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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

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

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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From Nathan on June 11, 2010 :: 7:06 am

It’s great to hear from PD about the device.  What I would like to see, however, is some actual video or pics beyond the 3 promotional ones we see all over the web.  Video is particularly wanted just to see how the touchscreen and apps actual work.

Saw on JCP that they now have the Novel for $199, but I didn’t check if it’s available now or later.

As for the Black Novel, it really doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade beyond color, gig size, and design if we interpret “comparable” as basically similar.

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From PARMonday on June 11, 2010 :: 9:29 am

I really want to like this product because of the response from Pandigital (VP and excellent Support).  I want a device that can do eReader, browse web, and play multi-media (music, movies, videos).

I just bought this for $147 with all the discounts at Kohls, and have another 15% mail-in rebate if I chose to keep it. Loaded new Firmware first thing.

The price is right, the concept is right, but the product is falling short and with the tablet market about to explode, I think that $150 could take me 3/4 way to a better option.

Here is my list of problems…beyond those mentioned:
- Slow…very painful. Touchscreen delay is too slow, browser slow..very painful.
- Tried playing MP4 from SD card (800Mb), pathetic.  Video was choppy but audio kept moving.
- Speakers on bottom. So if you let device rest on your lap, speakers are blocked.
- Autobrightness does not work
- With SD card in, kept freezing (4 times). Without card, still hung and froze a couple times.
- keyboard is very small..i make lots of mistakes.
- Also see the other issues mentioned..

If Android 2.2 (with Flash, not just HTML5), landscape orientation, and Android Market are added and performance increases 100%, this is close. But for $50-$100 more, come Q4 I think you will get faster and larger device with better touch screen.

I played with the iPad and loved the concept of what it could do. Love the Novel because of price and specs. Unfortunately, I need something in between. Novel, I guess, is only eReader right now. The way it works today, $150 is too much for this.

I have till July 14th to either return or cutup box for rebate.

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From Nathan on June 11, 2010 :: 10:27 am

The more that I read about this, the angrier I seem to get.

While it’s great that PD took the time to address the questions, the more I think about it, the more I start to realize, yeah, they should be answering the questions because you simply don’t release a device such as this in such a state of disrepair and not have to do some PR cleanup & promotion to save face.  Why release it in such a shoddy condition and require so many upgrades that only seem to either improve it slightly or dismantle one or two of its major features & selling points? 

Additionally, while I’m glad there are promises of what’s to come, promises do not equal delivery and one only has to look at the iPhone to see that stark reality.  Tethering anyone?

For me, I’d rather a company take its time, develop a sound and reliable product, and then promote it widely with PR and constant support.  I mean the PD website still lists this product as available soon when obviously it’s already out there, regardless of its condition.  If website maintenance can’t be delivered, what does that say about the product itself?

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From PARMonday on June 11, 2010 :: 10:50 am

Amen brother.

I bet if they gave the VP Marketing this device “to play with” before it was released, he would have updated his resume.  Which makes me think, there is no way they had any product testing on this product before release.  OR, they are just trying to beat the holiday rush of new products that will be the same price with better quality. I think PD has hurt their reputation on this one.

(By the way, I tried to update this thread from my Novel but it froze up on me)

I’ll give it one more week to see if a new firmware release comes out to improve anything.  Otherwise, back to Kohls to return.

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From thedarkbackward on June 11, 2010 :: 12:07 pm

I love my Novel - but I have to say that the responsiveness of the touchscreen has led me to the point of wanting to hurl it across the room with great force. The web browser is nearly useless because of the slow response and difficulty using the touchscreen. This also has a big effect on any dialogue that requires scrolling up and down (see the MP3 app).

Right now, this is a very nice LCD screen color e-reader with a TON of potential to be unlocked…but the usability is quite low right now for anything other than reading.

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From John on June 11, 2010 :: 3:49 pm

With that said, I think I’ll hold out on whats over the horizon. . . . I hope they fix bugs. .  If not Nook here I come.

