View Full Version : Pandigital Novel first impressions


Nate the great
06-06-2010, 05:28 PM
I just posted my first impressions of the new Pandigital Novel over on my blog (http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2010/06/06/pandigital-novel-first-impressions/). Here is the first part (it's pretty good summary):
This post is a collection of first impressions. I usually post this on the day I get a device, and then post a full review a coupe weeks later. If I were you, I wouldn't decide for or against the Novel based on this post. At best, you might use this post to help you decide to wait.

I bought my Novel at Kohl's. Someone posted a comment yesterday and said that most stores now have it in stock. At my local store it was behind the jewelry counter.

So what do I think? I'm not happy with it, and here's why:

* touchscreen is funky
* Wifi is broken
* the Novel is slow to respond to input
* you can't charge over USB
* few options in reader
* few organization options in library

Before you read further, I want to make it clear that I don't slam an e-reader without good reason. Everything in this post is written based on having the Novel in front of me. I didn't say very many nice things about the Novel because I couldn't find any. I actually went into this with high hopes, and I'm disappointed. The Novel is a rather unexceptional device.
continued here (http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2010/06/06/pandigital-novel-first-impressions/)

Boston
06-06-2010, 07:26 PM
:thanks: for the preview and for a saving me the hassle of buying/returning.

While I didn't have high expectations, I did hope it serve as an interim basic multi-purpose device (as I await some of the other devices due to be release later this year).

Seems like even with the Kohl's discount, this will just be a waste of money.

nikkie
06-06-2010, 08:37 PM
* touchscreen is funky
* Wifi is broken
* the Novel is slow to respond to input
* you can't charge over USB
* few options in reader
* few organization options in library


Hmm....Of these, the last 3 also apply to iPad/iBooks. Also, you seem concerned about the weight, which is 2/3 of the iPad, and 4 ounces more than the nook.

Once you get the wireless figured out, I am certain you will be able to install other .apk's from the web. Most Android eReaders aren't allowed to sport the Google App store because they don't meet the requirements (nub, home button, etc). But you can still install app packages from the web.

On the wireless, is your network set up as an a/n network in compatability mode? It looks like the Novel only supports b/g/n.

The touchscreen is resistive, not capacitive like the iPad. That may be why you are so dissatisfied with it.

The fact that it is running Android alone can fix an awful lot of problems. I'm sorry to hear you are so disappointed with it.

PhishStyx
06-06-2010, 08:42 PM
Nate, are you generally speaking pro-touchscreen or anti-touchscreen and which do you prefer in touchscreens, finger touch or stylus?
(I'm not asking in a judgmental sense, but knowing where you are in that debate may clue the rest of us in on what you expect from a touchscreen.)

Nate the great
06-06-2010, 09:00 PM
Hmm....Of these, the last 3 also apply to iPad/iBooks. Also, you seem concerned about the weight, which is 2/3 of the iPad, and 4 ounces more than the nook.

Once you get the wireless figured out, I am certain you will be able to install other .apk's from the web. Most Android eReaders aren't allowed to sport the Google App store because they don't meet the requirements (nub, home button, etc). But you can still install app packages from the web.

On the wireless, is your network set up as an a/n network in compatability mode? It looks like the Novel only supports b/g/n.

The touchscreen is resistive, not capacitive like the iPad. That may be why you are so dissatisfied with it.

The fact that it is running Android alone can fix an awful lot of problems. I'm sorry to hear you are so disappointed with it.

No, I'm dissatisfied with the touchscreen because it's _slow_. I have used Android devices before. I am well aware of the difference between the way the iPhone and Android touchscreens behave.

The firmware update does appear to have fixed the calibration problem, though.

I won't need help installing apps. I have a couple dozen on hand that I've tried on previous Android tablets. I also know how and where to find APKs on the web.

My network is b/g (not n).

Nate the great
06-06-2010, 09:16 PM
Nate, are you generally speaking pro-touchscreen or anti-touchscreen and which do you prefer in touchscreens, finger touch or stylus?
(I'm not asking in a judgmental sense, but knowing where you are in that debate may clue the rest of us in on what you expect from a touchscreen.)

I am neither pro nor anti, my main criterion is that the screen works well.

I have (and read on) an iPod Touch and a SmartQ 7. I've also had other Android devices before.

ColdSun
06-06-2010, 09:19 PM
Nate,

Is the page turning speed slow? Are there buttons on the side that can be used to turn pages?

Nate the great
06-06-2010, 09:20 PM
Nate,

Is the page turning speed slow? Are there buttons on the side that can be used to turn pages?

Page turns are slow, and there are no buttons (I covered that in the full post over on my blog).

ColdSun
06-06-2010, 09:28 PM
Hrmm yeah I wanted to verify that, mostly because I was looking at the Nook picture on your site. :P

Nate the great
06-06-2010, 09:34 PM
I posted some more info here:
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2010/06/06/more-detail-on-the-pandigital-novel/

ColdSun
06-06-2010, 09:58 PM
It seems odd that the page turns are slow. My SmartQ7 turns them quite fast, as do a few other older LCD devices I have. At the same time, I wonder if you can break out of their UI and run Aldiko on it?

EDIT: Have you ever used an eBookwise-1150 (or one of its older siblings)? How heavy is it in comparison?

Nate the great
06-06-2010, 10:18 PM
It seems odd that the page turns are slow. My SmartQ7 turns them quite fast, as do a few other older LCD devices I have. At the same time, I wonder if you can break out of their UI and run Aldiko on it?

EDIT: Have you ever used an eBookwise-1150 (or one of its older siblings)? How heavy is it in comparison?

Pffft! I have an EB-1150, GEB-1150, a REB-1100, and a Rocketbook. The only one I have at hand is the Rocketbook, and it weighs about the same as the Novel.

