04/10/2013

Pandigital Novel e-reader

Picture: Pandigital
A few months ago, I bought an e-reader. As you may know, I read a lot. I've collected a bunch of e-books in different formats like EPUB, PDF, RTF and TXT. As I dont't like reading on a computer - not even on a laptop or a netbook - I went looking for an e-reader. My wishes were: a good screen, extendible memory and long battery life.

On Marktplaats (sort of ebay in the Netherlands) I found a used Pandigital Novel. It came its original packaging, included the manual and had nearly tracks of use. As it was designed for the American market, I need an adapter (also included) to charge it directly. However, there's also the possibility to charge its battery through a USB connection.

Along functionality to organize and read books (duhh), it's also possible to store and listen to music and to keep and view pictures. Furthermore, it contains a calendar, a dictionary and even a game (Sudoku). And last but not least: there's a WiFi connection, a web browser and an e-mail programme.

On my computer, the books are stored in Calibre, an open source e-book collection and reading application. I connected the e-reader to my PC and copied some books from Calibre to the Novel's library. It's even possible to convert files to EPUB although books with 'difficult' layouts will transform strangely. Unfortunately, tags aren't copied. However, there are several manners to sort the books.

Reading on the Novel is easy: open the book, zoom if necessary and turn pages by the screen or - as I like - a button. One can bookmark pages, make notes and highlight text. I used the e-reader at home for several weeks and I liked it. Texts are easy to read whether being in- or outdoors, in daylight or artificial light. Some PDF's are hardly to read as one has to scroll, not only vertically but also horizontally, e.g. every line. WiFi works well but browsing the web is not a joy as the pages build slow. Pictures however, are shown very good (in black and white).

When going on holidays, I had to decide whether or not to take the e-reader with me. We like camping so we carry a lot of stuff. An e-reader is more efficient than a dozen books. But, will it be possible to charge it? A friend of mine took his e-reader last year with him... and broke it. He hadn't anything to read during that holiday! I choose the safe way: I took two paperbacks with me along the e-reader. I had a lot of fun using it. For the first time I could choose which books to read! I had to charge it every four or five days. Once the Novel needed a reset. Strange but not a problem: being a Scout and lifehacker, I always carry a paperclip in my moneybelt.

All in all, I like the Pandigital Novel. The screen is well readible in many circumstances, it's easy to manage my books along with Calibre and the Novel has a good battery life. Reading PDF's is not always a pleasure. I don't use the e-reader for other purposes like web browsing, listening music and playing games.

Do you use an e-reader? Do you read books on a tablet and/or a smartphone?

Happy reading!

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