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From Brenda on June 11, 2010 :: 4:17 pm

I received mine yesterday and returned it to Kohl’s today.
Agree totally with other comments.  Although it was only
$174, that is way too much for a product that worked so
poorly.

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From terry fry on June 12, 2010 :: 8:46 am

I think too many people expects too much for a cheaper device like this. Remember a few things:

Pandigital is not a tablet maker. This is their first attempt to create one. The hardware part of the novel seems to be stable; it’s the software part that’s screwed up.

Android is still new when it comes to tablets and although one or 2 of them have support for the market most do not. Even those who do use a hack to do it. Pandigital is new at this and for the price expect imperfections.

The fact that Pandigital has released 4-5 firmware updates shows they are will to fix problems. Remember how long it took Microsoft to fix the problems with Vista? They’re a much bigger company and should have done better. Pandigital experience in the computer market is low show give them a break.

I’m willing to wait once I get my Novel to see what happens. Patience is required here.

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From Nathan on June 12, 2010 :: 9:23 am

By no means do I mean to be combative here Terry, but you say that Pandigital is not a tablet maker and then go on to discuss the relationship of Android to tablets.

You’re right, Pandigital is not a tablet maker and from what we’ve seen the Novel is not marketed as such.  It’s an eReader with extra devices, and a poor one at that.  I finally just saw a video at the-digital-reader.com of the actual page-turning features and touch response of the screen and it’s horrible. 

Pandigital is not new at touch interfaces.  Although I’ve never used their digital touch frames, I would guess that unless these products are as poorly produced and unresponsive as the Novel, then they already have experience in producing interactive screen technology.

Firmware updates are one thing; however, updates that remove key features of the device itself, features that are crucial to its promotion and “difference” from the Nook or the Kindle are ridiculous.  They want to release the device before it’s ready and then provide upgrades that improve the device?  Great.  They want to release a device that’s not ready and then provide upgrades that make it worse?  No thanks.

Just because one member of the PD team came out and addressed questions does not personalize what is essentially a multi-million (if not more) big business, and to think that they’re doing this not to save face but out of some altruistic motive is mistaken. 

Patience is required.  Patience until they get a product that is actually ready for mass-distribution.  Again, I look to their website that says “available soon” when it should read “available now, but hopefully working soon.”

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From terry fry on June 12, 2010 :: 1:46 pm

I think the fact that only Kohl’s and J.C.Penney’s is selling it might be a key to what’s happening. Pandigital still doesn’t have everything figured out with this machine so the sell it through a couple venders to see how it goes.

As for my talking about android. Remember I don’t remeber anyone saying that Pandigital uses android with their digital frames. This means they are weak in figuring out how to use it. The fact that android isn’t really being used with this type of device (Non-Phone) shows that they need some growth in their actions.

Also my saying they are not tablet makes is to show that the new direction they are going is new territory for them. Taking that with the info on how weak android is on this type of device shows that all using it are still learning about how to program within it. They are like children so I think that I’m willing to help them along by telling the problem I find.

They do seem to have the desire to fix things….

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From George malley on June 12, 2010 :: 1:59 pm

Well, again, my years of contract negotiations and reporting experience has paid off with a small scoop.  (LOL)

I’ve called three kohls in my area and have got breaking news for you all -

Today Kohls managers were told that they will NOT be getting the white Novels back in at all or certainly not by father’s day.  Instead, between Monday to Wednesday they can expect to receive a BLACK 2 GB model of the Novel instead!

It gets better!

For those with a raincheck (better run out and get one today) on the white one, they will honor the 175 sale price for the newer 2GB black model AND….

any Kohls card holders who had a 15, 20, or 30% discount card (those scratch off types) will also have that extra discount honored! Dropping the at register price to as low as $122.50 (w/ 30% off)!

Lastly, they will extend and honor the $15 rebate despite the different model number listed. Dropping the real price to as low as $107.5 after sale price, plus 30% saving and mail in rebate.