ColdSun
06-06-2010, 10:22 PM
I have the EB-1150 and I still love it. I also miss my old REB-1100.

Anyhow, that weight doesn't seem too bad to me. I've held these older ones for a long time. The page turning thing is a big issue though. The JE-100 has a noticable delay in page turning for such a well-made device. It was actually worth putting up with though.

Boston
06-06-2010, 10:26 PM
According to this, the ability to add apps is a future enhancement

http://www.techlicious.com/blog/pandigital-novel-a-color-ebook-reader-that-run-android-apps/

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.

luqmaninbmore
06-06-2010, 11:29 PM
Could the page-turn speed be do to the eReader app? The eReader app on my G1 is definitely laggy. Does the release of the Novel mean that a B and N eReader app release for Android is immanent?

Nate the great
06-06-2010, 11:31 PM
Could the page-turn speed be do to the eReader app? The eReader app on my G1 is definitely laggy. Does the release of the Novel mean that a B and N eReader app release for Android is immanent?

I don't think it's the reading app. Page turns in the book shelf is just as slow.

Avarwen
06-07-2010, 02:00 AM
I was waiting until someone reviewed this to see if it's worth buying. I'll wait till more firmware updates come out and more reviews are made. This makes me question Augen The Book another cheap reader I was looking at buying. But with more android devices coming out I'll be bound to find something though I may have to pay more than I had planned.

ColdSun
06-07-2010, 12:38 PM
I picked up the Novel this morning. I'll post my impressions in a couple hours. :)

mtnmedic
06-08-2010, 12:59 PM
Well, I'm pretty patient and will reserve judgment until after updates are received from the manufacturer. My iPad is too heavy for my mother but she is interested in either the Nook or the Novel. She has handled the Nook and likes it. So now waiting on the Novel to arrive. I ordered it online for $199 minus 20% off (stupid CA sales tax ate up $14 of that) and 99 cents shipping for a total of $175 at Kohls. I looked again yesterday and it went up to $259.

I've handled several readers, favoring the Sony PR 700, some Hanvon units, and the Nook but settling my iPad. Also a tech guy so I'll see how the Novel works with the updates and see if Mom will like it. Slow page turns don't bother her. She has commented on how much she likes a color screen vs grayscale e-ink.

I think the Novel has a lot of promise and potential. All new gadgets have bugs and quirks but they do get worked out. The iPad was no exception. Now I love it immensely. And I'm a PC guru.

jswinden
06-08-2010, 07:22 PM
I just talked with my local Kohls in Arlington, TX and was told that the Novel will go on sale in the local store tomorrow. It will debut at $174.99 and will have a $15 mail in rebate to lower the price to 159.99, assuming you ever get the rebate. This is not the online sale, this is the in store sale that starts tomorrow, at least in my local store. My local store claims to have them in stock. I think for that price it is worth a try as it can always be returned.

ColdSun
06-08-2010, 08:46 PM
WARNING!!!!!!!

The firmware on the Pandigital site S10_06_07_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP will definately cause the wireless to malfunction. I will post a link to the other firmware which is working (with different issues but working better) S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.

Here is the link (http://www.coldsuncreations.com/S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.zip) for the 05 firmware that seems to be working much better than the newer 07. S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.zip (http://www.coldsuncreations.com/S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.zip). I will leave it up until Pandigital fixes the problem in a newer firmware.

jswinden
06-08-2010, 09:21 PM
WARNING!!!!!!!

The firmware on the Pandigital site S10_06_07_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP will definately cause the wireless to malfunction. I will post a link to the other firmware which is working (with different issues but working better) S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.

Here is the link (http://www.coldsuncreations.com/S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.zip) for the 05 firmware that seems to be working much better than the newer 07. S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.zip (http://www.coldsuncreations.com/S10_06_05_PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP.zip). I will leave it up until Pandigital fixes the problem in a newer firmware.

ColdSun, what is your opinion on the Novel? Nate seems to view it negatively. Do you think it is a good device? so-so? not worth the money? I'm considering picking one up tomorrow when they go on sale, but probably not if I get two negative reviews.

Nate the great
06-08-2010, 09:31 PM
ColdSun, what is your opinion on the Novel? Nate seems to view it negatively. Do you think it is a good device? so-so? not worth the money? I'm considering picking one up tomorrow when they go on sale, but probably not if I get two negative reviews.

look here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86132

ColdSun
06-08-2010, 09:47 PM
I say pick it up from Kohl's. You can always return it if you don't like it. There are some firmware issues, but I still think its a good device. One thing is for sure - you have to like Android, at least a little. :)

FriendOfEntropy
06-09-2010, 02:14 AM
Alright, just bought one of these online...did the 30% off to bring it down to 122.49 thing...then with the 15 buck rebate and free shipping, this will be nice. I don't see the rebate form on their site, so I guess I need to check Pandigital, or actually go in the store at Kohls tomorrow and see if they have a rebate form there.

Noah98
06-09-2010, 11:55 AM
I don't want to double post, so check out the following link concerning Kohls and the apparent recall...

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85502&page=2

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 01:08 PM
OK I just got off this phone with Pandigital tech support. I just LOVE the fact that I can talk to someone about this here in the US.

THIS IS NOT A RECALL! :) :)

Tech support told me they are simply pulling the units off the shelf at the stores and their technicians are going in and installing the latest firmware and then placing them back up for sale. So if you already have one, or have one coming in the mail, its just a matter of putting the firmware on the device. There is no hardware recall. Again, I got the sense that they are super serious about supporting this device.

jswinden
06-09-2010, 01:45 PM
OK I just got off this phone with Pandigital tech support. I just LOVE the fact that I can talk to someone about this here in the US.

