Pandigital Novel Review….

After much web ballyhooed on this Android/eReader, it has finally arrived on to Bed Bath & Beyond so I figured it was time for a test try.

It is not an iPad. There, I said it. But its kinda cool anyway.

There are so many iPad clones out. Would I want an iPad? Sure, if you got a spare…
But I wanted an eReader for:
1>Reading books. Wow. There are tons of free books & pdf magazines to read from the web.. kinda a pain to read on the notebook/desktop.
2>Learn Android. Many of the apps look cool, but I don’t need an android phone..

And now the “observations”

So far this version firmware 707 cannot install other apps.  I tried and got stuck in a development selection in the os without a back or menu button to escape from.

Can this be a problem? sure, but there are hacks to be done to convert the volume control to home/escape…
(Kinda reminds me of the Mio 310 gps hack to utilize Windows CE with only a power button… it works…)

There were complaints that you couldn’t charge via usb. Shame. But with a 6 hr battery, it works.

Similarly, I have a Nokia n810 internet tablet running maemo 2008.
(tiny tablet/size of a palm tx, lots of Linux apps, but sometimes its hard to read on a tiny screen.)

I used calibre to convert some old pdb books to epub… worked great.
Dragged and dropped pdfs (MaximumPC) looks great, but takes time for page turns. Gets really slow…but cant tell if its slow or locking up… yeesh..

The music player is functional, and can run in the background.

Video can only handle mp4. I and everyone else is trying to figure out the video format for good viewing without stuttering.

Photos looked pretty good with some nice digital frame tricks and clock calendar

It looks like WiFi cannot handle hidden networks. Usually at home I tried to turn on the broadcast, get connected and then turn off the broadcast, but the novel doesn’t get it.
The funny thing is that it doesn’t remember the hotspot after sleep mode, but its fine after a reset.

No flash on the browser… big surprise… but for the most part, it works.

The built-in software is a nice idea. But it gets goofy once in a while (slow/locks up).

For the hacker, this looks really cool… for the non-hacker, get an iPad. It works.

To checkout progress on hacking the Pandigital Novel, check out SlateDroid.


By roscoer

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