Again this is for the BLACK 2 GB model now!

I must say, I’m pretty excited but I must also caution this - it seems you need a raincheck or at least to be put on some sort of hold/call list.  Additionally of course, you need to print the rebate form yourself online and have a Kohls card for that extra 15-30% savings.

Last warning, they have no idea what the retail price of the blcak model will be for those customers WITHOUT a raincheck or not on reserve list. But it does appear as though those who happen in next week to just buy one w/o either of these will not get this deal, they instead will more likely get whatever retail will be.  $199, 250..?  Don’t know.  But doubt it will be less than 175 + % savings for card holder + $15 rebate. 

As always, I hope this helps everyone interested.  Have a very pleasant and safe weekend.

R*

*George Malley is just my user name - it’ a character from my favorite movie. Google it, Bing it… whatever.

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From George malley on June 12, 2010 :: 2:01 pm

PS - I’m extremely impressed with PD’s efforts to “do right” as the kids say, by their customers AND strategic partners!  Hats off team! Good work!

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From terry fry on June 12, 2010 :: 3:31 pm

WOW Good news! I have a rain check. I was told that it would be no earlier than monday that they would get them in. But they were sure they would have them sometime during this coming week. The additional news is even better. Thanks!

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From thedarkbackward on June 12, 2010 :: 4:43 pm

George -

Thanks for the update!

I do wonder, however, where that leaves those of us that actually have one of these in hand. I would hate to think that this will leave us out in the cold.

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From thedarkbackward on June 12, 2010 :: 4:55 pm

BTW, according to this review:

http://www.slatedroid.com/vbulletin/pandigital-novel/957-definitive-pandigital-novel-review.html

...it is quite possible to swap out the MicroSD for a larger size.

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From Linda on June 12, 2010 :: 5:59 pm

Looks like Pandigital added a FAQ to their site

http://pandigital.net/?PageID=262

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From Benny on June 14, 2010 :: 9:21 am

Wow!  Glad I got a rain check for $159.  I see July as the target date for the black Novel in several places.  It would be awesome if they called me this week and got the black one in! 

Does anyone have any link to an image of the black one?  Also, a tech question. Can you open a PDF file directly from the Novel web browser, ie for journal articles or coupon scans?  Ive been scouring the web and still no definite answer. The Nook, I’ve found wont do it.  Here is a link to test. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf Thanks for any feedback!

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From G Malley on June 14, 2010 :: 11:06 am

Benny - Here you go:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=221118&id=127407790614318

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From G Malley on June 14, 2010 :: 2:19 pm

Here, you can also see Pandigital’s CEO holding the white 1GB model with the black 2GB model on the desk beside him:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2010/05/24/BUDA1DIJ84.DTL&o=0

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Got my raincheck with the

From Kasey Jones on June 16, 2010 :: 3:35 am

Got my raincheck with the 30% discount.  Hopefully Kohl’s will come through. For $120 I’m sure I’ll find it acceptable based on the videos I’ve seen.  The clerk at customer service said they had them on hand.  I said I could update the novel just like my sprint Hero which is also android.  She checked with management who told her they were not to be sold until updated.

Novel is android, the nook is android.  IF you are willing to loose the other functions I’m fairly confident eventually the nook for android phones will be installable or hacked.  Nook for blackberry is pretty nice, basic and due to screen constraints small but simple and quick.

There is also the google chrome OS being worked on.  Chrome is being optimized for low power, low memory units. I had tried the very early version still under development on my eee pc netbook and it shows promise, would be awesome on a tablet format.  I find it very nice to be able to carry my 8.9’’ netbook around on battery streaming audio and video.  The tablet format will make portable carry even easier.

EEE pc has a much faster processor so I doubt video will look good streaming on the novel, but will probably be ok when downloaded and played from memory.

My sprint hero supports google docs but it is very basic and slow, I would expect the same with the novel.