THIS IS NOT A RECALL! :) :)

Tech support told me they are simply pulling the units off the shelf at the stores and their technicians are going in and installing the latest firmware and then placing them back up for sale. So if you already have one, or have one coming in the mail, its just a matter of putting the firmware on the device. There is no hardware recall. Again, I got the sense that they are super serious about supporting this device.

From a logistics standpoint this seems fishy, to say the least. Pandigital has no techs at Kohls. Kohls sales staff barely know their own names, much less how to install firmware. Therefore Pandigital will have to pay to ship the units back to them and then back to the stores. That is triple shipping costs for Pandigital! That will eat up there profits.

Also, why did they wait until the very day of release to do this? Are they attempting to dodge the advertised sale price? Or are they being run by BP's PR people. Either way it seems rather stupid. If they knew the firmware sucked they should have pulled them way back when and had them fixed in time for the debut day.

Also, their website gives instructions on how to install the firmware updates. People who buy an Android tablet will need to know how to do that anyway as Android is far from being a polished OS.

I really hope what they told you is true, but I'm extremely suspicious that there is more going on than we know about.

FriendOfEntropy
06-09-2010, 02:07 PM
To me, it sounds like a lot of bull that some local store employees made up because they read or heard about the deep discount opportunity that day, and they are either buying them for themselves, holding for friends, etc.

But who knows. My order still says "in fulfillment" status at the moment.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 02:22 PM
I have talked to two different technical people at Pandigital. Both were extremely nice and helpful, and trust me I'm no pushover. I can't say what they told me was true, but they seemed obviously irratated that Kohl's was telling people that the device was being recalled due to missing parts or defective. Both of them stressed to me that the device simply was getting new firmware loaded.

If anything I would question Kohl's with their intentions. Perhaps they sold more at lower prices than they expected and decided to slow things down? Still, from a hardware perspective, I've seen devices with a LOT more problems than this one and at a lower quality go out the door.. So... We will have to see when some of you receive your devices other than me.

pendragginp
06-09-2010, 03:22 PM
Thanks, Coldsun. I was just coming here to see if anyone knew what was going on. I went to the Kohl's website to see what kind of price they were offering and saw the We're very sorry! The product or page you tried to access cannot be found flag.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 03:33 PM
My pleasure. I'm actually heading to Kohl's in a couple hours to get the refund on price difference they offered me when I purchased it Monday (I had to pay $259 for it but was promised I could come in and get the sale price of $179 and with rebate I had it down to $159).

I love my Pandigital, but I'm not sure I'm willing to spend $259 on it. If they don't honor the price (it is even written on my receipt!) I will return it and buy it later - when the price is a little more acceptable.

jxh11215
06-09-2010, 03:35 PM
I saw here (http://www.slashgear.com/half-baked-pandigital-novel-gets-recalled-0989166/) where this device got recalled.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 03:48 PM
It is NOT a recall. It is just to update the firmware so folks have a better version before it goes out the door.

It is really sad to see them post such a biased article. Most of these people haven't even tried it yet and are willing to throw it out the door. What a shame, its a very nice reader.

Nate the great
06-09-2010, 04:14 PM
Y'all should check out their source (me), and read my comments. When a manufacturer asks for a device back that, my dear, is a recall.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 04:27 PM
I read your comments Nate. Do you support the wording used on Slashgear "half-baked" for this device? Now, we have clearly a difference of opinion on the device, true enough, but now we have a difference of opinion on how you are handling the device. I talked to Pandigital this morning. Did you? Let's not get picky with the wording here, because your "recall" is simply a matter of them loading a new firmware on the device. They aren't sending it back to the factory because some hardware issue. In fact, it isn't even leaving the stores. I haven't received any notice to return my device due to a defect. As far as I know, they simply refuse to sell it right now. When did the product change hands from the customer due to a request from the company?

I agree the firmware has some issues, but it really does seem you have it out for this thing.

Avarwen
06-09-2010, 04:42 PM
You know they could have delayed it and this would not have happened. I wonder if it will be worth the bother after this update.

Nate the great
06-09-2010, 04:45 PM
I read your comments Nate. Do you support the wording used on Slashgear "half-baked" for this device? Now, we have clearly a difference of opinion on the device, true enough, but now we have a difference of opinion on how you are handling the device. I talked to Pandigital this morning. Did you? Let's not get picky with the wording here, because your "recall" is simply a matter of them loading a new firmware on the device. They aren't sending it back to the factory because some hardware issue. In fact, it isn't even leaving the stores. I haven't received any notice to return my device due to a defect. As far as I know, they simply refuse to sell it right now. When did the product change hands from the customer due to a request from the company?

I agree the firmware has some issues, but it really does seem you have it out for this thing.

Do you really think that Kohl's are going to be able to do the update? How? They're not equipped for it.

All the units are going to have to go back to Pandigital, or at least a designated repair service. That is a recall.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 04:54 PM
Assumptions. The same thing that were posted to Slashgear without even talking to Pandigital. According to PD they have dispatched technicians to Kohls to fix the problem. Maybe you should call and ask Pandigital? I just did.

After talking to "Rick" a techinican at Pandigital, he said it was NOT a recall and they have a company working with them with JUST Kohl's that is a consultant company that is going to the Kohls warehouse to update the firmware on the units only. This is ONLY with Kohls.

THESE are the facts. I'm done talking about it now, but I can't say I'm not disappointed in Slashgear and you, Nate.

P.S. I will post my own video of the device running by this weekend. People can judge for themselves.

jswinden
06-09-2010, 04:56 PM
...In fact, it isn't even leaving the stores....

