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Pandigital Novel: A Color eBook Reader that Runs Android Apps

by on May 24, 2010
in Phones and Mobile, News, Computers and Software, Tablets & eReaders :: 322 comments

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pandigital novel homepandigital novel photo appFirst and foremost the Pandigital Novel is a color ebook reader. Its 7-inch color resistive display (meaning you have to exert some pressure) provides a very appealing view of the Barnes & Noble online bookstore and a nice showcase for your library. You can even create bookshelves to categorize your titles. The model I saw was a pre-production unit, so everything wasn't working. That said, reading is similar to using the ebook reader apps found on the iPad, though swiping to turn a page is more cumbersome with the resistive screen.

What sets the Pandigital Novel apart from other ereaders, though, is its operating system–Android. When the Novel ships next month ($199), it will come loaded with a web browser, an alarm clock, calendar, a few games, a photo and movie viewer and music player (yes you can read and listen to music). But in a few months, Pandigital will release a firmware update that will let the Novel support the thousands of apps developed for Android, making it an entry-level iPad competitor in the tablet computer market.

The Novel has built-in Wi-Fi, a 4-hour battery (or 6 with Wi-Fi off) and 1GB of internal memory, which is expandable via its SD card slot. It also comes with a stand so you can use the device as a picture frame while charging.

Below you'll see video I shot of the Novel last week in its optional case, which also comes in red and black. The initial device will be white, with a 2GB black model to follow.

UPDATE: June 10. 2009 - There was so many great questions brought up in the discussion below that we asked forum that we asked Jason Topel, Pandigital's VP of Marketing and Product Development, to help clarify.  Here's what he had to say:

Hi Everyone – Sorry for the delayed response. Thank you for the forum Suzanne and for the excitement/support from everyone. I’ll look to answer as many comments and questions as possible.

It runs Android 2.0 but Pandigital couldn’t confirm whether it would run the Kindle app….. Also, returning to my quest to learn more about Android, I read somewhere that Google only makes Android apps available for phones—does that mean that despite this Android OS on the Novel, buyers won’t be able to download new apps until Google decides otherwise?
The initial release of the device will not run external apps. We are engaged and pursuing on multiple fronts the goal of including support of the Android Marketplace and the loading of apps in a future firmware (FW) update.

What about PDF’s, mobi & txt files?... Also, any plans to make it work with PDB eReader files?...
In addition to the PDF and EPUB file types, we are working to broaden the native file format support.

I assume then that you could also run Google chrome browser on this device too or is that the browser it comes pre-loaded with?
The Pandigital Novel uses an Android browser –not officially Chrome.

The features of 2.2 are outstanding, and if this $200 device can support Android 2.2, you’re in for a real treat!.... ? I don’t recall the hardware specs, but curious if a 2.2 update will be made available (or can we install our own manual update of it)….
Agreed – we’re working on it….

if multi-touch isn’t supported (not sure?)
Sorry –not at this time.

I’m not sure what Firmware upgrade this is for the Novel, but I’m curious if anybody else has seen this page or knows further details.
The FW updates are being released regularly to further improve the device performance –with future updates planned for adding further functionality.

Sorry….Need to skip-ahead some posts here. I’ll look to come back and catch those questions I’ve missed soon.
From George Malley on June 06, 2010 :: 7:38 pm
2. the white DOES NOT support landscape orientation, but the black will.
We encountered an issue which arose over time/circumstances. Both the white and the black builds support landscape orientation and this will be activated again in a future firmware update.

3. The black 2gb model will be avail in “late July”
Please look for our press release on this product in a few weeks.

4. The black 2gb model is not merely a different color and with an extra gig. I had asked “since a 4 GB SD card could usually be purchased for around $10, how much more could a 2GB model be over a 1gb. The black one is thinner, lighter, has a smaller (or no) lip/raised edge (thus thinner) and is more advanced tech than the white. For example, it will support landscape reading and more.
The black model will provide an option to users who may prefer the matt-finish screen instead of the edge-to-edge glass styling. Feature-wise they will be comparable.

5. Neither the white nor black will have the physical hardware capable of supporting a cell connection in the future (ie edge or 3g)
Our current plans do not include a cellular model in this size.

