back to article Color ebook reader for 200 clams? Yup

There's a new Android-based e-reader on the block that's set to challenge the Kindle, iPad, Nook et al in price, features, and display quality. For "display quality", read "color". Pandigital, a San Francisco Bay Area company known for its digital photo frames, has announced the Novel, a combo video/web/email/music/e-reader …


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  1. Anonymous Bosch

    Time to toss Hardcopy Documentation

    I can finally get rid of all my old documentation for VMS and MVS! This will be much handier than carting around orange and gray binders and much less expensive than losing another laptop!

  2. Taters
    Thumb Up


    I've just lost 200$ in the future

  3. blackworx


    I thought for a moment there reading the headline that someone had invented, developed and brought to market cheap colour eInk tech without the rest of the world noticing. I read the article and find it's a cheap iPad knock-off. Colour me bored and let the mactard gloating commence.

  4. Beritknight


    "Also, the Novel can switch between portrait and landscape mode, a trick of which neither the Kindle nor the Nook are capable."

    Actually the Kindle can switch to landscape.

    Came in with an over-the-air software update about six months ago.

  5. hazzamon

    Wuhhh? Oh. Zzzzzz.

    Wake me up when it's a cheap colour e-ink device.

  6. Bad Beaver

    eReader, color, TFT – whut?

    Ah, so it's not only cheap shit from China, it's cheap shit from China with a (likely very, very) shitty display. Just like blackworx, "eBook" tickles my "ePaper" gland, and had it been a 200 bucks ePaper device I would have been all over it.

  7. Mike Kamermans

    and we still can't get battery life down, can we.

    Why does crap like this still have lousy battery life? This is not a laptop computer, six hours is not okay. Triple it and then round it off to 20, and maybe we're talking something worth buying. Either that or drop another $100 off the price.

  8. Tom 7 Silver badge


    I don't think I've been so unimpressed for a long time. Well not since I last looked at an e-reader. I can get a much better (screenwise higher res -smaller but then half a page is enough) netbook from argos clearance and with 160G hard drive and longer battery life for less. And its so much more useful - try reading an e-reader in bed - you really want something that folds in half...

    Oh and it works as a computer as well...

  9. David Lucke


    Of course, this is completely useless for anyone who doesn't live in the States, since you can't buy any ebooks from them from overseas. Stupid geographical publishing contracts.

  10. Mage Silver badge

    Not an eReader

    It's just an LCD Tablet.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ho hum.

    If that's the best it can do it's still a bit of an insult to all the ebookreaders Out There, except including itself. Does it support PostScript? It's got the cpu for it. Does it support DJVU? That, next to PDF, is so far the only thing that makes the paperless office transition halfway viable.

    b/g/n? Very annoying. Talk a/b/g and it gets interesting. Talk a/b/g/n and it gets useful. The 2.4GHz band is full enough already for n to be merely the device to annoy everyone else, not a useful innovation. The 5GHz band, OTOH, is a sea of emptyness by comparison.

    And yes, battery life. It can weigh as much as half a tome for all I care, as long as it doesn't give up on me when I'm halfway war and peace or something even more obnoxiously long (fantasy, anyone?).

  12. paulc

    a promising start, but...

    just wipe Android and replace with a decent pad optimised Linux...

    I've been looking for a decently priced replacement for my palm organiser... this looks like it will fit the bill nicely... even better if the display back-light can be switched off and it still be readable in sunlight...

    sadly, it'll probably be at least next year when we see it over here in Blighty and it'll be £250 as well...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      "a decent pad optimised Linux"

      such as...?

      TIA for the info

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Colour eInk is when this thing starts


    This is just another..whatever the name for a netbook in tablet form is. Tabbook?

    This excites me even less than the Kindle.

    Colour eInk is when eReaders will take off. And possible save the magazine/newspaper industry. Who wants to read a magazine in monochrome? Even technical manuals sometimes have colour diagrams.

  14. Paul_Murphy

    Getting there.

    A better screen (not fussed about response time, but daylight reading is a must), and - the biggie - a longer battery life and it would be the best so far.

    I like the fact that at 7 inches I can probably slip it into my pocket during my commute.

    I would also like to know that it can play music at the same time as reading.


  15. Anonymous Coward

    I've said it before . .

    . . but it bears repeating. Still no killer improvement over paper and still too many cons.


  16. Neill Mitchell

    6 hours battery life!

    My trusty Sony 505 runs for 3-4 weeks! That's using it two and a half hours a day on my commute. It was great on a 10 day trip to Florida. Didn't have to worry about carrying a charger and adapter.

    Six hours for an eBook reader is not good enough. Six hours is pushing it even if you call it an iPad type device rather than an eBook reader. I guess that's Android for you.

  17. Simon Neill


    "The whole shebang weighs one pound (0.45kg), and Pandigital claims that battery life is up to six hours when reading."

    6 hours? no thanks. Last thing I want is "Elementary dear Watson! it was the- LOW BATTERY!!"

    I'm still not sold on the kindle et al, but this really really doesn't appeal to me.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      If he says "Elementary my dear Watson" it's a fake.

      On the other hand, Roy Hudd's radio show about Sherlock Holmes had a lot more shocking things said... none of them authentic.

  18. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Presumably the display burns the power.

    Conversely, most of the cost of e-paper display devices, is the e-paper display. You pays your money...

    The novel CYBERBOOKS may be an interesting read. It's mainly a satire on the publishing and bookstore business, with sexy parts (it's fiction, actually science fiction or fantasy). A poor inventor devises a Cyberbook portable e-book reader with colour, motion and sound - in a world where no other portable electronic media devices exist, evidently - and offers it to a publisher. Short version, the rest of the dead-tree industry revolts, like in THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, but there's a twist.

    In the real world, we got PCs, laptops, PDAs, Project Gutenberg, e-book stores, Amazon, Kindle... I think Amazon stomped on the same people already that the Cyberbook product would stomp on, so those people weren't there to complain about Kindle.

  19. Lou Gosselin

    Is this device open?

    This could be a great device if the end users are not prevented from installing their own apps.

    The specs are weak, but in cases where it's sufficient that's no problem. What made the "IBM PC" so powerful wasn't it's CPU, it was the openness.

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Geez guys...

    Geez guys, pretty demanding. This isn't earth shattering, but really.. you could buy 2 of these for the price of the ipad, with cash left over; or spend more to get a black-and-white reader. It's nice to have less expensive competition. The battery life sounds pretty bad, but presumably since it's that long reading that means with the backlight on and all that.

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