I know this is what Pandigital said to you, but be realistic. How many Kohls stores are there across the country. Kohls doesn't have technicians capable of installing firmware, and if they did they would not do a better job than the general public. If Pandigital sent a tech to every store it would cost a small fortune. If they have them shipped it will still cost them much of their profit margin, but that would be cheaper than sending a tech. Bottomline is that Pandigital's statements don't seem to stand up under scrutiny. I have to agree with Nate that this certainly has all the indications of a bona fide recall. I think the support people at Pandigital are just blowing smoke someplace.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 05:15 PM
Yeah ok. I guess you didn't read my post above about the warehouse and the consulting company doing the firmware upgrades. Thank you captain conspiracy. ;)

FriendOfEntropy
06-09-2010, 05:22 PM
Okay, so my conspiracy of employees acting individually to buy for themselves or holding to sell to friends at the deep discounts was apparently wrong since this appears chain-wide and the companies are admitting to such.

So, what to do but make up another conspiracy....maybe it's a concerted effort to delay shipping so far that you don't get your reader in hand to clip your UPC from the box until well past the July 15 deadline for submitting rebate forms has passed :rolleyes:

That's it, they must be trying avoid pyaing the 15 bucks rebate per unit...ah, what's a little bad press firestorm at a brick and mortar retail launch.:rolleyes:


Seriously though, I don't care about definitions (recall or not recall)...I only care whether the Kohls batch IS really firmware instead of hardware, and that I get it approximately at the estimated ship date, but most importantly that the price is honored. I'd gladly update the firmware myself if they'd ship it pronto, lol, but that doesn't appear to be an option since I ordered online instead of going to a store.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 05:28 PM
That is a valid concern - the price. :) I'm concerned with that too as I paid more for mine under the guarantee that today I would receive the difference when I went down there.

These devices weren't even supposed to be on sale until today. They weren't supposed to be on shelves. At least not according to Pandigital. So, folks, what do you want them to do? Pull it before non-techy people buy it or leave it on the shelves to have a non-techy nightmare? Is it a screwup? Yes. Is the device "half-baked?" No. I'm one of the few that has it and right now I have to wonder why Nate is bashing it so badly as it is leaps and bounds above a SmartQ7. Maybe its the buttons. He likes his buttons I guess. WinCe, he likes that too. I usually do as well. Don't know, but it appears Pandigital had to make a hard decision today and chose to make the one that would piss off the least amount of customers because some of us leaked Kohls had it and we went and got it early. Either way, you just can't make everyone happy.

AnemicOak
06-09-2010, 05:47 PM
Makes more sense to me to delay the release than to have to deal with the poor reviews, word of mouth and returns you'd get by going ahead with the release. Will there be negative pub because of the delay? Some, but if holding off on the release solves the problems then the negative pub will be a lot less than doing the reverse.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 05:53 PM
Exactly. To be honest, my biggest concern is them keeping their word on the price. I'm going down there right now.

eski15
06-09-2010, 08:34 PM
I have to go with ColdSun on this one. I have had the reader since Sunday when I convinced an employee to get me one from the back room. I have updated the firmware 2X now and the it seem's that the WIFI problem has been solved and I am able to connect and get material from the B&N site. The browser is a little slow as is the touch response. The reader has only locked up on me 1 or 2 times and that was before the last update. I am not and did not expect IPAD like response from a sub $200 reader. Is the unit perfect? No, but I think it has a lot of potential. For the price I do not think it can be beat!! I am looking forward to future updates and using it for a long time.

Seabound
06-09-2010, 08:48 PM
THESE are the facts. I'm done talking about it now, but I can't say I'm not disappointed in Slashgear and you, Nate.



Slashgear seems to rely quite a bit on Nate as a source and doesn't bother to check facts for themselves. Slashgear also had an earlier post based on Nate's first impressions on the device. If Slashgear even bothered to do some googling, thy would at least see that Pandigital is getting mixed reviews.

Nate the great
06-09-2010, 09:05 PM
Slashgear seems to rely quite a bit on Nate as a source and doesn't bother to check facts for themselves. Slashgear also had an earlier post based on Nate's first impressions on the device. If Slashgear even bothered to do some googling, thy would at least see that Pandigital is getting mixed reviews.

How does one should fact check a review? I thought a review was a collection of opinions, not facts.

And can you point me at a review that was on the web early Monday morning when Slashgear reposted mine? I couldn't find any.

ColdSun
06-09-2010, 10:03 PM
They posted that mumbo-jumbo today and it was wrong. They should have checked with Pandigital, as I did. You should have too. Instead more assumptions and rumors are spread around. Do I believe everything Pandigital told me? No, but it did come FROM them and not some misinformed employee at Kohls. When I called several local Kohls stores to find the device in the first place, not one of the people I called even knew what it was, with only one of them even knowing what an ebook reader was.

When I went to pick mine up on Monday I had to ask around because no one had a clue what I was talking about, much less what an ebook reader was. Once they found it, locked in a manager's office, they refused to sell it at first. They relented and sold it to me for the normal price of $259. Today they honored the sale price since I had already purchased it, had the ad, and had it written on my receipt. I think ahead.

How does one should fact check a review? I thought a review was a collection of opinions, not facts.

And can you point me at a review that was on the web early Monday morning when Slashgear reposted mine? I couldn't find any.

I believe the fact checking involves the story today, which they updated and even agreed might have been too harsh. Then again, you could try to sell the Novel to people like I met at Kohls over the week who had no idea what an ebook reader was. Of course, when they got home and the wireless wasn't working they would have returned it and been pissed off. It wasn't a win-win situation for Pandigital. I feel sorry for the guy who had to make that call today to be honest.

Now, I agree that reviews are opinions. At the same time, a good review is a thoughtful and well-built article listing the features, functionality, and opinions of the reviewer. Good reviewers are quick to list the pros and cons in the body of the article itself, or in a section all its own. Your review was con-con-con. I didn't see much positive in there to be honest. This at first made me circumspect of the review, since I have this device in hand, I know for a fact it deserves a better commentary, even initial thoughts, than you gave it. Is it the next iPad? Heck no. So we had a difference of opinion and I stated that I respect yours. That was until I saw the article on Slashgear and then your continued support of "the half-baked" Novel statement.

