We are starting to see more consumer e-reader products take the color route, and a new entrant to the market is the Pandigital e-reader.
Pandigital announced on Monday May 24th that it would branch out from its traditional color digital photo frames with the debut of its new E-Reader. Costing only $199 and available this June, this new electronic reader features a 7-inch TFT LCD color multi-touchscreen display. It measures 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches and weighs 454g (16oz). The Operating system runs Google Android and has an ARM 11 Mobile Processor. The Resolution of the device is 800 x 600 and allows great renders of your full color book shelf. Finally, the unit features WI-FI, a mini USB port, 1 GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 32 GB. It reads many popular E-Book formats such as PDF, EPUB, HTML and TXT.
The Google Android operating system allows this e-reader to surf the internet with a dedicated web browser, check email, listen to music and have access to many different applications available for download.
This device not only allows the user to connect up to the Barnes and Noble E-Book store, which currently has over a million E-Books. It also has the ability to use B&N Lendme technology, which allows users to share electronic books with each other for 14 days. The User Interface is both intuitive and customisable. It has great responsive touch screen technology.
Mary Ellen Keating of Barnes and Noble recently said in an interview that “Barnes & Noble’s strategy is to offer our content on multiple platforms, so we’re happy to power this new device and others. Nook is a dedicated e-reading device with key design, reading and in-store features that are innovative, immersive and exciting for our customers. We don’t believe our continued work with third-party partners will have any effect on our continued strong Nook sales.”
We do not see this new E-Reader as serious competition for the Barnes and Noble Nook. Although the Pandigital e-reader will be cheaper than the Nook, which retails for around $259.00 the limited distribution of it, will not pose serious risk to B&N. This seems to be the trend with allot of the new Tablets and Slates coming out in LCD form that hype the e-reader factor. Many New Slates debuting from China and the USA do not see big advertising campaigns or high production which limits their ability to catch on in the market place.
Despite the fact, that according to the press release pictures, this looks like a very affordable unit ($200.00) and it does have a content distribution system with Barnes and Noble, we will have to judge the merits on this device when more information comes out. Such as, What Version of Google Android will the device use? Will it use the new Froyo 2.2 Android OS? Will it have access to the Android Marketplace, allowing third party e-book alternatives such as Kobo, Amazon, or Sony? If the answer is YES to all of the above, this might be a great BUY.