Pandigital's Android e-reader is 'hobbled'
The feature set of the affordable Pandigital Novel looks good on paper, but this color e-book reader and multimedia device is hobbled by its extremely slow performance and unresponsive touch screen.
If you know of Pandigital, you probably know it for its photo frames. However, the company is moving into the hot e-book reader market with a device that a lot of people have been waiting for: an affordable color-screen e-book reader with ties to a major bookseller.
Integrated with the Barnes & Noble's e-book store, the Pandigital Novel is an Android-powered e-book reader that has a full-color 7-inch touch-screen display, Wi-Fi connectivity, and multimedia capabilities. On the surface, this all sounds pretty good and when we first saw a picture of it it, we thought it looked a lot like the rumored smaller version of the iPad. The product is available in white and black versions for less than $200. You can find the Novel discounted to $169--or even less--at stores such as J.C. Penney and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
Alas, the Novel, at least in its current state, has some issues that seriously hamper the device. For starters, though the Novel's 800x600-pixel resolution display is adequate, its sharpness level will probably disappoint anybody with a 2010 smartphone. More importantly, its resistive touch-screen interface isn't nearly as responsive the iPad's capacitive touch-screen interface and the touch-screen interfaces of all those new smartphones (and the iPod Touch). And the device also feels underpowered.