It's been four days since B&N launched their 7.8" ereader, the Nook Glowlight Plus.
It has shown up in B&N stores, as promised, and what's more, several members of MobileRead report that they were actually able to buy one today, two days before the device officially goes on sale.
Alas, early reports are not sounding good.
There's a discussion over on MobileRead where two new Glowlight Plus owners reported that their units had defective pixels right out of the box. One owner even found a dead pixel on the replacement unit:
Got a replacement, same stuck pixel at the same spot (or something under the substrate that's reflecting the back light).
While we don't know the scale of this issue, of the five units purchased by MobileRead, three have proven to have defective pixels. That is the kind of failure rate we haven't seen since the original Nook Glowlight in 2012, when B&N was in too much of a hurry to beat Amazon, and rushed an ereader with a defective frontlight to market.
Barnes & Noble is making the least effort possible to sell their device; not only have they neglected to do QA on the initial production run, they don't even care enough to release the specs and support into. While a version of the user manual (PDF) was uncovered by a MR sleuth, this device still hasn't been listed on B &N's website, so at this time we still don't have all the information.
I actually had to find out via Mike Cane that the Glowlight Plus didn't have a card slot:
Micro USB port. No card slot. Nook home button is very small. Page turn buttons are nothing special. Bezels are too damn large even in person. No way to get to Android Settings, so the version number is a mystery. Android Open Source legalese is 607 screens (pages)! Plus side: It has a headphone jack. And seven typefaces, one of which is Open Dyslexic.
I don't know about you, folks, but this almost looks like sabotage, and at the very least it rises to the level of intentional neglect. This launch helps explain why B&N's digital revenues fell 20% last quarter, to $24.3 million; Barnes & Noble is making sure that the Nook division can't recover under any circumstances.