Reports from reputable sources say Android 2.2 is twice as fast on the same hardware as 2.1, so hopefully if PD gets to 2.2 we may have a very useful multi purpose tablet someday.

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There are quite a few

From thedarkbackward on June 16, 2010 :: 4:13 pm

There are quite a few news stories posted today that indicate that the firmware that resolves these outstanding issues has been released on the Pandigital support site - I can report for sure though that this is the same FW that’s been out since the 7th. I ran the upgrade regardless and it is definitely the same firmware.

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I was so close to

From Linda on June 17, 2010 :: 11:33 pm

I was so close to getting one. I called Kohls tonight to see if they got any in stock and they had 2. I asked if they could sell them and the guy says yes. I get there and the manager says no. Corporate said that they can’t sell it, so that is the final answer. And after pushing for info, she said that the manufacturer will send technicians out to fix it. But she didn’t get any time frame on when. I told her that it was a quick 15 minute fix for a techie like me. I told her that I have an SD card and I can do it right there in the store. She didn’t budge =(

I got so excited for this being in tonight…even more than the Lakers winning. Now that is sad, haha

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I received a call tonight

From G Malley on June 18, 2010 :: 12:33 am

I received a call tonight from my local Kohls at which I am on a raincheck list that guarantees you the sale price when the new ones come in.

I figured they were calling to tell me the Novels were in but No’ed!  LOL She said that they (stores) received notice this afternoon that PD would not meet the Father’s Day Deadline.  She asked if I wanted to stay on the hold/raincheck list and I said yes. 

I asked if they were still planning on the black models coming in - especially since at this point it has been made public that the black models would be offered to replace the white ones - and she said as far as she knew from the last official word on that, that yes, they were still expecting to get the black 2GB models in to replace the recalled white 1GB models.

Bummer.  My wife is more upset than I am.  I’ve come to expect delays now and think a lot of would be Novel consumers are loosing interest. They surely are not striking while the iron is hot.  Once Fathers Day passes, the next holiday is what?  Back to school?  LOL Halloween?  Meanwhile they could have people holding these things - walking commercials - all summer staring now - this weekend. I’d honestly rather it be out with C/B software that needs upgrades to be an A than wait wait wait for an A, which may not even end up being that great compared to expectations heightened by an extended wait.

I used to tell other C-level managers in board meetings to do their due diligence BUT that if we waited for everything to be perfect, we’d never act on anything. 

Iaccoca used to say that he never regretted acting on 75% of the information b/c if he waited for 100%, decisions would never get made and actions not taken.  Plus, the remaining 25% of data usually ended up just supporting the first 75%.

PD take notes.  General non-techy consumers who were your would-be Father’s Day buyers can’t push back the holiday!  This means they will BUY SOMETHING ELSE! 

I understand not wanting to launch an abysmal failure and be branded valueless, but reviews on the less beefy G1 White model were mixed - not all bad.  The specs on the black are superior and would like yield positive reviews as a multi-function E-READER for a reasonable price at the gate.  With firmware updates and Novels in owner hands, sales will spike.

Get them in people’s hands so others will want them.  “We covet that which we see.”  Not Iaccoca, but still applicable being applied to marketing, albeit originally intended as homicidal maniac motivation summed up by Hannibal Lecter.  Hey, after all he is a doctor for crying out loud!  The man knows what he’s talking about.  LOL

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Outrageous: http://www.slashgear.com/pandigital-novel-pulled-for-a-month-long-firmware-fix-2491421/A

From Ron on June 24, 2010 :: 10:46 am

Outrageous:
http://www.slashgear.com/pandigital-novel-pulled-for-a-month-long-firmware-fix-2491421/

Another month!  I have two kids and I try to pick things for father’s day that we can all enjoy.  I thought this would sit like a digital picture frame for all to enjoy, the misses would use it for email when we’re outside w/ kids or just about here and there, so to not have to grab the notebook all the time. And I would use it as an ereader and some light web surfing.

