x 0.47″
MSRP $119 – $199 $119


Video Review: Kindle Paperwhite vs GlowLight Nook Touch

17 Responses to “Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Touch with GlowLight Review (Video)”

  1. Unless there has been a major change in the nook, you should point out that of the 1gig storage, about 1/2 is reserved for B&N downloads; the other half is for user stuff sideloaded. The kindle appears to have just one storage partition which you can load up with amazon stuff or your own. I think this is a pretty major point (albeit, the nook does have memory card slot which mostly rectifies the problem).

  2. “The kindle appears to have just one storage partition which you can load up with amazon stuff or your own. I think this is a pretty major point (albeit, the nook does have memory card slot which mostly rectifies the problem).”

    That memory slot doesn’t rectify the problem it completely obliterates it! Good grief it’s cheap and easy to throw a 16GB or 32GB card in the slot on the Nook. Now you are talking about the storage of oodles and oodles of books. Oh yeah you can also slide that card into the card reader (or adapter) on your PC/Mac and quickly transfer EPUB files onto the Nook.

  3. Thanks for the reviews. I’m holding out on buying an ereader until I see your review of the Onyx boox i62HD firefly.

  4. Great review, you really know your stuff! Finally, someone who bothers to mention the landscape options & possibilities. And kudos for never calling it a backlit screen! Thanks for the great job 🙂

  5. NST-GL > Kindle

    new fast display hack by ‘guevor’!

    rooted + custom kernel

  6. Good article, Nathan!

  7. @Nathan have you noticed that sometimes the text appears to be more bold in some parts of the screen than in others when using the sans serif fonts? It looks like some lines are more prominently darker than others.

    Also, there is a dead pixel at the very bottom left of the screen. It always shines a tiny point of light through at higher settings. Dead pixels on the new Kindle???

    (By the way, I am loving my Nexus 7 keyboard setup. Thanks for the tutorial).

    • I also bought a pack of Nintendo DS styli in hopes that I could use the PW’s capacitive touch screen with a stylus. It seems that their version capacitive touch doesn’t rely on only pressure for touch recognition. They don’t work. Oh well. I will always miss my Sony PRS-T1’s stylus option.

    • I did notice that too, and the light seems to make it more apparent, so I switched over to using full page refresh for every page and don’t seem to notice it much anymore.

      I wonder if the light shining through is a hole in the light guide layer or maybe dust. I’ve heard others on the Kindle forum, and those who got a Kobo Glo, say the same thing. You could probably get a replacement. Luckily mine doesn’t have anything like that.

  8. Yes, there might be a small hole in the light guide. It is really tiny though, so unless I look for it I usually don’t see it. It wouldn’t be worth it to send it back as I would probably have to wait weeks for a replacement. Thanks for your insight.

    • I was just messing around with my Paperwhite and suddenly it turned on without the lights going on at all—completely off with the dial set at 12. Then when I turned it off the light came on, and with the dark screensaver I could see a couple of pinholes of bright light shining through but only when tilted at an extreme angle. I haven’t been able to replicate the light not coming on again. Weird. The first day I had it close the homescreen application and then I couldn’t get back to the homescreen no matter what; it would just hang and do nothing. Had to do a reboot.

      • I have had it get really laggy when doing things like adding eBooks to a collection. One time, I went through a checked a bunch of boxes, and when I clicked to save the collection, nothing saved. At times this Kindle seems super smooth and fast; other times, it seems very glitchy. My eyes are starting to get used to the wavy light issue, but now the differences between some text lines (the boldness issues I was talking about earlier) is becoming a bigger problem for me. Strange.

  9. great topic choose by you. since both have advatage as well as disadvatage. but both advatages may be help ful for perticular time. for example kindle paperwhite is used to show amazon ebooks. etc. so that we can,t ignore any. thanks

  10. You can’t organize the stuff on the microSD card into shelves. At least not without having that content disappear with a reboot (and sometimes with loading content from a PC).

    That is too bad about not being able to turn the backlight completely off on the kindle as well as setting the sleep timer.

    I am hoping B&N will come out with an improved Nook soon. Something that has the higher res screen, higher contrast and maybe a slightly improved backlight. I wouldn’t use a backlight much, so it isn’t a key, ket feature for me, but nice to have. A better screen is pretty key though.

    Otherwise I really like my plain old Nook Simple Touch. I just wish it had a higher resolution, higher constrast screen (and a front lit one too wouldn’t be a shame).

  11. I am a ‘little bit’ shocked by the bad quality of the Nook’s lighting. I would not be able to accept that. It would be a source of continuing annoyance.
    Also I did not expect the resolution to make such an incredible difference in sharpness. I am watching the video in small res on this site and still the difference is astounding.
    For me the Kindle is the winner in this comparison.

    But for me the Amazon Kindle system is much too restricted, too closed.
    I will buy into a more open system.
    The Onyx Boox Firefly will be a reader that beats all competition I believe.