Pandigital Novel Reader
Pandigital are (fairly) new to the e-reading market but have made a rapid entrance, pushing themselves straight to the top of the market. They have released four e-readers in the first year including 3 color screen reader/tablets and a classic monochrome screen reader with a SiPix touchscreen. If it's not quality they are going for, it's price and quantity!
The main difference between the Pandigital Novel readers and other brands on the market is that they have released readers that could also be classed as readers, giving their devices many features that are not commonly found on other readers. Recently, the company has released their new Planet model, a reasonably priced Tablet that aims to take on the Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and Kobo Vox.
Prior to releasing e-reading tablets, Pandigital manufactured digital photo frames, using some of the same technology as seen in the readers. The company are well known for good quality products with the Novel range strengthening this image.
The main features of the Novel range by Pandigital are the screens used are color and also SiPix for monochrome, which is different to the eInk displays that most of the e-reader manufacturers tend to choose. The Novel range also works in partnership with the Barnes and Noble online store, offering over 3 million titles available to their readers.
The tag line for the Novel range is Read.Surf.Play and this is strengthened by the features on the device including a variety of text options to make reading easier, apps to allow the user to play popular games such as 'angry birds' and the inclusion of Wi-Fi and a web browser to allow the user to download books straight to the reader and for general viewing of web pages.
The general public and the press were very taken with the Pandigital Novel range. The user feedback on the devices is very positive with users claiming the reader to be a solid and reliable device that suited all their needs.
In terms of press releases the Pandigital Novel range was received very well and reviewed by some of the top technology fanatics out there. With the readers being released early 2010 they gained positive reviews from large influences in the market such as PC world, PC magazine and consumer reports.
The main features on the readers to be praised were the design and the user interface, both being sleek and sophisticated. The operating system on the Novel range is Android allowing for a wide range of formats to be supported. Another feature of the device which was particularly praised was the inclusion of Barnes and Noble on the device giving users access to over 2 million titles at their fingertips.
The complaints about the reader included problems with the screen as being an LCD display the books fonts were not displayed quite as crisply and clearly, not only this but the quality of the display strongly depended on the angling of the screen as when viewed from any other angle than straight on the display became a lot darker and harder to read. From our personal experience (and other comments on the web), it appears (some) of the the Pandigital devices are extremely slow when it comes to navigating the device (screen very unresponsive or cpu of device not up to par). This makes it hard to use as a reader.
Pandigital Super Nova, Nova, Star, and Planet (Current)
These are the new tablet line up from pandigital. They are all very similar in feature, look, and functionality (almost identical in fact). The super nova model has an 8" screen while the other models are 7".
Read our Pandigital Planet Review
Pandigital 9" Novel eReader and Tablet
The newest and most up to date reader to be released into the Novel range with two separate versions, one including Wi-Fi support and the other giving the additional 3G support with both versions offering a wide range of features to the user.
The Pandigital 9" Novel offers readers instant access to the Barnes and Noble online store giving them access to over 2 million titles that can be downloaded straight to the device without the worry of them not being compatible. The 9" Novel has a wide range of supported formats not only to support reading on the device but also various forms of media, the technical specs listing EPUB, PDF, MP3, AAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF and MPEG. The Pandigital Novel 9" is one of the only readers on the market to support video playback.
The internal memory on the device is 2GB and the SD card slots allow users to expand the memory on the reader up to 32GB which will most certainly be needed if the reader is going to be storing video, image, document and music files, some of which tend to be fairly large.
The device uses a touch screen interface and incorporates a full touch screen keyboard allowing the user to easily browse the web and search for titles/authors on the reader or online in the Barnes and Noble store. The reader comes with a stylus so that the user can easily interact with the touch screen. This is a tablet reader -- one that includes a full color screen. It does not have a digital e-ink screen. In this regard, it competes with the Nook Color.
The main difference between the 9" Novel eReader and Tablet is that unlike its predecessors there are four navigational buttons underneath the display to aid the user and give an improved navigation. A similar feature is seen on the Pandigital Personal reader however the other devices are completely operational via touch screen. The device comes with a stylus allowing the user to easily input on the on screen keyboard.
Pandigital 7" Novel eReader and Tablet (White)
The white Novel is a current reader on the market and can be purchased on the Pandigital website. Featuring a 7" digital TFT LCD screen (color) with high resolution (600x800) giving the reader a bright display allowing the user to view videos and images in bright color. This is essentially a tablet PC device (though with the Android operating system).
The Pandigital 7" reader has a wide range of supported formats with the technical specifications listing EPUB, PDF, MP3, AAC, WAV, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF and MPEG. The formats allow support for documents, graphics, audio and video allowing the reader to be used as a reader and a multimedia tablet.
