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Pandigital Novel 7" review

3.8/10 AVG.
RATING



3.8/10
Informr score
The Pandigital Novel 7" currently has an Informr score of 3.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 6 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.


Screen Size
7"
Storage
2 GB
3G
No
Reading Time
-


What the Critics Are Saying...


Laptop Magazine

Whether or not you fall on this side of the LCD vs. e-Ink eReader display debate, the Pandigital Novel is not the best exemplar of the former category. The device has some potential, and perhaps upgrades to the firmware and software can improve some of the frustrating flaws we encountered--after all...

- K.T. Bradford, Laptop Magazine
PC Magazine

Like the Entourage Edge, the Pandigital Novel reminds me of an earlier era, back when vendors were experimenting with handheld computers and trying out different kinds of interfaces. Usability problems like this would have been an issue, but not a dealbreaker, in the 1990s, since the Novel does so m...

- Jamie Lendino, PC Magazine
Engadget

As we stated at the start, we actually can't believe that Novel has made its way onto so many shelves across the country -- just Googling the product name shows that it's being sold at tons of popular retailers. The poor touchscreen, sluggish processor and sometimes confusing interface cripple the d...

- Joanna Stern, Engadget
PCWorld

While in theory I like the idea of having a tablet that does more, with such multipurpose functionality, in practice I found using the Novel tiresome enough that these experiences are better left to a smartphone handset than to this larger screen device. The photo viewer was especially frustrating--...

- Melissa J. Perenson, PCWorld
CNET

After playing around with the Novel for a few days, we felt better about it than when we first started using it. There's some potential here and the size really makes a lot of sense. But it's hard to recommend the device because despite its good feature set, it doesn't really excel at anything and u...

- David Carnoy , CNET


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Quick view

Screen Size
7"

The Pandigital Novel 7"'s screen size is 7 inches with 600 x 800 pixels resolution.

Backlight
Yes

There is a built-in backlight for reading in the dark.

Storage
2 GB

Internal memory is 2 GB. An external, SD (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

3G
No

This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Novel 7" Specs

Overview
Release date June 6, 2010
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Operating System Android 1.5
Processor Samsung ARM 11 533 MHz
Internal Flash Memory 2 GB
RAM 128 MB
ROM No
Flightmode Yes
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Stylus
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors White, Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 7.2 x 5.2 x 0.0 cm (2.8 x 2 x 0 in)
Weight 340 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors Unknown
Resolution 600 x 800 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 7 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare No
Additional Display Features Resistive Touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Connectivity
USB No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g
WiFi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info SD
PC Synchronization No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC, WAV
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats MPEG-4
Streaming Video No
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported No
More
Additional comments Available in 2 models. Distinction is between the bundled Android e-reading application. Barnes & Noble for the US model and Kobo for its Canadian counterpart.
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Pandigital Novel 7" Reviews
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Critic Reviews


Laptop Magazine

You would expect more from a $199 color screen eReader

from Laptop Magazine

Whether or not you fall on this side of the LCD vs. e-Ink eReader display debate, the Pandigital Novel is not the best exemplar of the former category. The device has some potential, and perhaps upgrades to the firmware and software can improve some of the frustrating flaws we encountered--after...More

Whether or not you fall on this side of the LCD vs. e-Ink eReader display debate, the Pandigital Novel is not the best exemplar of the former category. The device has some potential, and perhaps upgrades to the firmware and software can improve some of the frustrating flaws we encountered--after all, that's what Barnes & Noble did with the Nook. Until then, consumers will be better off with the Kindle, Nook, or iPad.

Read full review

Less

PC Magazine

It tries to be an e-book reader and tablet computer simultaneously, and fails at both tasks

from PC Magazine

Like the Entourage Edge, the Pandigital Novel reminds me of an earlier era, back when vendors were experimenting with handheld computers and trying out different kinds of interfaces. Usability problems like this would have been an issue, but not a dealbreaker, in the 1990s, since the Novel does s...More

Like the Entourage Edge, the Pandigital Novel reminds me of an earlier era, back when vendors were experimenting with handheld computers and trying out different kinds of interfaces. Usability problems like this would have been an issue, but not a dealbreaker, in the 1990s, since the Novel does so much. But today, there is no reason for this level of frustration. If you want a budget e-book reader, the Wi-Fi-only Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook are much better buys. Even the Kindle 3G, which lets you buy books anywhere there is cellular data signal, costs $10 less. Somewhere out there, some company is working on a proper, low-cost Android tablet that could render e-ink-based e-book readers like those two obsolete. Sadly, the Novel isn't it.

