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Old 06-12-2010, 12:39 PM   #61
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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.

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Old 06-12-2010, 02:11 PM   #62
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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.
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:07 PM   #63
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First Impressions after 48 hours for Pandigital Novel

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.
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:51 AM   #64
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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).
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:09 PM   #65
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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...
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by ColdSun View Post
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.

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.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:14 PM   #67
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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
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:04 PM   #68
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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 $$$ advertising dollars for you and your distributors rarely happens. Pandigital clearly was not up to the task. I suspect that they are okay building photo viewers, but got way over their heads with the Novel. I also suspect the Novel is merely a photo viewer on steriods. The hardware has no page turning/navigation buttons. I'm glad they pulled it and I didn't get the chance to throw away money on it.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:12 AM   #69
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At the very least they did not have a good quality control group. Otherwise this device would not have been pulled at the last minute. It should have simply been postponed. Postponing a product happens all the time. Pulling a product off of the shelves hours before it goes on sale and incurring the loss of $$$ 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.



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.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:50 AM   #70
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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.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:57 AM   #71
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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.
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #72
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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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:51 AM   #73
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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!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:53 AM   #74
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...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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:19 PM   #75
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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.
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