As I predicted last week, Barnes & Noble has launched its newest ereader, the Nook Glowlight Plus, and it's a better device than I was expecting.
Barnes & Noble's newest ereader may be hitting shelves about six months behind its competitors, but that doesn't mean that B&N was letting the dust gather - in fact, just the opposite. The Nook Glowlight Plus can match the Kobo Glo HD and the new Kindle Paperwhite in many respects, and it can go one step better.
This $129 ereader features a 300ppi Carta E-ink screen (with frontlight and touchscreen), Wifi, a metal rear shell, and six weeks of battery life, but it does have one feature that its mid-market competitors lack.
B&N reports that this ereader meets the IP67 certification, meaning that it can be submerged in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1 meter. It's also dust-proof.
While the premium-priced Kobo Aura H2O can boast the IP67 certification, and Tolino's new Vision can make a similar promise (albeit one without certification), the Nook Glowlight Plus is the only device at the $129 price point that goes above and beyond in guaranteeing that it can survive rough usage.
That said, I do think it's a shame that B&N didn't put similar effort into the storage capacity. The Glowlight Plus has no card slot and only limited storage.
Of the 2.5GB internal storage, only 500MB is available to the user. The rest is reserved for B&N-sold content.
Update: While B&N's website said that most of the storage was reserved, the Glowlight Plus I have in front of me says that I have access to 2.8GB of storage.
As I maintain my own ebook library, the storage problem is enough to turn me off of the Glowlight Plus. But if it doesn't bother you, this ereader is available in B&N stores today, and online at Nook.com.