Review Date: June 2019 – Review unit purchased from Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble released the 7.8-inch Nook Glowlight Plus on May 27th, 2019. It was released in stores first, and then they started accepting orders online on May 29th.
It’s the first Nook ebook reader to have a screen larger than 6-inches, and it’s the second Nook to bear the name “Nook Glowlight Plus”.
It’s really more of a Glowlight 3 Plus because it’s basically just a larger version of the 6-inch Nook Glowlight 3 that was released back in 2017.
B&N did add waterproofing to the Glowlight Plus, along with Bluetooth and a headphone jack, but the software is the same as the Glowlight 3, which B&N still sells for $119.
The 7.8-inch Nook Glowlight Plus has a retail price of $199, with 10% off for B&N members.
Hardware and Design
The Nook Glowlight Plus looks a lot like the Glowlight 3. It has a similar design, albeit with slightly narrower bezels. It has the same soft rubbery coating covering the front and back, with two page buttons on each side of the screen and an “n” Nook button below the screen that functions as a home button (it can also toggle the frontlight on and off with a long press).
The power button is located on the top edge and there’s a micro USB port on the bottom edge. The Glowlight Plus adds a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth for audio, but presently they’re only for listening to B&N podcasts so don’t expect to listen to music.
The new 7.8-inch Nook has a capacitive touchscreen instead of an infrared touchscreen like the Nook Glowlight 3, so text isn’t quite as sharp and clear but it still has the same 300 ppi so it’s not a big difference and the screen isn’t indented as far so you don’t get the shadows along the edges.
Like the Glowlight 3, the Plus model has a frontlight with cool and warm colors. It has 10 blue LEDs and 9 yellow LEDs. The frontlight is a little blotchy along the top edge, but the color adjustment is a nice feature for those that like to have the option.
The 1GHz processor is the same as the Glowlight 3, and so is the 8GB of storage space. The one difference is the Glowlight Plus has 1GB of RAM, twice as much as the Glowlight 3.
The Nook Glowlight Plus runs the same software as the Glowlight 3. The software is based on Android 4.4.2. B&N’s software development seems practically nonexistent these days. I can’t think of a single new useful software feature that they’ve added in the past half decade.
If you only want to read Nook books the software is pretty good. But unfortunately the Glowlight Plus has the same problem with sideloaded books disappearing and getting corrupted as the Glowlight 3. Some people seem to manage it somehow (is seems to help if you use Calibre and don’t use shelves) but I’ve encountered nothing but problems trying to get sideloaded content to work on the new Nook. Frankly it’s not worth the hassle, and that’s exactly how B&N feels about it.
7.8″ Nook Glowlight Plus Review
- Nice larger screen with 300 ppi and it has a frontlight with adjustable color temperature.
- Page buttons.
- Waterproof design.
- It’s one of the least expensive 7.8-inch ebook readers on the market.
- A hassle to use with sideloaded books and public library books, software too unreliable.
- Quite a bit larger and heavier than other 7.8-inch ebook readers.
- Same software as the Glowlight 3, and B&N rarely issues updates to add new features or fix problems.
The 7.8-inch Glowlight Plus is a nice ebook reader overall if you’re just looking at the hardware. The screen looks good. The frontlight color is adjustable. The page buttons are comfortable to use. It’s waterproof, and the price is reasonable compared to competing products.
But like usual with Nooks the software will disappoint just about everyone except hardcore Barnes and Noble fans. It’s fine if you only want to read Nook books from B&N, but I would not recommend either current Nook when it comes to sideloaded content. B&N simply does not care enough to provide adequate support for non-Nook content. It doesn’t matter how nice the hardware is if the software is designed to confine users into a small box. If you’re fine with what’s inside that box the new Nook is possibly the nicest Nook yet, but if you want something with flexibility the Nook is the last device to get.
7.8″ Nook Glowlight Plus Specs
- 7.8-inch E Ink Carta display.
- 1404 x 1872 resolution, 300 ppi.
- Frontlight with adjustable color temperature.
- Capacitive touchscreen.
- 1GHz iMX6 ARM A9 processor.
- 8GB internal memory.
- 1GB RAM.
- Waterproof – IPX7 rated.
- 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
- Supported formats: EPUB, PDF.
- Battery Life: few weeks.
- Weight: 279 grams.
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.34 inches.
- Price: $199 USD from B&N.
With sideloading books you have to regresh your library, they’ll be there. Smh
I can add sideloaded books to my B&N Glowlight 3- gigabytes of them if I so choose. My complaint is that B&N doesn’t permit adding sideloaded books to shelves/collections. (Or rather, while you may add sideloaded books to a shelf, sideloaded books will disappear from a shelf when you turn off the device. )If I don’t have a way of indexing sideloaded books- such as the B&N shelving scheme (collections w the Kindle) it can be one big mess trying to locate the sideloaded book I want.