Read full review

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Engadget

It’s not even good enough to provide a comfortable reading experience

from Engadget

As we stated at the start, we actually can't believe that Novel has made its way onto so many shelves across the country -- just Googling the product name shows that it's being sold at tons of popular retailers. The poor touchscreen, sluggish processor and sometimes confusing interface cripple th...More

As we stated at the start, we actually can't believe that Novel has made its way onto so many shelves across the country -- just Googling the product name shows that it's being sold at tons of popular retailers. The poor touchscreen, sluggish processor and sometimes confusing interface cripple the device to the point where it can't even manage its main task of turning pages and providing a comfortable reading experience. There's no beating around the bush on this one -- those looking for a cheap e-reader will be better suited by the WiFi-equipped $149 Nook or $139 Kindle. As for those looking for a solid performing, cheap tablet that can manage e-books and surfing the web in full color, well, for that we all still wait...

Read full review

Less

PCWorld

It needs to be lighter, with a far better screen and a more-responsive touch interface to truly be a contender

from PCWorld

While in theory I like the idea of having a tablet that does more, with such multipurpose functionality, in practice I found using the Novel tiresome enough that these experiences are better left to a smartphone handset than to this larger screen device. The photo viewer was especially frustratin...More

While in theory I like the idea of having a tablet that does more, with such multipurpose functionality, in practice I found using the Novel tiresome enough that these experiences are better left to a smartphone handset than to this larger screen device. The photo viewer was especially frustrating--images looked mediocre, and were slow to read from, and transfer via, the SD Card slot.
If the Pandigital Novel were priced lower, maybe I'd be forgiving of its numerous faults. For those that need a portable device and who don't have a smartphone, I can see where this might have appeal at first blush. It's a first, positive step into the tablet universe, but it needs to be lighter, with a far better screen and a more-responsive touch interface to truly be a contender.

Read full review

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CNET

It has an extremely slow performance and unresponsive touch screen

from CNET

After playing around with the Novel for a few days, we felt better about it than when we first started using it. There's some potential here and the size really makes a lot of sense. But it's hard to recommend the device because despite its good feature set, it doesn't really excel at anything an...More

After playing around with the Novel for a few days, we felt better about it than when we first started using it. There's some potential here and the size really makes a lot of sense. But it's hard to recommend the device because despite its good feature set, it doesn't really excel at anything and using it somehow makes you feel like you're living with last year's technology.
Even if you find the Novel on sale, it's still too expensive for what you're getting, especially considering that the latest entry-level Kindle and Nook readers cost less than $149. Or, if you're looking for a more multifaceted tablet, you should probably step up to the iPad--or wait for one of the many Android-powered tablets that should be hitting stores in the upcoming months.
In the meantime, Pandigital needs to upgrade the software (and possibly some of the components) of the Novel before it's worth recommending. For now, however, the Novel's a good idea that just needs to be fleshed out better.

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The Gadgeteer

It works better with the available firmware update

from The Gadgeteer

Right now, the Pandigital Novel is a very basic reader. The online bookstore is nice for Barnes & Noble’s customers and I was able to read many of the books I purchased earlier. But it is very crude for anything else. 6 hours battery use is not bad although I would not leave the unit in standby for too long. But by leaving the wifi off and lowering the brightness until needed; I’m able to use the unit pretty well. Firmwares have updated the performance dramatically and I look forward to other changes to the system but we shall see....

More

Right now, the Pandigital Novel is a very basic reader. The online bookstore is nice for Barnes & Noble’s customers and I was able to read many of the books I purchased earlier. But it is very crude for anything else. 6 hours battery use is not bad although I would not leave the unit in standby for too long. But by leaving the wifi off and lowering the brightness until needed; I’m able to use the unit pretty well. Firmwares have updated the performance dramatically and I look forward to other changes to the system but we shall see.

The toughest problem for the Novel is not to be able to get applications from the Android Market in this present form. But I don’t really see Pandigital adding market access to the unit as it only has the 2 buttons available (Volume ± and Power.) There are ways to get around these limitations and turn the Novel into a more functional Android unit, but that is for another time.
So, in the end, if you are a Barnes & Nobles fan, it works well. Do you want to buy this to send to Grandma a hundred miles away? Don’t forget to update that sucker or else face the wrath of a confused customer.

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