She had to explain to my 4-year old that the store still didn’t have it in (they had promised it by father’s day going on pandigtal’s word) and have him draw a picture of the damn thing (cute but he was disappointing - which would a kid rather do - play w/ a psp or draw a picture of one.

Now not only have they just not held their word on fathers day promise but they’ve backed it up a month!  Disgraceful.

MS or Apple could never get away with this and for one at least - and anyone I can tell, PD has lost my business across the board.  Based on their etimates a month means Christmas.  Get the Notion Ink Adam, or an A-pad (android tablet) a wifi nook, or any number of other things that will be out there around the same time - before or only a little after PD’s latest BS calim.

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If just looking for an

From Kasey Jones on June 24, 2010 :: 11:22 am

If just looking for an e reader and the color touchscreen is not the issue, there is now a wifi only version of the nook out $149.  Doubt a respectable ereader will go for much less anytime soon.  In addition to being an ereader it has soduko and chess, can browse the web with a very basic and slow browser.  I’m sure eventually there will be some apps that are converted over from the standard android where there are over 70,000.

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I waited and waited and

From John on June 24, 2010 :: 4:12 pm

I waited and waited and dare I say waited for the Novel - then my wife got me a Nook Wifi/3G for my BDAY. The PRO’s you can “trook” (nookdevs.com) your nook to get RSS feeds and much more, it reads Non’DRM EPUB/PDF out of the Box, and Manga EPUB’s look great on it, and ebooks run great off my 16gb Micro SD.

Some quick CONS: unlike the Novels resistive touch screen the Nooks bottom single-touch resistive LCD is sometimes “to sensitive” for my pudgy fingers and I am still trying to adjust to the 1-2 sec refresh between pages. The internet is just as clunky as it is on the Novel but it’s a beta and BN has a higher Quality Control of their patches than PD. The dictionary is like at the middle school level and for some unknown reason it doesn’t pick see my Sprint HTC TP2’s 3G wireless network when initialized.

Since my kids and I love manga, this weekend I will be on a Manga hunt (http://domdomsoft.com), convert (Calibre), and install.

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Hmmm...looks like we have a

From thedarkbackward on July 06, 2010 :: 8:37 pm

Hmmm…looks like we have a firmware update.

Gonna run it now - stay tuned…

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Okay folks - this was

From thedarkbackward on July 07, 2010 :: 12:30 am

Okay folks - this was an excellent firmware upgrade.

Pluses:

- Accelerometer working and available in video, pictures and the reader

- Screen MUCH more responsive (a useable keyboard!)

- Wireless hasn’t dropped once in 3 hours

- Good overall improvement to speed all over the interface

- Browser now loads the mobile version of sites if available - much more usable

- Support for Adobe eBooks


Minuses:

- SD card bug still not fixed (booting with an SD card in the Novel means that the internal memory is unavailable until you reboot without it)

- When changing to landscape mode in the reader, books do not expand margins to fill the screen and margins appear to be unchangeable

This is the device that should have been released to begin with.

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has the black Novel been

From John on July 07, 2010 :: 11:47 am

has the black Novel been released?

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Why is Pandigital releasing firmware

From Nathan on July 07, 2010 :: 1:52 pm

Why is Pandigital releasing firmware upgrades for a product it has not only recalled officially, but that is no longer available on the market?

I mean I can see the value for people who already own the device and didn’t want to return it for a refund, but why is the company investing time in a product that presumably will be worthless when they supposedly release the black version?  Are they planning on releasing two versions simultaneously?

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I believe they are still

From Stan on July 07, 2010 :: 5:40 pm

I believe they are still releasing the white one, and I think that both versions are going to use the same firmware.

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Kohl's is running the advertisement

From Linda on July 08, 2010 :: 9:20 am

Kohl’s is running the advertisement for the white model, of the Novel again in today’s ad.  This one also shows it with the 15 dollar rebate.  I don’t think they have them in stock yet…. they were suppose to call me when they got them in.

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I just received a call.

