We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.
The Pandigital Novel Color Multimedia eReader runs on the Google Android software system. This means you have access to the Android marketplace and various apps. Web browsing is available on the 7 inch color touchscreen. WiFi connectivity is available as well as video and audio playback. Multiple different formats are readable on this eReader like DOC, TXT, ePUB, and PDF. It does make the Pandigital Novel Color Multimedia more of a tablet than an eReader though.
– 7 inch color touchscreen
– Android OS
– Video and audio playback
– Multiple file formats supported
DUBLIN, Calif., Feb. 14, 2011 — Pandigital today announced a firmware update that transforms its 7-inch Pandigital Novel line of products into the Pandigital Multimedia Novel line of AndroidTM multimedia tablets and color eReaders, increasing performance and providing customers with the flexibility to customize their product with a wide range of Android applications.
Starting immediately, the new Pandigital Multimedia Novel 7-inch Android tablet gives customers the ability to download and enjoy Android™ applications from their favorite sites. As a result, customers can personalize their Pandigital Multimedia Novel adding the applications that are most interesting to them and increase daily use of the device.
“The transition to a hybrid Android media tablet/color eReader was a natural evolution for the Pandigital Novel product line,” said Jason Topel, vice president, Pandigital. “The original version of the Pandigital Novel was a color eReader with Barnes & Noble content and packed with multimediafunctionality found on many tablets. Conceived from the outset on the Android operating system, the Pandigital Novel was the first non-phone Android device of its kind in North America when it was launched last June. We wanted to take the product one step further by allowing our customers to personalize the product by downloading the apps they want.”
By updating the software of the existing product, the new 7-inch Pandigital Multimedia Novel tablet provides faster overall performance. Also, additional file compatibility is supported, including DOC, DOCX, TXT, XLS, XLSX, CSV, PPT and PPTX. The device’s software upgrade will also provide customers with enhanced performance to shop and access content from Barnes & Noble’s expansive NOOKbook™ Store with more than two million eBooks, newspapers and magazines.
New customers will be able to purchase the 7-inch Pandigital Multimedia Novel with the new firmware already integrated. Existing customers who own the original 7-inch Pandigital Novel can realize all of the benefits of the Pandigital Multimedia Novel by visiting www.pandigital.net/Downloads to update their firmware.
Additionally, customers can still enjoy the full-color touch screen, built-in WiFi connectivity, email and web access, audio and video player, digital photo frame, alarm clock, games and more.
Availability, Price and Warranty
The new 7-inch Pandigital Multimedia Novel Android™ tablet and color eReader (model numbers R70D200/256 white and R70E200 black) have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $199.99with a promotional price of $149.99. They will be available at several national retailers beginning this month and are backed by a one year limited warranty. The firmware update for existing customers is free and available immediately.
Privately held, Pandigital® develops and markets digital entertainment products. The company recognizes the growing digital lifestyle market as well as the convergence of digital media such as photos, video, published content, and audio, and is delivering high quality products to utilize and share that content by combining innovative technology with contemporary style and simplified user interfaces. Pandigital sells its award-winning line of Pandigital® and PanTouch® digital photo frames and PhotoLink® scanners through more than 35,000 well-known national retail storefronts in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Central America. The company has received numerous accolades and industry awards for its outstanding products that are renowned for their easy-to-use features, high-quality, and elegant design, and for providing exceptional value to consumers. Pandigital is headquartered in Dublin, Calif.
For more information, please visit http://www.pandigital.net. All offers subject to change without notice or obligation and may not be available through all retail partners. Prices listed are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices and may vary by retail location. Applicable taxes extra. Trademarks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandigital. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. 1 The Pandigital Multimedia Novel cannot be connected to the AndroidTMMarket. Not all Android™ applications are designed for, or will work with, this device.
Digital Trends’ eReader Buying Tips:
E-book readers accept many different types of formats. When looking for your new e-reader maake sure that you find out which formats they do and don’t accept. Below is a handy guide to the various formats.
Epub was created by the International Digital Publishing Forum. It is supported by most e-readers, so this one you shouldn’t have to worry about. The benefit to this format is that it is reflowable meaning that text is not formatted for one specific page size. This means that text size and format adjustments won’t look odd if you change them. When doing your ereader comparison, this format is very important and should be sought after.
Most documents and files on the internet are in the PDF format. The downside to using the PDF format on electronic book readers is that lines are a fixed length when the e-book was created, so sometimes when it converts onto your e-reader, the lines may not display correctly. Depending on what you are reading on your ebook, this may or may not be important to you. PDF is quite useful as an additional format in eReaders and you may want to include it during your ereader comparison.
Plain Text (TXT)
Plain Text is very rarely used, though it does exist.
Amazon Kindle (AZW)
This is the format that was developed by Amazon to work with their Kindle eReader. AZW files work with the Kindle and are purchased from the Amazon book store. This format only really works on the Kindle.
This was created for PALM hand-held devices. It is not standard with the newer e-books readers.
This format will probably not work with your e-book unless it specifically says so.
Sony Reader (BbeB/LRF)
BbeB is used by the Sony Reader and it isn’t really supported by other e-readers or PC reading, though it supposedly can be read on Linux computers.
TomeRaider (tr2, tr3)
Barnes and Noble Nooks use TomeRaider, which is available on PCs, Smart Phones, iPhone and other sources but isn’t supported by Kindle or the Sony Reader. The Nook also doesn’t support as many formats as the Kindle and Sony Reader.
Book stores and App stores
Making sure your device has an intuitive OS is important, but knowing that it has the books that you hope to read is vital. E-readers are tied to a single store. Before buying an e-reader, visit the Kindle or Nook websites to search for a few books you may want to read. Does your favorite device have the books you want? If not, consider the competition.
Making your decision
It all comes down to preferences. E-reader devices like the Kindle and Nook are designed to do one thing and do it well. The 3G version of the newest Kindle is only $189 and is probably the best device out there for reading books. However, for those who are swayed by the allure of video and Angry Birds, and have the money, the iPad (and devices like it) makes a great reading solution as well. It really comes down to how, where, and what you plan on reading. If you really can’t decide, head over to a Barnes & Noble and try out the Nook Color. It has a bit of both worlds built into it.
3G data plan or Wi-Fi?
Internet access is vital to e-readers. As cool as these gadgets are, without the Internet, they can’t do much of anything. The majority of e-book readers access the Internet via Wi-Fi. The main reasons to use the net are for downloading new books, accessing the Web, or viewing new newspapers or magazines. However, Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer versions of their e-readers with lifetime 3G access built in, which allows your Kindle or Nook to connect to the Web using cellular networks like AT&T. The 3G models run about $50 more than Wi-Fi-only versions, but when you really want to download a new book and aren’t at home, 3G access comes in handy.