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Old 06-06-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
Nate the great
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Pandigital Novel first impressions

I just posted my first impressions of the new Pandigital Novel over on my blog. Here is the first part (it's pretty good summary):
Quote:
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
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
* 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.

Last edited by nikkie; 06-06-2010 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:42 PM   #4
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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.)
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkie View Post
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).
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhishStyx View Post
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.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:19 PM   #7
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Nate,

Is the page turning speed slow? Are there buttons on the side that can be used to turn pages?
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdSun View Post
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).
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:28 PM   #9
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Hrmm yeah I wanted to verify that, mostly because I was looking at the Nook picture on your site. :P
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:34 PM   #10
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I posted some more info here:
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...digital-novel/
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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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?
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdSun View Post
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.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:22 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:26 PM   #14
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According to this, the ability to add apps is a future enhancement

http://www.techlicious.com/blog/pand...-android-apps/

Quote:
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.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:29 PM   #15
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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?
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