Digital photo frame maker bringing color to e-books with new reader

Pandigital, a company that specialises in digital photo frames is set to release a $199.99 color e-book reader.

The company unveiled its e-reader on May 24, highlighting the benefits of its compact new book reading device.

Pandigital Novel is a seven inch e-reader that comes with integrated access to Barnes & Noble's eBookstore.

The device is well positioned in the quickly-expanding e-reader market; it is slightly smaller (and much more affordable) than Apple's 9 inch touchscreen tablet and lets consumers read magazines, books and rich multimedia in full color, unlike Amazon's grayscale Kindle.

In addition to its full color LCD touchscreen (800 x 600 resolution) display, the book reading device comes with WiFi connectivity, multimedia capabilities and up to six hours of battery life.

Like Archos' Home 7 tablet, the Pandigital Novel is powered by Android, giving users access to social media sites, news, and weather. People can also use the e-reader to check their email with the built-in email app, view photos and video files and keep up to date with their appointments with the on board calendar and alarm clock.

There is 1GB of on board memory that can be expanded via the device's SD/MMC memory card slot (supports cards up to 32GB) and users can transfer files using the built-in mini-USB port.

Pandigital have formed a partnership with the world's largest bookseller, Barnes & Noble (B&N), enabling readers to access and shop for the more than one million e-books, magazines and newspapers on the B&N eBookstore. Users can also download a large variety of free e-books and more than half a million free classics from the store.

In late 2009 B&N unveiled a split screen e-reading device that combined a smaller color touchscreen with an energy-saving e-ink screen called the Nook. Despite offering their own e-reader Barnes & Noble are keen to see their content on e-reading devices across the board. The company has recently released mobile and PC B&N e-reading applications that enable consumers to read their e-books on a range of different devices.

Mary Ellen Keating, a Barnes & Noble spokesperson, told CNET, "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 eReading 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."

The Pandigital Novel is priced at $199.99 and will be released in to retailers across the US in June.

http://www.pandigital.net/pandigitalnovel

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