Seabound
06-09-2010, 10:11 PM
How does one should fact check a review? I thought a review was a collection of opinions, not facts.

And can you point me at a review that was on the web early Monday morning when Slashgear reposted mine? I couldn't find any.

I was talking about fact-checking the Pandigital "recall". Even their correction was from you, not Pandigital.

There might not have been any opposing reviews at the time you released your first impressions, but they didn't bother to post any other reviews which appeared after that either (or did they?). I guess they have not heard of MobileRead.

bookwurm70
06-09-2010, 11:17 PM
So, what to do but make up another conspiracy....maybe it's a concerted effort to delay shipping so far that you don't get your reader in hand to clip your UPC from the box until well past the July 15 deadline for submitting rebate forms has passed :rolleyes:



Now this makes sense, because I ordered it online during the night last night and it will not arrive to me until the 20th, they say. So, no rebate for me. But that's okay, I'm paying $130 with tax and free shipping, so I'm happy.

FriendOfEntropy
06-09-2010, 11:37 PM
I was sort of kidding.:D Well, not really I guess because that's how I bet this thing works out after all, lol.

But I bet your order says June 20 like mine. That would be fine if it actually works on that schedule, you'd have plenty of days to mail your rebate before July 15. I think you mixed months up in your desire to believe my theory, heheheh. I had to stare at the printout several times to make sure it said July 15, 2010 and that it really wasn't 2011.

Actually, with all this uproar, I bet the June 20 doesn't fly, and it is delayed so long the July 15 date is missed.

I'm putting my tin foil hat back on now and waiting patiently to get hosed on this pricing...through blatant lies or honest delays....or both :)

Now this makes sense, because I ordered it online during the night last night and it will not arrive to me until the 20th, they say. So, no rebate for me. But that's okay, I'm paying $130 with tax and free shipping, so I'm happy.

Nate the great
06-09-2010, 11:41 PM
Before I knew tht I could get one in store, I ordered on Saturday night. It's going to be here on Friday.

Noah98
06-10-2010, 12:31 AM
I think we need to give Pandigital the benefit of the doubt. They seem to care about making a good first impression with this device and I can't blame them for that. I was really disappointed today because I was excited about getting one. However, the delay doesn't appear to be that big of a deal.

Mostly I blame Kohls for not knowing jack about the products they sell. They swore up and down yesterday that the device was online only. They also had no clue what it was. When I pressed them about it they eventually found two of them and agreed to sell them to me for $259, and no post purchase price match! Today I was told by two stores that they were defective and recalled. Given their overall lack of knowledge, I did what Coldsun did and called Pandigital.

It was nice being able to immediately talk to a real person who spoke English. They were very clear that they simply wanted to upgrade the firmware before the devices went on sale, and that the problem would be resolved in under a week.

I still plan on buying one when they are available (I'm first on the waiting list) and I will judge the device when it is actually in my possession, and not by the misinformation disseminated by some rude and ignorant Kohls employees (they were quite sarcastic until I proved that they actually carried the device).

This device seems to have a lot of potential, and definitely nails the price point I've been looking for. Lets not trash it without giving it a chance, because I for one would like to see this device catch on.

Coldsun, thank you for your impressions so far. After Nate's review I was convinced that we were in for another letdown. Now I'm willing to see for myself. I would really appreciate it if you could upload some videos of the device in action performing various tasks. There isn't much to go on right now, and sadly I don't have mine yet to play with! I sure wish I got one early so that I could upgrade the firmware myself lol.

One quick question for those that have one, can you browse the internet in portrait and landscape orientation? Thanks again to everyone that took the time to keep us all informed.

ColdSun
06-10-2010, 12:47 AM
I went to version 07 of the firmware and then stepped back to 05, so I know for sure in 05 you can change both the browser and ebook reading application from portrait to landscape. You can tell the browser to stay in landscape and every time you start the browser it will go back to landscape again and return to portrait when it leaves. The ebook reading application worked by changing the "lock" icon in the application menu to the top right. It didn't seem to cause problems for me, but apparently they disabled the lock icon in 07 due to a bug. They said it was going to be enabled again when they fixed it.

Also, I was having problems with the wifi in 07, and it appears other folks are too. Pandigital told me to simply re-install 07 to fix it, but that only partially fixed the problem. First time around, wireless just wasn't finding any routers. Second time, the routers would show up but it would forget the settings immediately and try to scan again. With 05 it works perfectly (wireless that is).

I noticed there seems to be an issue with using an SD card with the device. When I don't have one in it never freezes up. When I put in an SD card it works fine, and autodetects all my music and epubs on the card (which is VERY cool), and adds them to the library. The Pandigital tech said they are aware of this SD card issue and they are working on it and to check daily for updates.

imaredr
06-10-2010, 09:47 AM
I don't have much faith in rebates anyway. So I am okay with having saved so much with the sale combined with the coupon. I can also wait until the 20th, but it won't be easy. The up side is that hopefully by then there will be a stable firmware that addresses the majority of the reader's issues. I am excited about this reader and look forward to getting it.

Ellen

Nate the great
06-11-2010, 08:28 PM
I posted my review:
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2010/06/11/review-pandigital-novel-video/

I also shot a video:
XuwkZM5njR0

nikkie
06-12-2010, 01:27 AM
That video clears it up for me.

The Pandigital is slightly better than the Sony Touch in speed, reliability, and overall software design quality. And it's color. And it's half the price. For those that don't mind LCD screens, it looks like a great choice.

Note: I was appalled with the firmware quality of the Sony readers.

