Nook Glowlight 3 Video Review and First Impressions

Nook Glowlight 3 Orange Light

To the surprise of many, Barnes and Noble released a new Nook ereader this past week.

It’s called the Nook Glowlight 3, even though it’s technically their forth Glowlight Nook (I guess the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight doesn’t count).

It’s more of a mid-level device than B&N’s last model, the Glowlight Plus.

The Glowlight 3 isn’t waterproof, it doesn’t have a flush glass screen, and it doesn’t have an aluminum back like the last Nook.

What it does have is a nice 300 ppi E Ink screen, two physical page buttons on both sides of the screen, and a frontlight with adjustable color temperature.

The frontlight color goes from a cool blue to a warm orange, similar to Kobo’s ebook readers. You can actually see the LED lights under the top edge of the display. It has 7 blue lights and 6 orange.

The design of the new Nook is more like the original Nook Touch than the Glowlight Plus. The large bezels are kind of goofy looking but I find the device very comfortable to hold with a thumb resting on a page button. It’s fairly lightweight and is covered in a soft rubbery coating front and back.

As some folks have already pointed out, one of the shortcomings with the new Nook is the partitioned storage space, leaving just under 1GB for sideloaded content, with 5.4GB for Nook content.

The new Nook runs Android 4.4.2 like the Glowlight Plus. Over at XDA they’ve already managed to root it. Apparently you can also install apps without rooting if you’re familiar with using ADB.

I’ll post a full review in a couple weeks after getting more familiar with the new Nook. In the meantime here’s a video walkthrough.

Nook Glowlight 3 Video Review

31 Responses to “Nook Glowlight 3 Video Review and First Impressions”

  1. Being able to add Apps (kindle app) to it, makes it worth it for me to get one. It would be nice for them to offer a discount for those who already have an eReader or tablet from them.

    Maybe someone will learn how to change the partitions on the storage as well.

    • I doubt the Kindle app would be enjoyable to use on E Ink. It almost never is, although it wasn’t bad on the Inkbook Prime so I guess you never know until you try, but it was basically unusable on the Onyx N96.

      • That may be the case. I may go look at one this weekend at B&N. If Amazon’s books do not appear good on that tablet, then the tablet would have to be at a lower price for me to get it.

        Overall, what did you think of the Inkbook Prime?

        • The Inkbook Prime has a nice design, much nicer than the Nook, but I’m just not into tinkering with Android software anymore. It’s more hassle than it’s worth because 99.9% of apps don’t work well on E Ink anyway. Kindles and Kobos have much more refined software for E Ink so I’d rather use them.

    • Most recent firmware update removes the partition on the memory.

  2. You mention the screen clarity being better on the GL3 due to it not having a capacitive screen. Would it be possible for you to demo the clarity difference between IR and Capacitive touch devices? Maybe the new Oasis 2 vs Glowlight 3?

    • Unfortunately the effect is too subtle to show up on video. It’s just one of those things you have to see in person in good lighting to get a sense for, and frontlights can affect clarity too.

  3. Are you able to embed sideloaded fonts through Calibre? Sorry not familiar with Nook.

    • I assume that’s what the original fonts option would be for (I’m too lazy to download, import, convert, and sideload everything anymore so I haven’t used Calibre in a long time—mostly I just read library ebooks lately because it’s my opinion that 90% of writers suck at writing so I have no interest in paying for most books).

    • By “sideloaded fonts,” if you mean fonts that are in Calibre but not the 5 or 6 fonts in Nook- yes.

      Convert a Calibre book to EPUB. Click on Look and Feel (upper left of screen) and you will see a whole bunch of fonts you can embed in an EPUB book.(Embed font family/Choose font family.) Which will show up in Nook as Publisher’s Font.

      I used embedding to get a bolder font than the Nook offered. Which means that the one complaint I had against the Nook- bolder fonts in Kobo or Kindle- is resolved.

      I have added fonts to Calibre, which have also shown up as choices when it comes to embed, but I am not quite fluent in that step yet.

  4. Looks interesting. I generally like to overall design. But won’t be buying as long as my Glowlight Plus and Aura One still work. The page buttons are a real draw, but I found I rarely used them on my Simple Touch and Simple Touch with Glowlight.

    As for why page turns take longer when using the buttons, the answer is fairly straight forward. The page buttons have different functions depending on if you single press, double press, or long press. The software has to have some delay so that it can determine what your intentions are. Are you going to double click? Or long click? The software has to determine that before it advances the page.

  5. What formats does it take? Epub, PDF what else? Does it have a multilanguage dictionary? A web browser? Can you still make customize screeensavers?

  6. I purchased this the other day and very happy so far. I do not like the small screen but its a much better reading experience than the Plus model. My Glowlight Plus is sluggish and since the new update this month it is very buggy

  7. Questions, I new to nook ereader, and I see it comes with a pen. This is touchscreen, so you can actually navigate with your fingers instead of using then pen? Maybe is a stupid question, but I just want to make sure before I decide to buy it.

  8. When I click on a hyperlink, the Simple Touch used to have a BACK button appear on the upper left corner. This does not happen in the Glowlight 3, and some of my books have only 1-way hyperlinks.

    Is there another way to go back that I’m missing? Thanks.

  9. Thank you, Nathan, it works!

  10. I’ll ask another question. This weekend I filled up my new nook with epubs and sorted them into shelves. But after the sorting, whenever I connect the nook to the computer again, transfer new epubs, and properly eject the nook, the shelves only display the books I bought directly from B&N; the epubs assigned to the same shelves don’t show anymore. I reassigned the same books to shelves over and over, which is a pain! I tried connecting and adding more books on purpose to see if the shelves would keep the books, but they dodn’t.

    With over 300 sideloaded books, I’d like a way to classify them that does not get reset each time I connect to a computer (this problem never happened in the Simple Touch).

  11. I recently purchased the new Nook and also noticed the shadowing at the top. The Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t seem to have this issue. Have you seen this shadowing with any of the other e-ink readers?

  12. is the dictionary the same as in the glowlight plus ?? i like how on the kindle the dictionary pops up instead of taking you to another screen

  13. How does this Nook do in bright outdoor light?

  14. I’ve had one since December. Operating system has updated a couple of times. The OS is still flaky, requiring power cycling sporadically when the thing freezes ( google: Nook stopped working for many reports). Deleting sideloaded books after reading has corrupted the memory, with a message recommending deleting all USB-loaded books. Workaround is to use Calibre for everything including mounting and unmounting the device.

    I bought this for the amber nighttime reading. For that it excels.

    But I’d sure like to know what other ebook readers have amber nighttime lighting.

  15. Kevin Francis DeBurgh (Burke) Reply December 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Honestly, after owning just about every kind of ereader from the lowend to the highest end I find not having a flush bezel a feature because I found the screen on the kindle paperwhite 3 too easily damaged and having the screen oldschool sunken in “not flush” is a feature not a bug.

    The best idea is to have like a kobo forma for your home coffee table and something like a kobo clara HD , kobo aura edition 2 or glowlight 3 for travelling etc…

  16. Man! that is an f’ing big bezel

  17. Just a heads up the Nook 7″ tablet is on sale for $29.99
    while supples last.

    I like the wide bezels very comfortable for long term reading. The Kobo Clara HD is way too narrow for my big hands.
    I have both.