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Kindle Paperwhite vs. Nook GlowLight Plus

April 20, 2016
Product Comparisons, Shopping
Kindle Paperwhite vs. Nook GlowLight Plus
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More and more people are turning to e-readers, which allow them to tote their libraries wherever they go. But if you’re taking your first step into the world of literary tech, picking the right model can be like trying to guess the twist in a thrilling novel.

To help you decide which one to buy, we’ve compared two of the most well-known readers on the market: the Kindle Paperwhite and the Nook GlowLight Plus.

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At a glance

What we found: The Kindle Paperwhite and the Nook GlowLight Plus are nearly even when it comes to price, screen size, weight and battery life.

What you’ll learn: The Nook GlowLight Plus is waterproof and dustproof — major selling points.

 Kindle PaperwhiteNook GlowLight Plus
Price$119.99 from Amazon$129.99 from Barnes & Noble
Size6.7 inches x 4.6 inches x 0.36 inch6.4 inches x 4.7 inches x 0.34 inch
Screen size6 inches6 inches
Weight7.2 ounces6.9 ounces
Resolution300 ppi300 ppi
Battery lifeUp to 6 weeks on a single chargeUp to 6 weeks on a single charge
Wi-Fi connectivityYesYes
Buy on Amazon
Buy Kindle
Buy Nook


The Paperwhite and the GlowLight Plus are both thin, tablet-like touch-screen devices. The Paperwhite has a sleek, black casing, while the GlowLight Plus’ is white.

Both e-readers have a 6-inch screen, and they’re practically identical in size and weight. The Kindle Paperwhite measures 6.7 inches x 4.6 inches x 0.36 inch, and the Wi-Fi version weighs 7.2 ounces. The Wi-Fi plus 3G version is slightly heavier, at 7.6 ounces. The Nook GlowLight Plus is 6.4 inches x 4.7 inches x 0.34 inch and weighs 6.9 ounces.

The Paperwhite promises a glare-free screen thanks to a built-in light that adjusts to your environment, while the GlowLight Plus includes a built-in anti-glare screen protector and always-on GlowLight technology for use in various light settings.

» MORE: Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kindle Voyage


The premise of e-readers is simple: You can buy and download books to your heart’s content, and carry them all with you on a single device.

They’re supposed to make reading convenient, and the Paperwhite and the GlowLight Plus both make it easy to pick up where you left off, too. The Paperwhite uses Whispersync technology to sync your last page read across all of your devices. Similarly, the GlowLight Plus works with a free Nook Reading app — available for iPhone, iPad and Android — that lets you begin a chapter on your e-reader and finish it on your smartphone or other compatible device.

Both e-readers boast a battery life of up to six weeks and can be charged with a USB cable. They’re each equipped with 4GB of storage and can hold thousands of books — and they provide access to free cloud storage.

The Kindle Paperwhite offers a selection of more than a million titles priced at $2.99 or less and more than 2 million titles priced at $9.99 or less. The GlowLight Plus also has its share of affordable reads.

One key difference: The GlowLight Plus is waterproof (in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1 meter). That means you can take your e-reader in the bathtub or to the pool, just as you would a normal book.


Price likely won’t be a factor in your choice between the two, as there’s just a $10 difference. The Wi-Fi version of the Kindle Paperwhite has a regular retail price of $119.99 from Amazon, while the Nook GlowLight Plus sells for $129.99 at Barnes & Noble. The Wi-Fi plus 3G version of the Paperwhite is $70 more than the Wi-Fi only model.

Both have covers that are sold separately. From Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite case will cost you $39.99. Over at Barnes & Noble, you can pick up a GlowLight Plus book cover for $24.95.

Keep in mind that standard Paperwhites come with special offers, sponsored screen savers and ads for Kindle books that show up on your device. If you’d prefer a Paperwhite without special offers, you’ll pay $20 more.

Regardless of the model you choose, remember to maximize your potential savings by shopping with your rewards credit card.

Which e-reader fits you better?

If choosing the best e-reader for you still isn’t an easy decision, consider what you value most in your new device.

For a reliable e-reader that’s $10 more affordable than the Nook, choose the Kindle Paperwhite.

But for a waterproof e-reader that can go practically anywhere, choose the Nook GlowLight Plus.

If you value affordability, there’s yet another option. The traditional Amazon Kindle starts at $79.99. There’s no built-in light, and the screen resolution is lower, but it’s a great buy for first time e-reader owners.

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Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.