ColdSun
06-12-2010, 04:31 AM
Well since Nate posted a video already, I'll just chime in and say that mine works pretty much the same way, except I don't think its so bad. :) The clear thing about this video is that anyone who is used to a capacitive screen might have a hard time adjusting (especially when using the device for more than reading). Since I'm so used to these resistive screens, it doesn't bother me much. I felt the page turning speed was average with pretty much every Android device I've seen so far (MID size). Clearly not the show-stopper it was made to be. On the other side, the reader application itself can be troublesome, especially when trying to use the top menu that for some reason just won't come up no matter how many single-taps you perform. It seems like quite a few of the problems with the reader application are software related.

Oh, and the screen rotation you mentioned in the video is a known issue - it is actually turned off on purpose due to a bug - in the latest firmware. If you step back to 05 you can rotate the screen in the browser and the reader quite easily. I still say this is a great device for the price (especially for those of you who got great discounts at Kohl's).

Nate the great
06-12-2010, 08:08 AM
That video clears it up for me.

The Pandigital is slightly better than the Sony Touch in speed, reliability, and overall software design quality. And it's color. And it's half the price. For those that don't mind LCD screens, it looks like a great choice.

Note: I was appalled with the firmware quality of the Sony readers.

Actually, the Sony Touch is the same price (in the US). I think you're thinking of the Daily Edition, used to be $399, but is now $299.

jswinden
06-12-2010, 01:39 PM
I can't help but wonder if a big part of the problems that plague the various Android tablets is Android itself. Android just doesn't seem to be a reliable OS for tablets. I guess it might work okay with phones. It seems to me that this is what would have happened had someone tried to use the old PalmOS 5.x on something more powerful than a PDA. PalmOS was okay, not stellar, on PDAs, so putting it on a tablet would have been a disaster. I've now owned or played with a few Android tablets and they were all extremely disappointing as far as the OS and firmware is concerned. And contrary to what some believe, I'm a firm believer that a reader/tablet needs to be intuitive and usable by non-techies. If you have to be a programmer to get the darn thing to work then it won't have a large sales base. So IMHO Android is too high maintenance to appeal to a large sales base.

As much as I hate Steve Jobs--I actually like Apple--I have to admit the appeal of the iPad is its simplicity to operate. If someone could do that on a tablet hardware without all of the Jobs controls and high prices, and if they used standard ports and protocols, they would have a great tablet.

ColdSun
06-12-2010, 03:11 PM
Until Windows Embedded 7 comes out, most new tablets will have Android, unfortunatly. Its not that I don't like Android, but it really does seem to be prone to locking up and has issues on a per device situation. Issues range from wireless problems, screen/touch problems to application problems. Add to that market works on some things and not on others.

shots95
06-12-2010, 08:07 PM
Hi Guys

Received the unit by mail 48 hours ago. Did a quick easy firmware update from the pandigital site. This is my first e reader.

Pros Excellent color
Day and Night readers work well with good contrast
Was able to download books from Barnes and Noble utilizing the internal
library.
Music playback is very good and very loud if you need it.

Cons Wifi is very sluggish compared to a PC
Unable to connect to PC both Vista and Windows 7 -kept asking for an
installation CD in order to complete the installation. Needed to install
to SD card to complete music transfer.
Outside reading in the shade or sunlight is fair to poor.
Touch screen is very slow in response.

I actually have hopes that Pandigital will be providing further updates in order to correct the problems. I have not evaluated all the features yet. I will keep you posted. ;)

bookwurm70
06-13-2010, 11:51 AM
Hi Guys

Cons Wifi is very sluggish compared to a PC


Thanks for the brief review! I'm can't wait to get mine, but I think that is a week away.

I'm guessing that the Wifi is faster than my palm pilot, which is my only portable wifi outside my laptop (which is very heavy and not so portable anymore).

MikeFromHC
06-13-2010, 04:09 PM
So I registered, wrote a long review, and when I tried to post it said I was not registered and it all went into the bit bucket...

Briefly.
I bought mine at Kohl's Friday. They knew about it even though it was not on the floor and a manager updated the firmware while I waited. Anyone who can run a cash register would have little problem doing so.

Speaking of updating. The first time through the upgrade package itself is a bit of bother. It starts with a progress bar. About halfway through the bar stops. Then the screen goes blank for a bit and the start up screen shows but nothing to indicate any progress is being made.


My wi-fi is broken with the latest download from Pandigital.

My screen is fixed in portrait mode and this seems common. The manual mentions a "future" feature allowing it to lock in place and maybe it's already in place.

Touch with short fingernails is a problem. Some things I got to by luck, the tab at the bottom of the screen was a pain and I could not shut down any screen with the "X". Recalibrating did not help. I started using a plastic toothpick and the problem was solved.

Page turn is slow but this is almost certainly "cleaver" design. Photos pop up rapidly.
I'd like to see areas on the bottom of the screen that would allow instant page turns.

There should be a lot more options for arranging books but at least this has a shelf for books being read as well as a last read button.

I found that you can drop folders into the ebook section and that helps a bit. They should use this to create shelves for the books.

The other applications are OK but they should have a decent calculator, maybe when Android comes out of hiding...

I cleverly erased the manual and found a copy at the FCC site. It is not quite the same but I didn't know that and spent probably five minutes looking for the included (at the bottom of your reader) stylus...

questionfear
06-14-2010, 02:39 PM
Until Windows Embedded 7 comes out, most new tablets will have Android, unfortunatly. Its not that I don't like Android, but it really does seem to be prone to locking up and has issues on a per device situation. Issues range from wireless problems, screen/touch problems to application problems. Add to that market works on some things and not on others.

I think part of the issue is that Android is free, which means manufacturers are chucking it on inappropriately slow hardware and selling it for cheap.

Tossing an OS that runs best on high end hardware (like the Droid, Droid Incredible, EVO) on a slow POS tablet with half the clock speed AND combining an OS designed around capacitive screens with a resistive screen is a BAD IDEA. :smack:

I think if you took quality hardware and put Android on it many of this issues would disappear. But that would mean the pricing would be significantly higher, in the range of $300-$500, and no one seems to have developed a tablet that they want to put against an iPad at that price.

