I got a chance to check out Pandigital’s new 9 inch tablet the other night. The tablet is positioned as an eBook reader, but it runs Google Android and can handle third party applications. What’s interesting about this model is that it comes with free AT&T wireless access — for downloading eBooks from the Barnes & Noble digital book store. The 3G wireless won’t let you surf the web or run other internet-connected apps. Still, $279 for a tablet with even limited free 3G wireless access is interesting.
The tablet joins Pandigital’s existing 7 inch model. Aside from the larger screen and 3G modem, the two models are pretty similar. They each have 2GB of storage, an SDHC card slot, support for EPUB and PDF eBooks as well as MP3, AAC, and WAV audio files, and a mini-USB slot.
Interestingly, the 7 inch model has a higher resolution display, at 800 x 600 pixels. The 9 inch tablet has an 800 x 480 pixel screen. On the plus side, the 9 inch tablet has 802.11n WiFi, while the smaller model tops out at 802.11g. But the 9 inch model feels kind of big and heavy for an eBook reader. While the 7 inch tablet weighs about 12 ounces, while the 9 inch model weighs 20 ounces, or about 1.25 pounds.