After getting off to a shaky start with its first e-reader, a color reading device called the Novel, Pandigital is taking a second stab with a monochrome e-ink model that has built-in Wi-Fi, a touch-screen interface, and a direct link to the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. The Novel 6-inch Personal eReader carries a list price of $200, but we suspect that the street price may be slightly less when it ships later this month.
Here are the key specs:
- 6-inch ePaper electrophoretic display (made by Sipex/AUO) with 800x600-pixel resolution and 16-level grayscale
- Measures 6.75 inches long by 4.88 inches wide by 0.38 inch thick and weighs 9.1 ounces
- Touch-screen interface for navigation
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and Web browser
- Barnes & Noble's eBookstore integrated into the device
- Built in speaker and stereo-mini headphone jack
- A virtual keyboard for making notes, e-mails, and other entries
- Orientation sensor for automatically adjusting between portrait and landscape mode when the device is tilted
- Supports PDF & EPUB file e-book formats
- microSD memory card slot (supports up to 32GB cards)
- Rechargeable lithium ion battery (via AC adapter or USB)
On paper, anyway, this doesn't look half bad, though we do wonder how good the touch-screen interface is. We liked what Sony did with its latest touch-screen-enabled Readers but wish Sony had included Wi-Fi on its two more affordable models (see review of Sony PRS-350). We'll see how the Pandigital Personal eReader measures up after we get our hands on a review unit in the next few weeks.