Yesterday my local B&N called me to let me know that I could pick up this morning, the Nook Glow I had reserved two weeks ago. After seeing some of the comments about the Nook Glow display not being as sharp as on the Nook Touch, I decided to do a detailed side-by-side comparison, wanting to use the screensaver author images for the comparison. When the "Nook Specialist" saw what I was doing, she attempted to help by displaying the same text on both devices (the Nook Touch having an anti-glare screen also installed).
Yes, the text (and some icons) on the Nook Touch appeared very slightly higher contrast, but upon closer examination, it appeared that the width of the fonts being used on the Nook Touch were slighly thicker (bolder in a typographical sense), which would create a sense of sharpness and improved readiability. At any rate, the difference was miniscule.
So, after she was done "helping" me and went to another customer, I resumed my comparison of the images. I wanted to use the images for comparison, because some of the images have fine lines, and I thought this would be a better comparison of any "sharpness" issue.
I could find no consistent difference when comparing the images. For the difference in the text/icon comparison, perhaps the rendering engine in the v1.1.5 software (Nook Glow) is slightly different than in the v1.1.2 software (Nook Touch).
The following observations were made at home, in a dark room when appropriate:
Note that even the slightest amount of "GlowLight" appeared to significantly improve the contrast on the Nook Glow (well beyond that of the Nook Touch), even in normal light. I did note that when viewing dark areas new the top of the screen, that the dark areas were very slightly "blotchy". This was not a factor in viewing text.
With the GlowLight turned well up, the lighting was slightly brighter in the top 1/2' or so of the display. Yes, you can see the LEDs if you hold the device at the right angle, but that's an angle that no one in their right mind would use for reading. On my unit, the bright line at the top edge was similarly not visible at normal reading angles.
- Some of the reviews are really picky (and I consider myself to be a perfectionist).
- Any concern about sharpness is unfounded (same parenthetical comment).
- The evenness of the lighting is not perfect (there, I've restored my reputation).
- Very little GlowLight is required to read in a very dark room (as others have noted as well).
Software design/implementation/documentation minor flaws:
- Pressing and holding the "n" button to turn the GlowLight on/off seems to need about three seconds, not the two seconds mentioned in the manual and on the screen.
- When you have the GlowLight on and the screen times out and reverts to the screensaver image, the screen & manual say to press the "n" button for two seconds to turn the GlowLight on, so that you can see to swipe/unlock the screen. In fact, you need to press and release the "n" button to get the swipe/unlock graphic to appear, and then press and hold the "n" button again to turn the GlowLight on. However, it is not necessary to see in order to swipe/unlock the screen; that can be easily done by feel in total darkness.
- If the above case, if you don't turn the GlowLight back on before the swipe/unlock and you want it on thereafter, you will have to turn it on after the swipe/unlock. I think one might expect it to come back on after the swipe/unlock if you had it on before, and it would be nice to have that as an option, or (only if the light was on) turn the light on and pop up the GlowLight setting page (so that you would notice if you resumed reading in a bright environment.).