Pandigital is now giving its Android OS-based Novel tablet eReader a second try with the announcement of a new version, this time outfitted in a black chassis and Barnes & Noble eBookstore integration.
With 2GB of internal storage, the new iteration of the 7-inch device offers twice the built-in memory of its predecessor, which had a white chassis. The new Novel device – model PRD07T20WBL1– is also lighter, weighing in at 11.8 ounces.
The first Novel gadget made news when Kohl’s started selling it for $260 — not including shipping — after Pandigital had already announced an MSRP of $199.99 upon initial product launch in May.
Further consternation followed when Pandigital pulled the device in June for a firmware fix.
Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader checked out the original Novel both before and after the software repair. Hoffelder blogged that the fix did a lot to improve WiFi connectivity and touchscreen responsiveness, but that page turns in the Reader and Library applications remained slow. Hopefully, Pandigital has dealt successfully with those issues in the new device.
Some have suggested, though, that the gizmo might work better for those seeking a general tablet than an eReader, particularly with pricing tumbling down on established eReaders such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.
Specs and Pricing
Built on an ARM 11 mobile processor, the model PRD07T20WBL1 comes with a TFT LCD matte display with 800-by-600 resolution; a stylus for touchscreen navigation; WiFi; a Web browser; and a built-in SD/SDHC card reader that accepts memory cards of up to 32GB.
Features specific to e-reading include a night-read mode which inverts text and background colors; a virtual keyboard for writing notes and e-mails; an orientation sensor for automatically adjusting between portrait and landscape modes when the device is tilted; a built-in dictionary and word/character search function; and reading tools such as highlighting, multiple bookmarks, and the ability to change fonts.
The new model measures 5.2 by 7.2 by 0.5 inches. It reportedly provides up to six hours of battery life in reading mode.
The MSRP on the second edition of the Novel device is once again $199.99. In a statement, Pandigital said that the model PRD07T20WBL1 will be available next month through several national retailers, and that it will be backed by a limited one-year warranty.