6. Neither has a browser that supports flash or java
Correct – We are working toward an Android 2.2 update which will incorporate HTML5 as our avenue for a richer web browsing experience.

7. Neither will have access to the android app store or the ability to run apps beyond those loaded originally. Of course, this could change, but at present, the white is launched and on the market and the black is in it’s final tweaking and testing and neither support android apps nor are they actively planning it.
As noted above - The initial release of the device will not run external apps. We are engaged and pursuing on multiple fronts the goal of including support of the Android Marketplace and the loading of apps in a future firmware (FW) update.
 



Discussion loading

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I got the black one

From Taylor on January 21, 2011 :: 9:26 pm

I got the black one for Christmas. I have enjoyed this product since, but there is one problem. It wont let me watch anything on youtube. Can somebody please help me? I have tried everything but nothing worked!!!

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Watching movies or Youtube on the Pandigital Novel

From Tony M on December 18, 2011 :: 6:36 am

You can watch movies on VEOH with the pandigital novel by downloading the “Real Player android app” (it works good on VEOH site) also you can try downloading the “Youtube android app” to watch youtube videos. You can try “skyfire android app” also to watch videos and movies ( will work with a few sites). You can find these apps free at http://www.freewarelovers.com/android

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Okay! Then my 2 7

From DB on January 21, 2011 :: 11:26 pm

Okay! Then my 2 7 and 9 inch are being returned and there are no games either.

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The reason you can not

From Tony on January 22, 2011 :: 1:43 am

The reason you can not see a youtube video is because it is a flash program.  Only version 2.2 will play flash.

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Ok I bought the PDN

From Kat'smom on January 31, 2011 :: 12:38 pm

Ok I bought the PDN this past weekend, noticing that there are android apps out there that I can put on this, how do I go about it. I ahve tried to download the platform to Sd card, but page never comes up. I am so confused about how to make this owrk, my daughter and I love it for the reading, but we would like to have more games to play…..any help would be appresicated…thanks a million.

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You need to give the

From Tony on January 31, 2011 :: 7:13 pm

You need to give the complete make and model of the item you bought.  You just can’t change operating system on a whim.  Wish you could it would save me a lot of time and headache.

If you have a Pandigital Novel then read the total blog and it will give you how to change to the android system with the market app.

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Sorry, I have the Pandigital

From Kat's mom on February 01, 2011 :: 12:24 am

Sorry, I have the Pandigital Novel (white) am wanting to know if I go thru putting this Android download will we ba able to download more games and such?

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Hey all what happened to

From Tony on February 01, 2011 :: 10:31 am

Hey all what happened to the latest blog?

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In answer to the latest

From Tony on February 01, 2011 :: 10:34 am

In answer to the latest blog, yes if you do what I listed earlier about going to that website and installing that android version it will give you the android market where you can get more games (alot for free) and other apps for multimedia.  Just a reminder you need to upgrade the Memory cards both internal (MicroSD) and external (SD)
because you will run out of storage space.

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Still can not see any

From Tony on February 01, 2011 :: 8:24 pm

Still can not see any post past June 6th.  I hope this gets fixed quickly.

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Help

From Don on February 01, 2011 :: 9:16 pm

Downloaded open firmware from pandigital Android now no books or reader???

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Operating System Update Available

From Chris on February 01, 2011 :: 11:58 pm

I went to the Pandigital site and updated my PD Novel with the 20110114 version.  I lost my reader apps but I have been able to load android apps to replace the reader as well as numerous other apps.  The new system does not have a Market app so it has been a challenge to hunt down apps that allow you to download .apk files.  You then transfer them to the download folder on the resident memory of novel and use the file manager to access the .apk file to install the app.  Still learning android operating system but it is fairly intuitive.

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Do not go to the

From Tony on February 02, 2011 :: 7:34 am

Do not go to the Pandigal site.  Look about dec blogs there is a web site for the white and black novel that will give you everything you need.  Pandigital does not give you the Android Market.

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aggravated

From mom2kat on February 04, 2011 :: 1:14 pm

ok i have done the instructions just like it said now, I have no book, cannot down load anything from android apps. I main ly bought this for the book reading and now I can’t read my book. How do I get my machine back to the original???? I do not want the android junk on it anylonger. I have tried everything and nothing is working. Please help!!!!!!

