As a ketchup bottle once famously said: Good things take time (we're paraphrasing here, of course). Roughly a year and a half ago, Barnes & Noble made its top-notch Nook Simple Touch even better with the addition of GlowLight. Before the end of the year, however, the company had been outdone by both Kobo and Amazon in that department; the two e-reader competitors launched devices with more uniform and brighter front-lighting technologies. Since then, those companies have both offered up refreshes, Amazon with a new Paperwhite and Kobo with the slick Aura, leaving us wondering why Barnes & Noble had been quiet for so long. Surely issues with its hardware division couldn't be helping matters.
Today, however, things are looking, um, brighter for the company. The latest Nook is available now through Barnes & Noble's site, bringing with it a slew of upgrades and a shortened name. Say "goodbye" to Simple Touch. This time out, it's just Nook GlowLight, a new name for a new look. Gone is the matte black color scheme of its predecessor (not to mention most of the rest of the industry). That's been traded in for a white design that evokes the Nook HD tablet. It's also easier on the eyes, according to the company, with less of a contrast between the bezel and display. It's still a sizable bezel, of course. B&N didn't shave things down like Kobo. There's also a rubber bumper running around the perimeter. The company won't actually call it "rugged," but we suspect that'll help it take a tumble a bit more gracefully.