The Nook Simple Touch Reader can rest comfortably in your hand for hours on end. It’s noticeably lighter than the Kindle, and the contoured back coupled with the rubberised matte finish gives you a good grip. More hands-on impressions ahead:
As you can see, the back is hollowed out, which not only makes the new Nook easier to handle, but makes the reader lighter, and feel smaller in the hand.
We weren’t given time to use the touchscreen much ourselves, but judging from the one-on-one demo with a Barnes and Noble rep, the infrared ring used to detect touch input seemed to be finnicky, occasionally requiring multiple taps or swipes get the Simple Touch Reader to respond. While you’re reading you can swipe to turn pages or you can use the hardware buttons.
Luckily, there are four buttons on the bezel , which will page up and down when you tap them, or will rapidly advance when you hold it down. And they’re fully configurable, so you can assign actions depending on the hand you use or how you grip the device.
The appeal of this pared down Nook rests in its size and weight, which feels amazing to carry around with a single paw. We’ll be looking forward to playing with one over the duration of a novel.