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First you must confirm that

From Tony on February 04, 2011 :: 2:31 pm

First you must confirm that when it boots up does it give you an option of home or another system.  If it does go to the other system.  That is the original bookstore. 
Second:  go to the system setup and reset to default settings.  This will then allow you after a reboot to reset for the android market. 

If you want to just reset as it was.. go to Pandigital site and download the upgrade setting and do what it says.  That will take you back to the orginal android system.

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Resetting back to the Original Firmware

From Chris on February 04, 2011 :: 11:28 pm

If you plug your unit into a PC USB you the interanl memory and the SD card look like independent drives to the PC. Check both drives.  You are looking for a folder called “firmwares”.  If this folder exist is should have both the new zip file “SH20_20110114_K_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP” and the original “S10_11_19_K_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP”.  Copy the original file to the SD card so that it is the only .zip file on the SD card.  Now shutdown and do the bootstrap boot of the Pandigital (hold the volume + button while holding the power on for 5 seconds).  Once the unit powers up you can release the volupe and pwower buttons. The unit should then reload the original firmware. 

If you performed the update using the Pandigital site the update program will create a backup of your original system and you can find the firmware folder in the backup folder “Pandigital_Backup” and then look in the dated backup flder under this folder.  Copy the appropriate zip file to the SD card and do the bootstrap above to make the unit re-initialize with the original firmware. 

In the resent days I have found a better system download for the Pandigital.  Go to
http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/pandigital-novel-white-firmware/6533-rom-hybrid-stock-11-19-op-1-11-a.html
I downloaded the zip file V4.0GE its great.  It gives you all the functionality of the original reader and the Android Market app with many others.

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movie on pandigital?

From Perrya on February 14, 2011 :: 12:00 am

hi. i was just wondering, my dad bought me this pandigital and i can’t watch youtube or other watching site…like veoh…on them. do u know a way to solve this problem. please, cause if this can’t watch movie on them then i’ll tell my dad to return it. please and thank you.

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watching movies or youtube on pandigital novel

From tony M on December 18, 2011 :: 6:12 am

You can watch movies on VEOH with the pandigital novel by downloading the “Real Player android app” (it works good on VEOH site) also you can try downloading the “Youtube android app” to watch youtube videos. You can try “skyfire android app” also to watch videos and movies ( will work with a few sites). You can find these apps free at http://www.freewarelovers.com/android

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I do not know if

From Tony on February 14, 2011 :: 9:10 am

I do not know if the latest upload that is listed in the earlier blog will do flash or not.  I uploaded the eclair version of android 2.1 and it willnot do flash.  As soon as version 3.0 (honeycomb) is released I will try that.  It will do flash.  Only the version of android 2.2 and higher do flash and that is what is on youtube.

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Has anyone downloaded the new

From Kent on February 26, 2011 :: 8:56 pm

Has anyone downloaded the new firmware(from PD)for the white model?  Supposedly gives you android and retains the original e reader function too.  Do you need to crack the case and increase memory?  Any comments would be appreciated.

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Am I just that stupid?

From Holly on March 05, 2011 :: 5:38 pm

Okay so I have the black 9” and bought it in Canada (apparently they are different than those you get in the states), for some reason it has the option to put in a password (in the settings) but I can’t figure out how to lock it to keep others out!  Is there some sort of special trick to it or something?
Also I really want to update the android but have read that the Canadian version completely locks down if you try anything!
Please help me if you can,comem as non-techy as they come!

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Pandigital - 7" Red (QVC)

From Barb on March 07, 2011 :: 5:40 am

I have the Pandigital Red that I purchased from QVC.  I talked to Pandigital and they told me I have the latest version of software and no update is needed.  I still cannot figure out how to get Android Apps on it.  (Nor do I know where to get them from) Can anyone help??  Thanks!!!

