PanDigital Novel eReader Review

Posted: August 25, 2010
PanDigital Novel eReader Review

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.


  • $170.00


  • 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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Comments are Closed

  • voicewerk

    I have the black Pandigital Novel. What isn't mentioned in this review is the fact that this device can easily be updated with the latest firmware that makes it a full android device with no ereader skin over the top of the OS.

    I am able to edit Office Documents, Take Notes, Surf the web, watch youtube videos, play games and read books. I actually installed a eread app that allows me to read books in many formats including PDF.

    I can read a book while listening to a podcast. I can listen to a sermon while taking notes and cross referencing in my Bible app.

    It would be great if you could do another review of this "eReader" exposing "all" of it's potential. While it isn't an iPad, I don't want an iPad. I want a very inexpensive Android Tablet that does the same things a tablet twice the price can do and I found that with the Pandigital Novel 7". This is the best purchase of a device I have ever made.

    Posted: March 7, 2011 1:41 PM
  • hsimpsonjr

    This was a TOTALLY unfair review. I have a white Novel and it works just fine. Got it for $140 at Kohls. If you want an ipad then buy an ipad. Obviously this is NOT an ipad and it doesn't cost $500 to $800 like an ipad either. It can use SD cards up to 32gigs and it's easy to hack it if you are so inclined and want to make it more versatile. The browser works fine and it is worth the money. Oh, and did I mention it is $400 cheaper than an Ipad???

    Posted: December 15, 2010 8:41 PM
  • Justlikeme

    Where are the reviews for the xperia x10 , and x10 mini!!!?????

    Posted: August 30, 2010 12:23 AM
  • Foxdie1001

    hey what ever happen to Olivia? have not seen her in a while

    Posted: August 27, 2010 7:55 PM
  • weejifiend

    After watching the video, I have to say that the only time they weren't comparing it to a device that costs 3-4X more was the last 15 seconds. "If you absolutely must view things that are in color on a portable device, but don't want to spring for the iPad, maybe this is for you". I understand it's not as sensitive or as quick as the iPad, but it also costs significantly less (even more so if you use a Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon). I use mine for comic books, and rather than the annoying page flipping motion you have to do with the included B&N app, you just click the bottom right corner. I'm sure if you hack it and get a different e-reading app on there, the same will apply.

    Posted: August 27, 2010 6:15 AM
  • weejifiend

    I'm not sure about the black one, but the white one is VERY easily hacked to allow for installing apps. I know you can't include that "feature" on a TV review, but it was the reason I bought one.

    Posted: August 27, 2010 5:55 AM
  • JustTheBeginning

    "This is...."


    Posted: August 26, 2010 2:26 PM
  • C0mput3r

    How about putting that eReder inside a iPad box and telling your loved one you got them a iPad.

    Posted: August 25, 2010 7:52 PM