I have a Camangi Webstation and a Moto Droid. It's not just that the webstation is underpowered, it's that Android isn't designed for a stylus or resistive touch. And many Android apps aren't quite designed for larger screens...basically these tablets are all putting the OS in an untenable position of juggling shitty hardware with software that was never designed or optimized for bigger screens. It's a terrible combination.

MikeFromHC
06-14-2010, 03:14 PM
I got this this morning.
"Dear Pandigital Customer,

Thank you for your recent email concerning your Pandigital Novel.
<snip>

We are aware that the Novel is not in the registration list. This has been brought to our attention and it should be added shortly.

<snip>

With the current version of firmware, the auto rotate option is not able to work. You can however manual set the web browsing to landscape mode.

The novel is easier to navigate with use of a stylus. We are sorry one has not been provided.
<snip>

Pandigital Support Center

jswinden
06-14-2010, 05:04 PM
I got this this morning.
"Dear Pandigital Customer,

Thank you for your recent email concerning your Pandigital Novel.
<snip>

We are aware that the Novel is not in the registration list. This has been brought to our attention and it should be added shortly.

<snip>

With the current version of firmware, the auto rotate option is not able to work. You can however manual set the web browsing to landscape mode.

The novel is easier to navigate with use of a stylus. We are sorry one has not been provided.
<snip>

Pandigital Support Center

At the very least they did not have a good quality control group. Otherwise this device would not have been pulled at the last minute. It should have simply been postponed. Postponing a product happens all the time. Pulling a product off of the shelves hours before it goes on sale and incurring the loss of $$$ advertising dollars for you and your distributors rarely happens. Pandigital clearly was not up to the task. I suspect that they are okay building photo viewers, but got way over their heads with the Novel. I also suspect the Novel is merely a photo viewer on steriods. The hardware has no page turning/navigation buttons. I'm glad they pulled it and I didn't get the chance to throw away money on it.

MikeFromHC
06-15-2010, 02:12 AM
At the very least they did not have a good quality control group. Otherwise this device would not have been pulled at the last minute. It should have simply been postponed. Postponing a product happens all the time. Pulling a product off of the shelves hours before it goes on sale and incurring the loss of $$$ advertising dollars for you and your distributors rarely happens. Pandigital clearly was not up to the task. I suspect that they are okay building photo viewers, but got way over their heads with the Novel. I also suspect the Novel is merely a photo viewer on steriods. The hardware has no page turning/navigation buttons. I'm glad they pulled it and I didn't get the chance to throw away money on it.

It's always a crap shoot in cases like this. These people are in the same boat that the computer, especially the computer software industry was in the early days.
Real Soon Now was common when the code writers were in charge as they never wanted to release until one more feature was built in. When the marketing crowd gained control they released early. Both ways often led to disaster but history showed early release tended to be better. It is easier to ask forgiveness, etc...

None of the issues with the Novel are hardware related (except the weight.)

Over all I like mine and will keep it if I can't get the next model from Kohl's at the same price and discounts. So far I have a price guarantee in writing from them.

It will do until the Notion Ink Adam with the Qi screen hits the market.

:book2:

Totally off topic but while watching a review of the above I found out that the patent on OLED's have expired. 20 years and they still are not ready for prime time.

mtnmedic
06-15-2010, 02:50 AM
I spoke with the local store manager for a while this morning. I explained to him my frustrations, etc. regarding my rain check situation since last week, the repeated delays ("waiting for the Pandigital techs to come in and update the units we have in stock") and the canceled phone order. He assured me that they weren't trying to pull any fast ones but that they got caught in a supplier situation. He said what is happening at his store right now is they are returning the white 1GB units and will be getting the black 2GB units. They are expecting the shipment of the new units "any day now" this week. He said I would get one of those and that I could use the 20% discount coupon I have on hand or the 30% if I apply for a Kohl's card, the $5 gift card I got from Kohl's via email and he would also give me a "little extra discount" for my troubles. Plus, he not only will he honour the $15 rebate, he'll simply apply it to the sale there and then so that I wouldn't have to worry about mailing it in. He said he would call me the minute they come in, as the store is over an hour south of where I live (that's the closest one!). So, crossing my fingers it'll all work out this week.

nikkie
06-15-2010, 12:57 PM
At the very least they did not have a good quality control group. Otherwise this device would not have been pulled at the last minute. It should have simply been postponed. Postponing a product happens all the time. Pulling a product off of the shelves hours before it goes on sale and incurring the loss of $$$ advertising dollars for you and your distributors rarely happens. Pandigital clearly was not up to the task. I suspect that they are okay building photo viewers, but got way over their heads with the Novel. I also suspect the Novel is merely a photo viewer on steriods. The hardware has no page turning/navigation buttons. I'm glad they pulled it and I didn't get the chance to throw away money on it.

Don't blame it on the QA group. My guess is that the bugs were reported and ignored. When there's a ship date, you ship if the manager says so, whether or not the product is ready in QA's opinion. They tend to be the low man on the totem when making decisions. Most likely the managers finally realized the QA team was right when the negative reviews started coming in.

jswinden
06-15-2010, 01:17 PM
Don't blame it on the QA group. My guess is that the bugs were reported and ignored. When there's a ship date, you ship if the manager says so, whether or not the product is ready in QA's opinion. They tend to be the low man on the totem when making decisions. Most likely the managers finally realized the QA team was right when the negative reviews started coming in.

I respectfully disagree. I've worked for a LOT of high tech firms, and it is true that minor bugs or quite often ignored, but major bugs rarely are. If anything, the product would be released with fewer features (because of the major bugs) with a statement that those features were coming soon. More often the release would be postponed until the major issues were resolved. Any company that ignores QA concerns on major bugs and flaws is a poorly managed company and probably won't last long with today's competition.