Phil Goetz says
The shelves are useless if you have more than a few hundred books anyway. You have to either prefix all book names with keywords and then find them by alphabetical order or search, or install a different Android loader (I use Text Loader) and a better reader (I use Koreader, which reads more filetypes, and lets me read PDFs in landscape mode). Then the Glowlight 3+ is a good e-reader!
Obviously I tried refreshing and rebooting. Neither worked. It seems that sideloaded books work better for some than others, but there’s clearly an issue for some people that needs to be fixed. Glad it’s working for you but not everyone has had the same experience.
I don’t think it’s a hassle to load library books at all. Haven’t had a problem with mine yet.
nobody does he’s just hates BN for some reason.
Having to use ADE and a computer to sideload library ebooks is far more of a hassle to deal with, especially when your Nook isn’t recognized by your computer. Kindles, Kobos and even Android readers using apps can easily have library ebooks wirelessly delivered without having to deal with Adobe’s outdated, nonsensical method.
Love the size!
I just strip the DRM off the ebooks then use calibre. Calibre solves all the problems. For instance, you likely have to factory reset your device to get it to work again with sideloaded books because windows won’t recognize your device again until you do that. You stupidly probably tried to eject the device with windows, rather than calibre, and pulled it out too quick. If you add no more than about 5 books at a time, waiting for it to be finished every time, then adding more , in the same session it will work. Then you can eject the device with calibre but wait like 20 seconds, to be on the safe side, before pulling the device out and it won’t be corrupted.
Only time I face corrupted sideloaded books now is if I root the thing to add sideloaded software and play around with it as it is a fine red thin line and it is in developers options.
I have 43 sideloaded books on it , right now, and as long as I don’t get antsy and do something stupid they work fine and the device won’t get corrupted.
Actually, it is not the same software. I see subtle differences between this model and the last and it’s much faster. If you think sideloading is hard you may be doing it wrong. I have no issues using caliber to sideload. Purchased mine on launch day and been loving it. Its great. I am back at being a B&N customer
Software issues w Glowlight 3,and most likely then with the 7.8″ version. For the second time in less than a year, I had to deregister and reinstall. (Why? couldn’t read any of my books,be they B&N or sideloaded.) Never had that problem with the Simple Touch.
Not to mention not being able to put sideloaded books into shelves, but that’s old news.
Well that sucks. I was thinking of giving my Oasis 2 you my daughter and getting this Glowlight instead for myself, but ALL of the books I read are side loaded with Calibre. So if the software cannot handle that then sorry I won’t touch them. My very first ereader was the first Nook Touch 10 years ago but I have been a Kindle devote ever since. I guess I will stay that way.
To be fair it sounds like most people don’t have a problem loading small numbers of ebooks using Calibre. Personally I wouldn’t trust it if you primarily want to sideload after my experience, and after hearing about the problems others have has as well, but that’s just my opinion.
Bob Ward says
Does the Glow Light Plus display landscape? The landscape display is excellent for a 2 page display with the Barnes and Noble Shakespeare series where the text is a right hand page and the footnotes a left hand page.
No, Nooks don’t do landscape mode.
Well, one of the good things about it running an old version of Android is that it is easy to root , then add ReLaunchX, and then also add koreader. koreader can do landscape mode and can handle pdfs better , in general.
Well, I currently have 91 sideloaded books, using Calibre, and none of them are corrupted. I am definitely a computer expert so that might have something to do with it. I first experienced the problem ,everyone else does, when I owned the Nook Glowlight 3 but that is when I figured out how to get around the problem. Basically, don’t add more than like 3-5 books at a single instance, with calibre. You can do more than that with one Calibre session but you should wait for the 3-5 books to completely process first before doing the next 3-5 books. The next important thing is to make sure it has time to completely finish internally and then to eject it properly from both Calibre and Windows. I suspect people are just yanking out the USB chord etc…Also, when you think about it who the hell reads more than 3-5 books at a time anyway ? Do you people really believe I am reading all my 91 books concurrently ? That is why I think the issue is overhyped by computer illiterate people.
I have been able to add sideloaded books to the Nook Glowlight 3.The issue I have is that B&N doesn’t permit sideloaded books to be added to Shelves (Collections in Kindle-speak).
The Nook Simple Touch permitted sideloaded books to be added to Shelves.Kindles permit sideloaded books to be added to its Collections/Shelves.
Nook Glowlight Plus back on sale $159.99 20% off
Looking over the Large Ebook reader comparison table I am unable to find the Nook Glowlight Plus …. must be an oversight .
I have zero problems side loading books on my GL Plus.
03-29-21 Firmware update 53.0.67 available for Both Glowlight 3 and Glowlight Plus.
Turn on Wifi for a fast update.
Is it true that you can’t rotate PDFs to landscape mode? That’s a deal-breaker for me if so.