The internal memory on the device is only 1GB however there are memory card slots, allowing the user to expand the memory up to 32GB. This extra space will be needed due to the nature of the file formats being fairly large, for instance audio and video will consume a lot of storage space.
The device is fully functional on a touch screen interface with a virtual keyboard to allow users to easily input text to the device making it easier to browse online and search for files stored on the reader.
The battery life on the reader is around 6-7 hours due to the screen and various features on the device requiring a lot of power to work. The battery life on the user will be less if there are numerous functions on the device being used at the same time.
We've personally used the Pangital 7" novel ereader and found it to be VERY slow to use. Frankly, the touch screen was very unresponsive -- so unresponsive in fact that it was HARD to actually read a book and navigate the device. Word is you can hack the device to run apps (and maybe increase the speed of the device). But out of the box, we found the Pandigital 7" ereader to be too slow to be a functional reader.
Pandigital 7" Novel eReader and Tablet (Black)
The Pandigital 7" Novel eReader is a current model and is available to purchase from the Pandigital online store. As with the white tablet the Pandigital 7"Novel Black also features a TFT LCD color screen with a 600x800 resolution giving the user a high quality and vibrant display.
The Black 7" Novel has a slightly larger internal memory than the white version with a total of 2GB. This is enough space to store an eBook library however the memory will most likely have to be expanded in order to store audio, graphics and video as these can be very large files. With the SD card slots the device has the capability to store up to 32GB worth of data.
The Pandigital Black 7" connects to the computer via USB however this is not a necessity as the reader has built in wireless connections so that books can be downloaded from the Barnes and Noble store straight to the device giving the reader mobility. It also allows the user to surf the web as there is a built in web browser on the reader.
The device has a completely touch screen interface with a virtual keyboard to allow users to easily input text and search for files and browse the web. The inclusion of a stylus with the reader also eliminates readers with larger hands having trouble with the keyboard.
Pandigital 6" Novel Personal Reader
This is the only monochrome reader produced by Pandigital and is a current model which can be purchased from the Pandigital online store. The Personal Reader features a 6" eInk screen allowing the user to read, even in direct sunlight as there is no glare on the reader due to the display working by contrast rather than backlight. This is Pandigital's answer to the Nook, the Kindle, the Kobo, and the Sony ebook readers.
Unlike the other readers in the Novel range the Personal Reader runs on the Linux OS rather than Android. The supported formats on the device are listed as EPUB, PDF, MP3, BTMP, and PNG. This is a fairly wide range of formats allowing the reader to support documents, graphics and audio.
The Personal Reader uses a fully touch screen interface however Pandigital have also included some main functions that can be commanded by the button found just under the display. These include functions such as page turns, volume control, and audio playback control.
Weighing in at only 8oz the Personal Reader is one of the lightest devices released by Pandigital and is easily portable due to the small dimensions and light weight. This means that the user could use the reader when on the train, or in a cafĂ©, maximizing the utilisation of the device.
Books for the Device
Pandigital have teamed up with the established bookstore brand Barnes and Noble in order to use their online library in conjunction with the Pandigital Novel range. This gives the users the ability to access over 2.4 million titles. This is a great range and should provide any title that the user is looking for, with new releases being around $9.99 the store is not too expensive.
There are also other retailers where books can be downloaded for the Novel range. As the readers support PDF and EPUB which are fairly common formats for eBooks there are sites such as manybooks.com and Waterstones that provide titles for download that are compatible with the Novel range, the important thing to remember when purchasing eBooks is to check their format against the specs of the device before you purchase
The Pandigital online offers a range of cases to consumers in order to protect and personalize the devices including both leather flip cases and silicone gel covers. The gel cases simply fit on to the back of the device and protect the back from cosmetic damage. They are available in a range of colors and are retailed at around $25.
Another option from Pandigital are the leather flip cases which secure the reader and are like a book case where it simply flips open so that the device can be used. These retail at around $35 dollars and are particularly effective as they protect both the case from cosmetic damage such as scratching alongside protecting the screen from any damage. A necessity for anyone who plans to transport their reader regularly.
The Pandigital Novel range are sold with a stand that can hold the reader which is particularly useful for users who otherwise would have had to held the device for a long period of time, saving the user any strain.
The online Amazon store also offers a range of cases and accessories for the Pandigital Novel range such as protective cases and additional stylus to be used with the devices. This is particularly useful if the original stylus has been misplaced.
A range of chargers can also be bought for the Novel range on sites such as Amazon and eBay. These are extremely useful as they allow the device to be charged in most situations. One of the most popular chargers allows the reader to be charged from a car via a cigarette lighter input. Adaptors can also be bought for mains power in foreign countries. Particularly useful for those who travel.