Here is my Serial Number and Model Number

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Pandigital 7" Red (QVC)

From Barb on March 07, 2011 :: 5:42 am

Sorry.. here is the model & serial numbers:

PRD7T40WR1 7040081110108503

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What pandigital will not tell

From Tony on March 07, 2011 :: 9:20 am

What pandigital will not tell you is that you cannot get android apps using thier software. 
You need to first find out having the red model which one you really have.  Pandigital makes only two models… One White…. One Black….
there are two versions of Android 2.1 on the web to upgrade and how to do it by reading earlier blogs on this site.  Pandigital may tell you what hardware you have so you can read earlier posts on what software you can upgrade to.  Please do not plan to do games like on pogo.com because this is not a multi-tasking machine and pogo requires you to open two windows at a time to play.  They are working on a version for these little tablets.

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Sorry but it doesn't matter

From Tony on March 07, 2011 :: 9:23 am

Sorry but it doesn’t matter what country your from.  Pandigital will not tell you how to change to the full version of android because they don’t what you to get other software except what they want.  That is why I don’t like any Apple products because when I purchase something, I want it to do things I want, not what they want.

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qvd pandigital from dec'10

From Sherry Jordon on April 06, 2011 :: 7:10 pm

i also have model #PRD7T40WR1 and you can’t get any updates on firmware.  it is what it is….i fear i have been taken.  it cost me more and i got less. i will never buy another one.  there are so many different kinds (models) out there, pandigital support doesn’t even know what they’re taking about. i have the 1.6 version, not the 2.0. and firmware isn’t out for that version, doubt there ever will be.

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So it's basically a tablet.

From Sonne on May 12, 2011 :: 10:38 am

So it’s basically a tablet. I was reading an interesting article the other day that talked about how eReaders are decreasing in popularity due to the tablet’s ability to multitask. People want less gadgets, and for them to be able to do multiple things. But unlike tablets, or even cell phone and laptop batteries, eReaders have amazing battery lives. My Kindle can endure several weeks of regular use without needing to be recharged. The six hour battery life of the Pandigital is abysmal.

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Not just an ereader

From Tony on May 12, 2011 :: 5:00 pm

In November I purchased this as an ereader for my wife.  Now I am a computer tech with some knowledge of software and hardware.  If you check further back in December you will see that the upgrade I did with this white Pandigital was not with the authority of the company.  I have put on Android version 2.1 on the reader and it works great.  I am going to upgrade this to version 2.2 in the near future.  It is not a IPad.  It does not cost $500.00.  But as an ereader with the ability to go on the web and surf it is light weight and great to use.  If I am successful in puting on 2.2 then I will have to ability to multitask.  But for under $200 dollars (more mememory)  It is a great thing for the wife who loves to read.  She has ability to get her email from 2 different email servers.  She has the ability to go to Android Market and get more apps and a great reader for both the Amazon and B&N stores not counting the Adobe store. 
Call it what you want but if you want you can do alot for under $200 dollars.

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Tony...???... Can you help me?

From Jenna on May 12, 2011 :: 5:12 pm

Tony, could you help me upgrade my software? Or is it something only a Tech would understand? I woudl LOVE to be able to do more with my Ereader!

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It is not too hard.

From Tony on May 12, 2011 :: 5:22 pm

It is not too hard.  You will need a larger Micro SD card for the inside of the reader.. But first I need to know what color do you have.  Each color has different upgrades.

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I have the Black Pandigital

From Jenna on May 12, 2011 :: 5:27 pm

I have the Black Pandigital 9” ereader. What size SD card? Thanks for your help! Can I get your email and we can figure this out?

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I will have to do

From Tony on May 12, 2011 :: 5:35 pm

I will have to do some research.  What I upgraded was a 7” WHITE pandigital.  The hardware is different.  I will do some research and get back to you.  I don’t know enough about the 9” model to give you too much advice.  Please be patient and I will get back to you I hope tomorrow morning.  If you want you can contact me at tomondl@yahoo.com.  That is my secondary email address just incase someone want to spam me.

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White model

From Kent on May 12, 2011 :: 5:42 pm

Tony-
Interested in your experience with Android.  Why do you recommend a larger micro SD card?  I’ve got all this stuff on my desktop with 1 GB and no problems.
Kent

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Memory

From Tony on May 12, 2011 :: 8:23 pm

Our reader isn’t just used for games and other things.  My wife has like 30 or 40 books already downloaded.  She loves to read.  Beside you have to remember there is still the need for virtural memory for some games and apps.

