From an article in Time Techland:

Illuminated E Ink isn’t a new idea: Sony released one of its Readers with a lit screen back in 2009. But in that version, the lighting hurt the clarity of the screen. The company dropped the feature in later models.

Judging from my demo of the Nook with GlowLight, Barnes & Noble has figured out how to make the idea make sense. This Simple Touch is essentially the same as its appealing predecessor — which remains available — except that when you press and hold the e-reader’s “N” button, LEDs along the edge of the display turn on, blanketing the screen in light. The illumination isn’t perfectly even — I could make out discrete beams emanating from the LEDs along the top edge — but it’s bright enough to make the display perfectly legible in very dark environments, without lighting up the entire room in the way that backlit LCD displays tend to do. (That’s an important point if you’re reading in bed and someone else is trying to sleep.)


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