From Linda on July 08, 2010 :: 1:11 pm

I just received a call.  The white Novel’s are in at Kohl’s ..... I just got the phone call.

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I just called my Kohl's

From Steve on July 08, 2010 :: 7:24 pm

I just called my Kohl’s and they said they weren’t in yet but they wrote me a new raincheck for $159.99 so I don’t have to do the MIR.  Pretty cool of them.  I still want it.  The possibilities are endless with it being Android. And the updates are going to keep coming.  I can give in to a little lag for a color screen.

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Weird...http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/ourbrands/rebates.jspIn the list of rebate

From Nemo on July 10, 2010 :: 10:48 pm

Weird…

http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/ourbrands/rebates.jsp

In the list of rebate forms on Kohls site is an outdated, but apparently still honored, rebate for for the white and just a couple items past that down the list is a $15 rebate form for the black one that is goo on purchases up to 7/11.

Like I said - Weird.

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I got my novel at

From Dennis on July 12, 2010 :: 1:59 pm

I got my novel at Bed, Bath & Beyond on Friday night. It is the white one and has the 7/5/2010 firmware.

I think the pandigital website still only has the 7/4/2010 firmware. Not sure what the differences are.

The resistive screen is okay - it definitely works best with a fingernail or a stylus. The device seems snappy “enough”.

It is running Android 2.0 and is very easy to hack.

At this point the only think I’m not real happy with is the wifi - it doesn’t seem to have very good reception.

Check out the Novel forum on SlateDroid for the people hacking it.

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Oh, also - the back

From Dennis on July 12, 2010 :: 2:27 pm

Oh, also - the back is relatively easy to remove - the battery is replaceable and the internal memory is mini SD - you can easily replace it with larger internal memory!

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Dennis,Just checked the website and

From kc on July 12, 2010 :: 3:53 pm

Dennis,

Just checked the website and BBB doesn’t have the black one listed yet.

Could you give me an idea of what it cost you?  Seems having a replacable battery alone would be worth extra, but need to decide at what point is the white one the way to go…

Thanks

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I picked up a white

From Ron on July 13, 2010 :: 6:46 pm

I picked up a white one from Kohls.  I was waiting for the black or just going to go w/ another reader or android device, but decided I’d give it a try after chatting w/ someone at PD.

I’m beginning to think that the white might be better after all.  Of course I’ve never seen or held a black PDN in person, I’m just going off the picture, but it appears that there are a few things preferable about the white one.  Of course, as w/ all things in life - there are pros and cons to each.

First - Advantages of black:

1. smaller surface area and thinner (slightly)
2. lighter (slightly)
3. matte screen (not a preference to me b/c I prefer gloss, but depends on person)
4. 2 Gb of memory… double?! (see advantages of white)

Now - Advantages of white:

1. Back opens giving easy access to the battery AND the micro SD card.  Replace the 1 GB card w/ more memory and boom - you’ve increased your novel’s internal memory many times over.
2. TWO speakers on bottom EDGE as opposed to single speaker on back with black.  I find the placement of the SINGLE speaker on the black odd - when you set it down, if you are listening to music, a video, whatever the sound will be muffled on the black, but the TWO speakers on the bottom edge of the white would still sound fine
3. Glossy screen (preference)
4. Actually available now, not vaporware.
5. Easily hackable according to reports.  I have not tried myself.

Hope this helps. Personally the white is looking better an maybe wort the slight increase in size and weight to increase the memory and replace the battery.  Which btw - looks different in these latest incarnations from the prior youtube video of the initial release versions.  I only have one large black battery in mine, not two small white ones.  Unless they are just encased inside the black area.