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plz

From clifton williams on May 16, 2011 :: 7:40 pm

can u watch put movies on here via sd card? also can we watch videos on line such as youtube?

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I have the white one

From Layla on May 30, 2011 :: 12:22 am

i really want to able to watch youtube on this device..if possible can i get some help..i love reading in it and playing some games..i hope someone can help me

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you can download youtube app.

From Eileen Schoreck on October 25, 2011 :: 11:48 pm

you can download youtube app.

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Watching movies onthe Pandigital Novel

From Tony M on December 18, 2011 :: 6:17 am

You can watch movies on VEOH with the pandigital novel by downloading the “Real Player android app” (it works good on VEOH site) also you can try downloading the “Youtube android app” to watch youtube videos. You can try “skyfire android app” also to watch videos and movies ( will work with a few sites). You can find these apps free at http://www.freewarelovers.com/android

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Youtube

From Tony on May 30, 2011 :: 5:19 am

There has been no successful upgrade to android version 2.2.  That and 2.3 is the only version that will allow you to play flash.  There has been several that have tried but the problems are not worth the try.

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Downloading games

From B Aldrich on July 01, 2011 :: 10:51 pm

I have tried a number of different ways to download different games and not succeeded.  I do know that it takes a SDK format for games and I have used that format. I have tried downloading to my computer then to the Pandigital there is no folder for games. I put a folder in and did it with out a folder.  I have put the game on a external SD card to read it from it and still no luck.  I would appreciate some help.
I like the white color pandigital very much and have not had any problems with it.  My husband and I both own one.

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Downloading Games

From Tony on July 02, 2011 :: 8:32 am

Without knowing what version of android you are useing it is almost impossible to help you.  If you are useing the version from pandigital you need to realize that it is version 1.5 and you are very limited on what you can do.  If you have the white pandigital novel then you can hack it with version 2.0 and 2.1.  There is a version 2.3 but I have not used it.

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download games

From B. Aldrich on July 02, 2011 :: 9:07 am

Thank you for the reply.  I do have a white pandigital novel color I do not know what version how do I hack it with version 2.0 and 2.1.  Do I need to put a folder in for games or put them on a sd card I have added. I really appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you

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movies

From karen on July 24, 2011 :: 1:12 pm

Im trying to figure out how to download and watch movies on my 7” pandigital planet…....any help is welcome

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QUESTION

From TyseaTylerKiel on August 14, 2011 :: 5:26 pm

Is there a place where I can put a memory card?
1gb probably won’t hold everything I want.

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Memory

From Tony on August 14, 2011 :: 11:07 pm

TyseaTylerKiel
What model pandigital do you have?  The White has an internal micro SD card that can be changed.  The Black or colored model has internal flash memory that is not changeable.

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I have the white one.

From TyseaTylerKiel on August 16, 2011 :: 11:42 pm

I have the white one.

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handwriting on screen

From aung on August 30, 2011 :: 11:12 am

Dear all,
i wants to install freenote handwriting android software to my pdn 7 inches,2Gb canadian version.May I writes with stylus on screen?
because this is my first ebook reader and I dont want destroy it.

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Question about the pandigital?

From Annie on September 13, 2011 :: 7:56 am

I just bought one of those Pandigital Novel with Droid apps. and I’m wondering why it only works being mobile and dosen’t show any of my friends or my picture’s? I’ve tried to install the facebook apps and it want let me. any information would be thankful..  smile

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PANDIGITAL MULTIMEDIA 7 E READER

From MA RIA on September 22, 2011 :: 10:04 am

HI! I JUST BOUGHT A PANDIGITAL COLOR 7. I’M TRYING TO FIND OUT HOW TO TRANFER SOME OF THE GAMES AND BOOKS INTO MY SD CARD. I DON’T WANT TO FILL UP THE INTERNAL MEMORY. CAN SOME ONE TELL ME HOW TO DO IT?
THANK YOU MARIA

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documents

From Delaney Sullivan on September 26, 2011 :: 2:20 pm

I am a student and i was wondering if i could edit and write documents with this device. So like doe it have a microsoft word or something similar to that

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