Guiltyr1
06-16-2010, 12:51 PM
returning the white 1GB units and will be getting the black 2GB units. They are expecting the shipment of the new units "any day now" this week.

This would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!:thumbsup:

MikeFromHC
06-16-2010, 12:53 PM
...minor bugs or quite often ignored, but major bugs rarely are.

Some people don't like the speed of page turns.
This is a minor issue, does not really bother me, and can be fixed.
Evidence of this is found by watching a video on the unit. Clearly if a video runs, the page turns can be sped up.

The screen orientation does not work on most units.
A minor firmware issue.
Wifi is a bit slow. I thought mine was broken until I logged on at a friends with no problem. At home I moved to a different seat and got on right away.
Mostly a firmware problem.
The ability to manage books is the same as most readers. Crappy if you read a lot of books at any one time. But it is as good as most and at least has a "shelf" for currently read and you can go to the last read with no problem.

These are all minor issues.
The rest of the problems *I* had went away when I switched to a stylus. Once my fingernail grows out a bit I probably will not need it.

lotrfan
06-16-2010, 02:19 PM
Some people don't like the speed of page turns.
This is a minor issue, does not really bother me, and can be fixed.
Evidence of this is found by watching a video on the unit. Clearly if a video runs, the page turns can be sped up.

The screen orientation does not work on most units.
A minor firmware issue.
Wifi is a bit slow. I thought mine was broken until I logged on at a friends with no problem. At home I moved to a different seat and got on right away.
Mostly a firmware problem.
The ability to manage books is the same as most readers. Crappy if you read a lot of books at any one time. But it is as good as most and at least has a "shelf" for currently read and you can go to the last read with no problem.

These are all minor issues.
The rest of the problems *I* had went away when I switched to a stylus. Once my fingernail grows out a bit I probably will not need it.

Per your comment I take it the video works fine. Can you elaborate? I have a raincheck and I am looking forward to this device but it really needs to do the basic stuff right as I am not going to count on future apps. It would be great for future os updates and apps but we can't really rely on that happening.

MikeFromHC
06-17-2010, 02:05 AM
Per your comment I take it the video works fine. Can you elaborate? I have a raincheck and I am looking forward to this device but it really needs to do the basic stuff right as I am not going to count on future apps. It would be great for future os updates and apps but we can't really rely on that happening.

I just ran the included video but it shows a lot of motion and ran smoothly.
The picture section has a choice where a photo flys in while spinning and it shows smoothly.
The main point I was trying to make is that the page turn can be sped up. It is not limited by the hardware.
Typing is also fast.
The other apps are pretty basic but they work OK.

The book management is about as good as it gets compared to other systems but it is still poor.
One thing I found that helps a little is that you can drop folders into the reader folder and add a bit more management through the USB side.

Buy a stylus or sharpen your fingernails. A few of the buttons are almost impossible to hit with short nails.

lotrfan
06-17-2010, 12:43 PM
I just ran the included video but it shows a lot of motion and ran smoothly.
The picture section has a choice where a photo flys in while spinning and it shows smoothly.
The main point I was trying to make is that the page turn can be sped up. It is not limited by the hardware.
Typing is also fast.
The other apps are pretty basic but they work OK.

The book management is about as good as it gets compared to other systems but it is still poor.
One thing I found that helps a little is that you can drop folders into the reader folder and add a bit more management through the USB side.

Buy a stylus or sharpen your fingernails. A few of the buttons are almost impossible to hit with short nails.

Thanks for the info. I understand your point regarding the turning page speed and agree. Hope they can fix these issues.

Big Shirley
07-20-2010, 11:30 AM
Thank you for the great points of view! Nate the Great and Cold Sun thank you for the informative sparring. I am going to pick one up today for my kids.

7tronics
08-05-2010, 10:20 AM
I'm new to Android, though not to Linux on PCs. I see rated life at 6 hours on the Pandigital (which is similar to what I see on the Augen "The Book" experiences summarized here (http://wsfamily.wikispaces.com/eReader).

Has the battery life been impacted by new firmware?

Once apps can be installed, is there any app which allows for running in less responsive and lower power mode (other than the obvious adjusting screen intensity down)? I have turned intensity down, but the mid-July firmware (and that released first week of Aug) have a bug where the screen display intensity is "forgotten" across a suspend or power-down/up cycle. Clicking into "Settings" restores the previously set intensity without activating the control.

Liberal use of standby mode keeps the Novel alive all day without recharge, nice! Especially since it doesn't charge through USB cable.

Tx, Mark

skyline
08-06-2010, 05:22 AM
I can't help but wonder if a big part of the problems that plague the various Android tablets is Android itself. Android just doesn't seem to be a reliable OS for tablets. I guess it might work okay with phones. It seems to me that this is what would have happened had someone tried to use the old PalmOS 5.x on something more powerful than a PDA. PalmOS was okay, not stellar, on PDAs, so putting it on a tablet would have been a disaster. I've now owned or played with a few Android tablets and they were all extremely disappointing as far as the OS and firmware is concerned. And contrary to what some believe, I'm a firm believer that a reader/tablet needs to be intuitive and usable by non-techies. If you have to be a programmer to get the darn thing to work then it won't have a large sales base. So IMHO Android is too high maintenance to appeal to a large sales base.

As much as I hate Steve Jobs--I actually like Apple--I have to admit the appeal of the iPad is its simplicity to operate. If someone could do that on a tablet hardware without all of the Jobs controls and high prices, and if they used standard ports and protocols, they would have a great tablet.
We haven't seen any "proper" high spec android tablets yet, the next version of android will be optimized for multimedia and higher resolutions and the big players will release their products by the end of the year so it is probably too early to judge.