Pandigital's Cheap, Color E-Reader

By  |  Monday, May 24, 2010 at 11:23 am

I keep saying that I expect e-readers to get cheaper–and that I wish a manufacturer would dump monochrome E-Ink for a color display and see how consumers respond. And now Pandigital, best known for its photo frames, has announced the Digital Novel. At $199, it’s meaningfully cheaper than the $259 Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook, but this Android-based gizmo packs a color touchscreen. (Pandigital scrimped on memory–the Novel has only 1GB, though that’s expandable through SD cards–and left out 3G connectivity in favor of Wi-Fi.)

Major plus: Pandigital’s e-bookstore is powered by Barnes & Noble, so you get access to the same array of reading materials that’s available on the Nook. At six hours, the battery life is inevitably much, much shorter than that of E-Ink devices, but I’ll be curious to see whether a critical mass of folks are willing to recharge more often in return for a bright, backlit color display.

I haven’t seen a Novel in person, but Cnet’s Donald Bell shows one off in this video, and it looks…okay. Kind of like a smaller iPad wannabee that can’t run apps. Pandigital says it’ll go on sale “soon.”



3 Comments For This Post

  1. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    It is great that they built a color reader. Most books are actually in color, and even the ones that aren’t have color covers.

  2. Paul Says:

    That is all well and good for someone who reads ten minutes at a time, but the purpose of the the grayscale, not monochrome, screens of eink readers is to recreate the look of printed text on paper, the extended battery life is just a welcome side effect of the technology. It is much more comfortable to read for several hours at a time on my nook then it is to stare at an lcd screen for the same amount of time. I had used my cell phone as a reader on the past as i work overnights and after an hour or so my eyes feel as though they want to bleed, now that there are several options available under the $150 pricemark, I expect to see a significant increase I'm the popularity of these devices.

  3. Brian D Says:

    Doubtful. E-ink still uses less power and is still easier to read. Remember, the human eye is the constant in all this…

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  1. The e(lite)Reader « The Informative Says:

    […] Pandigital’s Cheap, Color E-Reader ( […]

  2. Barnes & Noble Doubles Down on the Nook Says:

    […] iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, PC, and Mac, and it powers the e-book stores for devices from Nook competitors such as Pandigital. The Times doesn’t say whether the new boutiques will spotlight any of these other ways to […]