Just about every company that makes ereaders has jumped into the eNote market by releasing an E Ink device with stylus support.
One company that hasn’t so far is Barnes and Noble. Nooks aren’t nearly as popular as they once were, but B&N continues to churn out new models at a regular pace. Last year they released a watered-down version of the 2021 Nook Glowlight 4 called the Glowlight 4e.
Back in 2019, Barnes and Noble surprised everyone by releasing a Nook Glowlight with a 7.8-inch E Ink screen, but they quietly discontinued it at some point, and now it doesn’t appear on their website (in fact the product page for it has been removed entirely).
Now Barnes and Noble only sells 6-inch Nooks with the Glowlight 4 and the Glowlight 4e.
To be clear, Barnes and Noble has been selling a number of 10-inch Nook tablets for years, usually with low-end specs, but they’ve never sold a 10-inch Nook ereader with an E Ink screen.
Could Barnes and Noble release a 10-inch Nook ereader with stylus support in 2023?
It’s always been hard to predict what B&N will do when it comes to Nooks, but I have a hard time believing they’d be interested in developing a Nook with notetaking capabilities. It’s a lot of work from a software standpoint. Even Amazon has been struggling to get the notetaking features on the Kindle Scribe up to a level where they can compete with other eNotes that have been on the market for several years.
Still, maybe there’s a small chance that Barnes and Noble could decide to release a Nook with stylus support at some point in the future. Nooks runs Android so they have a lot of potential locked under the hood, and B&N has partnered with other companies to make Nook tablets so maybe they’ll do a similar thing with a 10-inch Nook ereader. It would be a surprise move, that’s for sure, but not entirely improbable.
Well, look at it this way: If Kobo can release the Elipsa, which has received minimal feature support, then why not B&N? The device is serviceable but yeah, still has four barebones templates to use for the basic notebook functionality, finicky Dropbox exporting, no updates to latency, no first-party way of easily exporting annotations, etc.
I actually think it makes sense for the retailer to potentially release an e-ink tablet. I think about how the retailer has leaned into offering more than just books in their stores, like cards, notebooks, and other knickknacks. I wonder if there are some cross-promotion / cross-selling opportunities for them that isn’t present for a Kobo or Boox. For example, show your NOOK ePaper device at a B&N Cafe and get $1 off your drink every day? They’ve recently expanded their premium membership to allow a free drink size upgrade, so something like this won’t be entirely out of the question. Another example could be some tie-in with their annual signed editions promotion they run for Black Friday – what if you could get some authors in stores and they could sign their ebook on your NOOK device?
That being said, they would have to absolutely have to think about killer features that they could provide. They love to lean-in on Serial Reads (garbage – they book they have each month is normally terrible), Readouts (OK for some kind of discoverability, but generally not really a feature), and free reading for most books for one hour each day if you hook into WiFi. You can’t just lift and shift those features into a 10-inch NOOK device. You gotta offer something truly different.
Barnes and Noble are so far behind Kobo and Amazon. They don’t even support dark mode reading on their Nook. They don’t even make the Nook up front and center on their website – you have to click away to get to their ereader listings. I do not see and will be extremely shocked if they come out with a larger reader let alone a note taking one. It is a shame because they were one of the front runners in the beginning and now they are so far behind you almost wish they would give up.
I agree. I started with Nook, but it didn’t take long before I’d switched to a Sony reader. I still supported them by buying ebooks from them, but then they brought that to a dead halt when they stopped allowing download of my purchased ebooks for backup from their website.
I can’t imagine ever wishing to buy a Barnes and Noble device again, nor an ebook.
Unless they produced an absolutely BRILLIANT large screen e-ink device with notetaking AND that was fairly open, I don’t think it would sell well.
If they make anything, it probably won’t be terribly open and will be low end specs. And then they probably won’t even promote it much.
Heidi S says
I would like to see one. I love my little nooks and I would rather support a real bookstore than Amazon. I want options, I like my Scribe and my obo Sage but I would love a Nook eNote.