Yes, it’s basically the same as the Pandigital Novel. The sizes are virtually identical, according to the Cruz spec page:
Pandigital Novel: 5.5″ x 7.5″ x 0.5″
Cruz Reader: 5.6″ x 7.55″ x 0.57″
What makes this better is that they appear not to have locked down Android at all. And this confirms it has Android 2.0, which was only a rumor on the Pandigital Novel.
So, allow me to change my mind. If you’re looking for an Android tablet, skip the Pandigital Novel if you have any reticence about being able to install a different driver and then bugger about with installing apps via a command line. Instead, get the Cruz Reader. It has Kobo Reader installed on it, but that shouldn’t prevent adding Barnes & Noble’s eReader (when they finally make that available for Android), Aldiko, FBReader, or anything else for Android.
Remember too: This is a resistive screen. Don’t count on something like this to enter text or to tweet from!
Ah, but Velocity Micro has another tablet too: the Cruz Tablet.
This looks like an improved Camangi WebStation. It claims to have a capacitive screen — but it’s also only 800 x 480 versus the 800 x 600 of the Reader. And it’s $100 more expensive.
Android was supposed to debut with tablets running a kick-ass Tegra2 CPU. These are not them. If those Tegra-based tablets are still coming, they’re bound to be at least double the price of these.
No matter what comes out with Android, none of them will be an iPad. But still, for anyone who has been curious about Android but doesn’t want the expense of a phone contract, the Cruz Reader offers an inexpensive opportunity to play around.