US company Pandigital is already famous for making the best digital photo frames. Millions of American homes have Pandigital LED digital picture products and this fact has contributed to the company’s profitability.
But not content from making money on photo slideshow gadgets, the company has branched out to the lucrative e-reader market. It has partnered up with Barnes & Noble to manufacture and sell the colored 7-inch E-reader product called the Novel.
The company has already made it official to sell on Kmart and other online stores the Pandigital Novel 7″ eReader for a $180 value which is relatively cheap.
Unlike Amazon’s Kindle 3 and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color eBook Reader, the Pandigital Novel is going to be LCD-powered. Based on the pictures distributed by the company, this one looks like a small version of the iPad. However, Pandigital already made it clear that the Novel will be running on Android OS.
No confirmation so far when it will have access to the Android Market. One thing is for sure, though, the Novel will have full access to the Barnes & Noble’s online library of more than 1 million books. This is more like the Nook Color eBook Reader we’ve reviewed in this site before considering this feature. The Pandigital Novel has also been made compatible with Barnes & Noble’s LendMe app which lets you share content with others for 14-days or so.
The 800 x 600 7-inch LCD screen is touch screen enabled and it will not only be good for reading e-books but it is also ideal for surfing the web and watching movies. Yes, the Novel will have a full-pledged HTML browser and WiFi connection. The manufacturer has mentioned MPEG4 support but it remains to be seen if the Novel’s ARM 11 processor will be up to the challenge in running smooth HD video playback.
The screen seems to be big enough for comfortable movie viewing but I hope the audio accelerator for it will be decent enough to enjoy.
Other cheap color eBook readers or eReaders we can recommend include the The Sharper Image Literati 7-inch Color eReader, Archos 101, Sylvania 7″ Cheap Android 2.1 OS Tablet PC and enTourage Pocket eDGe Mini DualBook Tablet PC + eReader. These models are already 2-in-1 (Tablet PC features and specs) so check them out if you want more bang for your money.