Pandigital’s second Android eReader [model PRD07T20WBL1] from the Pandigital Novel series is out and shipping.
The new eReader boasts a 7-inch TFT LCD touch screen, with a display resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, enhanced UI, powered by ARM 11 CPU, comes with a stylus, virtual keyboard that enables making notes & emails, 2GB shared internal memory and support for upto 32GB SDs , Orientation sensor [adjusts to portrait and landscape mode with respect to how to hold the device], built-in Wi-Fi, web browser and a mini-USB port.
The eReader supports PDF & EPUB e-book formats, allows highlighting, changing fonts and creation of multiple bookmarks, comes with built-in dictionary and internal (within e-book) search function and night-read mode which brings up visual changes for no-light reading. Like its predecessor, the new Pandigital Novel eReader also comes with integrated Barnes & Noble eBookstore.
At $175, the Novel is expensive compared with Amazon’s newest, $139, single-purpose, E-Ink-based Kindle e-reader. And as a tablet/e-reader combo that tries to compete with Apple’s iPad, the Novel is slow and inelegant, and lacks the full versatility that a true tablet user expects.
The Novel is a solid unit that uses a rechargeable battery that can be removed/replaced unofficially as well as an internal 1gig Micro-SD card that can be replaced.
The Novel also has a external SD slot that can use up to 32 gigs. NOTE: If you turn on the Novel with the external SD inserted, the Novel will not recognize the internal card. To utilize both memory cards you have to boot without the external card.
While reading, you have a few options available to you. Tap at the top right to bookmark a page, or at the top center to bring up the context-sensitive menu; you can jump back to My Library or a book’s contents, view Bookmarks, go to a page in a book, or change the font size and background settings.
There are not many controls on the Novel. It has a sliding power switch and a rocker for volume control. They do feel sturdy enough for extended use.
If the Pandigital Novel were priced lower, maybe I’d be forgiving of its numerous faults. For those that need a portable device and who don’t have a smartphone, I can see where this might have appeal at first blush.