Reuters: Front-Lit Kindle to Launch in July

Kindle Touch

Nivedita Bhattacharjee for Reuters:

Amazon.com Inc will launch new versions of its Kindle e-reader and tablet, including a monochrome e-reader with front lighting, a source who has seen the prototype told Reuters.

I had thought Amazon would’ve adhered to its established hardware revision cycle with little regard to B&N’s products, but it seems I was wrong.

Although B&N may not be an enormous threat in and of itself, Microsoft’s purchase of the Nook division, coupled with the evident brick and mortar retail aversion to Amazon hardware, makes for a somewhat problematic situation for the Seattle-based giant.

As I always say, competition is certainly not a bad thing.

Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight Official

Nook

Following some last-minute rumors earlier this week, Barnes & Noble has confirmed the impending arrival of the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. Available in early May for $139, the front-lit display adds a $40 premium to the existing e-ink line, but utterly reshapes the use case scenarios for the average e-reading consumer.

As I said earlier this week, I look forward to experimenting with the hardware in person. The Nook Simple Touch, as it stands, is a thoroughly compelling e-reader and, coupled with such a versatile display, I imagine it will cause many to reconsider purchasing a Kindle in the lead-up to the summer.

Unless Amazon hurries its front-lit counterpart out of the factory in the coming weeks, that is.

The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is available for preorder here.

Nook Simple Touch with "GlowLight" Leaked

Nook GlowLight

Nathan Ingraham reports for The Verge:

We heard a few days ago that Amazon was readying a Kindle with a front-lit, E ink screen — now it appears that Barnes & Noble is ready to do the same thing with the Nook. The Digital Reader has just posted an image of what appears to be a Nook Simple Touch with a front-lit E ink screen that Barnes & Noble has dubbed “GlowLight.” While this is by no means guaranteed yet, these images do look fairly authentic, and these details corroborate an earlier report from The Ebook Reader. It sounds like the Nook will use a similar technology to what was described as being used on the next Kindle — a thin layer that covers the entire screen and evenly distributes light across it. While we’re not sure when we’ll see the latest Nook hardware, it wouldn’t surprise us to hear something very soon considering the info that’s starting to leak out.

In the past few weeks, due to a rather excessive amount of travel, I’ve repeatedly butted heads with the Kindle Touch’s lack of light. In most scenarios, purely for the sake of sanity and ease of use, I’ve accordingly gravitated toward the iPad for the vast majority of my reading.

Although the iPad doesn’t quite measure up to the quality of reading on an e-ink device, the ability to read without bounds is a liberating and important piece of functionality to boast. Rumors have indicated some sort of front-lit screen is making its way into the Kindle line but, as is the trend, it seems Barnes & Noble is going to beat them to it.

I actually have a Nook Simple Touch on my desk for testing. When held together with my Kindle, I’ve read comparably little on it but, having said that, I tend to think the device is actually superior in several respects.

Thus, if a Nook does materialize in the coming weeks boasting “GlowLight,” I feel rather confident that I’ll be keenly visiting a Barnes & Noble to test it out.

Amazon Planning a Color E-Reader?

Andrew Webster reports for The Verge:

News out of China suggests that Amazon will be adding a device with a six-inch, color E Ink screen to its Kindle lineup. Chinese newspaper the Economic Daily News is reporting that Massachusetts-based E Ink Corporation has landed an order from Amazon for an estimated three million color e-reader modules per month, with shipments expected to begin in March.

Whether or not this proves to be accurate for the coming months, I have little doubt that color e-ink displays will find their way into Kindles and Nooks in the next product cycle or two.