Back on May 24, the Pandigital Novel eReader was officially unveiled. The eReader has a color 7-inch LCD and generally looks really cool. It runs Android and has WiFi connectivity. The cool part about that WiFi connectivity on the device is that it not only lets users connect to the Barnes & Noble eBook store, it also lets them share titles for up to 14 days.
In case you forgot the full specs, the device supports multimedia like MP3, AAC, and WAV files along with JPEG, PNG, and GIF images. It has 1GB of internal storage and can save to SD memory cards as well. The 2.5mm headphone jack lets you listen privately and it measures in at 5.5 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches and weighs a pound.
The Novel was slated to launch this month for $199.99 and launch it has. However, the device has landed at Kohl’s for $60 more than the MSRP at $259.99. Figure in another $22.95 for Kohl’s shipping and this thing is the same price as other more established eReaders on the market.
Short review after the break.
Based on Android, though heavily re-skinned, the Novel has proved slow to react to touchscreen presses, and after Nate calibrated it things got even worse. WiFi won’t connect, and the promised landscape orientation mode that Pandigital mention is nowhere to be found (there’s no accelerometer, it seems, and the option to flip orientation is hidden better than Nate can find it).
Meanwhile build quality is patchy, with the face plate already pealing at the corner, but most damning is the software and how poorly it caters to the sort of frequent readers likely to pick up an ereader. Page turns are slow, navigating ebooks is slow, and despite a recent firmware update, you can’t adjust margins, line spacing or fonts. To be fair, Nate says he’ll be sticking with the Pandigital Novel to give it a fair shot, but when you consider Kohl’s are charging $260 – the same as a Kindle or nook – we’re don’t think many others will be as accommodating.