First look at Pandigital’s 9″ Android tablet (video)

I bought this tablet from QVC.com as soon as it showed up last week, and it arrived last night. I have to say that I'm really pleased with it.

The video is at the end.

Hardware

First let me pin down some technical details. The product page says it has a 9" (800x480) screen, and just based on my eyeball estimation I'd say that's probably correct. According to the settings menu, this tablet is running Eclair (Android v2.0). (I  confirmed this with the Slideme app store app.)  It has Wifi, accelerometer, 2GB Flash, a SD card slot, a speaker, and a stylus. The power and volume buttons are on the right side, and the card slot and USB port is on top.

It shipped with a 4GB SD card and a case. I'm glad that they included a case, but I do wish it didn't stink so much. You can tell it's made from cheap plastic. But on the upside you can get at the card slot and all the ports without removing the case, and the case does have a kickstand for landscape mode.

The touchscreen works well, and so do the 4 buttons.  The screen resolution might seem low (just over 100 ppi), but I'm not bothered. I do think higher would be better, but I'm happy with this screen. And I like the general shape of the tablet. It has about the same dimensions as one of the larger hardback books.

This tablet reminded me why I liked 9" screens over 7" screens. It's just so much bigger that you can see more at one time. With that in mind, I'm not sure that the 9" Novel will be better at web browsing. The 7" Novel as an extra 120 pixels in width, and while that's only a 25% increase it makes a significant difference.

Here's the 9" Novel with the  7" Novel.This should give you a pretty good idea how big it is.

Apps

This tablet ships with the same reading app as the other Novel tablets, unfortunately. I've never liked it, but since I can install other reading apps I don't care. It didn't ship with an app store, so the first thing I did was install SlideMe. I don't have much in the way of apps yet, but I did install Aldiko without any problems. I also just got the Kindle app working (it couldn't find my Wifi before).

Aldiko and Kindle app are both just running just fine.

Check out the picture below to see the apps that ship with the tablet.

Video and Audio

I haven't done much yet, but I did run the sample video that Pandigital included. It was shot at 640x480 (30fps), and the tablet appears to be dropping about a third of the frames. I wasn't expecting it to be a PMP, but I'm still a little disappointed.

Video

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

12 Comments

  1. Quentyn1 December, 2010

    The video is set to private, mate.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great1 December, 2010

      Thanks.
      Fixed it.

      Reply
  2. Jeff1 December, 2010

    Still says private.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great1 December, 2010

      Press F5 to refresh your browser. I double checked and it’s public.

      Reply
  3. gous4 December, 2010

    It’s appeared on Bed, Bath & Beyond’s website as well.
    Appears as if Pandigital has got one of the best retail distribution networks, at least on their ereaders. At last count I had thirteen companies selling it online or instore. Walmart, Best Buy, Frys, Walgreens, JC Penney, KMart etc, etc.

    Reply
  4. gous4 December, 2010

    Ah just saw their retail partner list –

    Poor sales won’t be due to availability…

    Reply
  5. Tom5 February, 2011

    How did you get the kindle app to work I have been fighting it for 4 days

    Reply
    1. Dave5 February, 2011

      I had the same problem and I found out that I hadn’t registered my device at the amazon web site – it’s free and no commitment at all. The Novel shows up with a weird identifier but after I did that, I turned on wi-fi and my Novel synched and I was able to load Kindle ebooks from various sites on the Internet and you may also be able to get them from Amazon – don’t know about that. Try it.

      Reply
  6. Katie28 May, 2011

    How do you get Kindle and games on it?
    Ive downloaded the firmware from the pandigital website (Canadian Version)

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder28 May, 2011

      Read the post here (scroll down to the finding apps section).
      http://the-digital-reader.com/2010/12/25/getting-started-with-a-tablet/

      Reply
  7. Rob28 August, 2011

    I have the Pandigital 9″ tablet and was wonering how you got Aldiko to install? All I get everytime I try to install it is a parse error there is a problem parsing the package.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder28 August, 2011

      Yeah, I have an older copy of Aldiko 2.0. It works on v1.6 and above, while the official app requires v2.1.

      Reply

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