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For those od you who

From Shellie on July 18, 2010 :: 6:44 pm

For those od you who say the White Novel 7 does not support Landscape viewing, pooh.  It absolutly does.  I use it reading and surfing the web.  Mine had the updated firmware already installed, straight out of the box and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next with the promised apps.  Although, i am quite happy with it as it is.  This is by far the best thing I have bought in years.  I bought mine at Kohls and they had plenty.  As stated in earlier comments, it sells for 200, but thanks to a price match with Bed Bath and Beyond of 169.00 and a 30% off I got in the mail to use when using my Kohls card, well you do the math.  I was grinning all the way home.  I had a dream of getting an ipad as soon as possible, but I now am quite content with my “ipad lite”.  This thing is so cool.  I read, listen to music, play games (needs more of those)and surf the web.  I also watched a movie a little earlier.  What more could a person want.  I love the size, the weight and ease of use.  If you read all your literature, they tell you to use your fingernail or a stylus.  Read people read!!  I only had it lock on me one time and that was with a book I already had that I downloded to the Novel 7 from my PC and I believe that was due to a bad file.  Every other book I downloaded to it from my PC works great.  All I can say is get it.

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If anyone knows where I

From Shellie on July 18, 2010 :: 6:47 pm

If anyone knows where I can find a great case, that will protect my Novel 7 while riding in my purse, please let me know.  I checked the Pandigital site and nothing yet.

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Office Depot sells a cover

From Linda on July 18, 2010 :: 7:02 pm

Office Depot sells a cover that will work… it is the one for the Sony Touch Reader it is made by “Case Logic”  their web site is WWW.caselogic.com
They have three in stock at Office Depot.  The Black one is the only one that doesn’t work.  I tried all three.

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Shellie is right. I picked

From Andrea on July 18, 2010 :: 9:20 pm

Shellie is right. I picked up a Novel at BedBath & Beyond last week, used the simple hack to be able to install apps and it is a great little device at a very reasonable price. I’m running the Kindle app, plus a number of others. When I’m home reading on the couch it alerts me if I have new email via our home wifi network, I can check the weather and I also am using it as my bedside alarm clock on the nifty, included stand, also using a free android app. This thing is great and I like the term “iPad lite” because that’s a good description. Love it.

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I was just about to

From Ericksson on July 19, 2010 :: 4:39 am

I was just about to buy one and for “unknown” reason I did not.!!!! (can’t believe it) I’m hopping to get it either tomorrow or this coming friday… but I’m still confuse is it a good device or not?? what do u guys recommend me? should I buy it???

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Go for it Ericksson, I

From Shellie on July 19, 2010 :: 11:32 am

Go for it Ericksson, I can’t believe anyone would be disapointed in this little gem. Has anyone had any problems with it after using the hack. I haven’t tried the hack for apps.  I have this great machine and hate to do anything to mess it up.

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No real problems after the

From Andrea on July 19, 2010 :: 12:05 pm

No real problems after the hack. I have been haphazardly trying apps and have had a couple that I think made it run slow and just ended up uninstalling. I think the hack is SO worth it, to be able to get the kindle app and others. Love it.

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Check ebay for cases.

From Kent on July 20, 2010 :: 2:57 pm

Check ebay for cases.  I see a couple on there with the Novel.  Does anyone know when the 2GB version is going to hit the market?

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Went on the Pandigital site

From Shellie on July 20, 2010 :: 3:23 pm

Went on the Pandigital site and downloaded the Newly added firmware update.  Just a heads up, when you do this, remember to take out your memory card first.  I ran though this 3 times, before I decided to try it without the card in.  DUH!!  Not as swift as I thought I was.  “s”

I’ll check out ebay for those covers, thanks

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Pandigital.net the primary web-site, now

From Shellie on July 20, 2010 :: 11:38 pm

Pandigital.net the primary web-site, now has protective covers and will soon have cases, cases are listed but no price and date when they will be available.  Soon.  I’ll wait.

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> should I buy it???

From walterbyrd on July 21, 2010 :: 8:28 am

> should I buy it???

You have to answer that for yourself.

Ask yourself: “what can you do with this that you can not do with a netbook?”

I see netbooks, with longer battery life, selling for $200.

The price on the kindle has been lowered to $189. The kindle has much better batter life, and the kindle gives you free internet everywhere.

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