Barnes & Noble hasn't done as much lately to push e-readers forward as some of its rivals, but it's starting to catch up. TechCrunch notes the bookseller has launched the Nook GlowLight 4, its first entry in the mid-tier e-reader line since 2017's GlowLight 3. A lot has changed in four years, if not as much as you might think — this is as much about dragging the device into the modern era as anything.
The Nook GlowLight 4 is billed as "sleeker" than the GlowLight 3, with a smaller overall profile, better page-turning buttons and a more comfortable hand feel. It's the first Nook e-reader with USB-C, and storage has quadrupled to 32GB. However, you'll still see a 6-inch, 300DPI e-paper display and a claimed one-month battery life. This is more for Nook newcomers, or those upgrading from particularly old devices.
The GlowLight 4 ships December 8th for $150. That could make it a tough sell against the 6.8-inch Kindle Paperwhite, the water-friendly Kobo Libra 2 and other mid-tier e-readers. It's a viable alternative if you don't want to attach yourself to the Amazon or Kobo ecosystems, though. Also, this is as much a declaration of intent as a new product. Barnes & Noble chief James Daunt said the company planned to "reinvigorate" the Nook line in the months and years ahead — this may just be one of the opening salvos.