With a 7" full color touch screen and Android OS, the PanDigital Novel eReader is as pretty as it is easy to use. Kevin Pereira and Morgan Webb review its features including built-in Wi-fi, access to over a million book titles through Barnes & Noble, web surfing and email, all for $170.
What You Need To Know
- This is one of the few color eReaders available that won't cost a small fortune.
- Looks-wise, they've obviously taken some design cues from the iPad.
- There are hardly any hardware buttons.
- The 7" color LCD screen is an inch bigger than the Nook's screen.
- The 800 x 600 resolution is sharp enough to read small type comfortably.
- It comes with 2 GB of built-in storage and an SD card slot.
- The Novel runs the Android OS with a custom interface, but the overall experience of navigating menus, apps and books isn't very good.
- The interface is well laid out and nice.
- At the top of the home screen is a small bookstore area where you can purchase eBooks from Barnes & Noble's website.
- Along the bottom are the built-in multimedia apps.
- The problem is that the resistive touch screen is not as responsive as we would have liked.
- PanDigital recommends users use either a fingernail or the built-in stylus.
- Coupled with a less than snappy processor, we had to tap multiple times to get the PanDigital Novel to do what we wanted.
- The handful of built-in apps work together, including a functional web browser, a calendar app and an email reader.
- The photo viewer, music and video players function as advertised, but don't expect an iPad like experience.
- The built-in speaker is okay, though you'll probably want to use headphones.
- To purchase books, you have to set up a Barnes & Noble account, after which you can download books directly to the eReader over Wi-fi.
- Tethered syncing or desktop apps are not required.
- Most of the books will be purchased through the web browser, but the process is easy and straightforward.
- You turn pages by swiping across the screen. There is no tap to turn.
- It has all the obligatory eReader options like a night reading mode, a highlight function, dictionary and font size options.
- It supports both EPUB files and PDFs.
- 2 Seals of Approval out of 5. (How do we rate gadgets?)
- If you must absolutely be able to read full color PDFs on a portable screen and don't want to pay for an iPad, the PanDigital Novel will probably meet your needs.
- For everyone else, we still think the eReader to beat is the Nook or the Kindle.
- If you need app support, then save up for an iPad.
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