Video: Hands-On With Android-Based Pandigital Multimedia Novel 9 Tablet / eReader
This week at CES we got a peek at Pandigital’s new tablet, the Multimedia Novel 9. This 9-inch tablet looks very similar to the original Pandigital Novel released last year. However, there are some key differences both inside and out. The big one being the addition of wireless connectivity through AT&T.
Alongside 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Novel 9 will also be able to download books from the Barnes & Noble app via mobile wireless. However, unlike the 3G on the Kindle or Nook, users can only access this connection when downloading books, not for anything else. It’s a compromise that likely keeps this feature free.
The tablet runs Android 2.1, this time unhindered by a closed architecture. That means users will be able to sideload their own apps and enjoy a bit more freedom. It won’t be able to access the official Android Market, but Pandigital will include the SlideME market app.
Design wise, the front of the device now features hardware buttons — something we wished we’d had on the first Novel. You get the standard Home, Menu and Back buttons. Instead of Search, there’s a Forward button on the right for turning pages in books. You can also still turn pages by swiping the screen. Tucked into the bottom corner is a stylus, as the display is still resistive, not capacitive. We noted better functionality than we saw on the original Novel, but we’ll save our final judgment when we get more time with in later this month.
Inside there’s 2GB of internal memory and up top the full-size SD card slot will accept up to 32GB, so you’ll never run out of space. The 9-inch display has a low, 800 x 480 resolution, which is a bit of a disappointment. No word on the chip running things inside.
The Novel 9 will be at many of the same retailers as the Novel — Best Buy and Kohl’s are expected — and will cost $279 for the version with cellular connection and around $219 for Wi-Fi only.
Watch our quick hands-on with the device below and tell us what you think. We should be getting these in for review later this month.