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Nook Glowlight Plus: No Card Slot, But Many Defective Pixels

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).

Manufacturing defect?

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.

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HS May 27, 2019 um 7:21 pm

You are reporting the wrong facts. People did not buy by chance. In stores Today, Online Wednesday. It was reported in the press release to be sold in stores nationwide Monday(today). No secret there. And not enough people yet posted about their purchase to even call it a "trend" or a "sabotage" I know people that bought the device free of any defect. You need more than a small handful to post on their experiences before jumping to conclusions

Nate Hoffelder May 27, 2019 um 7:57 pm

I just read the press release again and I still came away with the impression that it wouldn’t go on sale until Wednesday. Clearly that is the wrong impression, and I thank you for pointing that out.

Sportbike Mike May 30, 2019 um 10:59 am

HS, mine has the defect too. There is one very bright pixel if your are reading in the dark. With the room lights on or in the sun it’s invisible. Unfortunately I do about half my reading 45-60 mins a day at night in the dark. I’ll wait a while before swapping it out though. Apparently everything on the shelf has this problem too.

Alexis May 27, 2019 um 8:29 pm

I picked up mine in-store today and am quite pleased. It’s large, so my hand doesn’t cramp up anymore. Typing on its keyboard is a slow process, but that’s shrug-worthy because I don’t use it for lots of browsing. So far I’m satisfied with it.

heidi l May 27, 2019 um 9:55 pm

I just picked mine up on a whim and want to say that there is a pixel issue on mine. I tried to edit my original post but was not able too so you can delete it if you want… BUT to be honest the pixel is just 1 pixel and it is so small it’s impossible to notice with the naked eye unless you are purposely trying to find it. It is so small it will not and should not be an issue. You literally need to squint and use a magnifying glass to see it. I really like it so far. I hated B&N Nooks for years but this one is pretty fantastic. Huge but fantastic

Mike Cane May 28, 2019 um 5:48 am

>but this almost looks sabotage


Oh, it gets even worse. The B&N I went to had ZERO promo banners for it. They all usually have big posters in their windows and inside the store. This time, zero. And that B&N relegated its Nooks to just two tables. 90% of it had been given over to stationery and trivial toys. It used to be a big Nook section. Now, one table with three craptabs, one table with the two eInk Nooks. And just one of each! Not multiple units of each.

BTW, I didn’t see any dead pixels but my attention was focused on other things — like trying to find Android Settings and any sekrit web browser. If anyone can find those without plugging into a computer and running the Android SDK (whatever it’s called), I’d be surprised. I tried everything that used to work. Locked down like a damn Supermax.

Frank May 28, 2019 um 10:12 am

The developer tools are accessible through the Nook icon, not sure what that would add to the Android environment.

Jay May 28, 2019 um 12:05 pm

I like mine, no defective pixels and is much faster than my GlowLight 3.
The store only had five, I bought two.
I prefer them to the Kindles because they have physical buttons on both sides so I can turn pages no matter how I’m holding it, I guess it’s a comfort thing. I also really like the way the plastic feels on my hand, it almost feels like skin, so smooth.
the downside I see is that it is physically larger and more difficult to hold for long periods of time, and doesn’t fit in my pocket like the original GlowLight 3.
Most reviews I read are biased towards the Kindle, it’s almost like they’re sabotaging Nook by not giving fair reviews.
I think they’re fantastic e readers

Scott May 28, 2019 um 2:06 pm

I just picked mine up after looking at the demo in the store. It’s sweet. My initial impressions are that it’s good size, lightweight, nice screen, same software as the Glowlight 3 but much, much faster and a thinner but usable bezel. The screen appears to be infrared based so it is what I hoped for. Although not as bright as I thought it would be, the light is pleasant, very much like the 6 inch model. In the top corners there appears to be bluish hot spots but not near the text. The buttons are easier to push too. And, oh yes, it has an audio jack!!

Regarding the above photos of dead "pixels", I’ve had dust particles bigger than that on my screen without being a bother. If that’s it I consider it a non-issue. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the demo unit. It beats the pants off the much higher priced Amazon Oasis, hardware wise.

Kaybear June 29, 2019 um 4:47 pm

Are the page turn buttons quiet….my glowlight 3 6 inch nook has rather noisy side buttons. How would you describe them?

Xavier Basora May 28, 2019 um 6:55 pm


If Barnes and Noble isn’t interested in Nook just sell it. I’m sure the client list and publishing rights to non English books for North America are very valuable


RL May 29, 2019 um 5:53 pm

Purchased mine today. I was able to get to the Developer Settings easily since the software is similar to GL3. Overall, the tablet is responsive. I installed some apps, and they did run faster than on the Glowlight 3.

It doesn’t work well with PDFs, and sideloaded books are hard to find. When you first register it, you’ll notice that it already has an update available.

Steve H. May 30, 2019 um 3:49 pm

I stopped in a Barnes and Noble in Pikesville, Maryland today. Store personnel was Shockingly Knowledgeable! Even asking if would buy the Glowlight Plus a couple times….I would hire that lady for any business that she is qualified for.
Device felt heavier and not as well balanced as a Kobo Forma. Screen looked ok though.

Steve R. May 31, 2019 um 8:44 pm

I have been quite impressed with the new Nook. It’s a great device and it is the first time in a long while that B&N has tried to be out front with a new concept.

I also noticed the same thing as Steve H. above: At the store I purchased mine at (in VA), the store was full of helpful, knowledgeable employees who were actively engaging with customers and going out of their way to be personable and welcoming. I shop at this store all the time, and this is new. But it was true when I bought my Nook on Monday and when I went back to buy a cover on Friday. A refreshing change for B&N.

Gordon June 3, 2019 um 2:45 am

Picked one up in norther California 1st attempt st moving to ebooks, they said I was the first person to buy one there….1 dead pixel in same place as picture on this article. It also would not pick up my home WiFi, but picked up all other networks. I did return it and the new one has 3 dead pixels in the bottom left of the screen. No a good look will get refund and wait a few months

Heidi June 3, 2019 um 7:04 pm

They changed the nook user guide from all black to white now. Guessing they want to hide the dead pixels. Glad

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