I owned a Pandigital Novel for exactly two weeks before it died on me. That?s what prompted me to write the reasons why no one should buy a Pandigital Novel.
- It?s buggy. I don?t have an exact count of how many times the unit froze up on me requiring a reset, but it was many, many more than just a few.
- Wi-Fi. The only way I could get the Novel to connect to my home network was to remove all but the most basic security. It wouldn?t connect when I used WPA so I had to move down to WEP, but even then the connection was spotty. Supposedly the benefits of ?N? networks are faster speeds and longer range, but this device dropped to one or two bars when I moved to another room away from the router.
- Browsing. In the end it didn?t matter if the device connected to the Wi-Fi or not because browsing the web was a frustrating ordeal. I ended up using a stylus to click links on pages and even then when there were two links close together the link next to the one I clicked would activate - then I?d have to wait for that page to load so I could click back and re-attempt to click the link I originally wanted. Zooming in barely worked and when it did zoom in and I dragged my finger to position the page where I wanted it, it would un-zoom the page. Frustrating, and simply not worth the time.
- The keyboard. I don?t know how many times the keyboard appeared when I didn?t want it to and there was no way to remove it from the screen. The keyboard also froze numerous times while I was attempting to enter passwords, web addresses, usernames etc. The keyboard also has the numbers on an entirely different page so I was constantly flipping back and forth to enter passwords and email addresses. Tedious.
- E-reader. Sometimes the reader would not change orientation from portrait to landscape no matter how long I held the device sideways. Sometimes when it did switch to landscape the text would be so small a fine-print attorney would be proud. Switching the font would not fix this; I had to re-load the book each time this happened. There were also plenty of times when I scrolled the page forward, but it would go backward instead.
- Firmware. There were three new firmware releases during the 14 days I owned the Novel and that should tell you something. When I installed a new firmware update everything on the Novel would be wiped out and I?d have to reload all of my books. Surprisingly, even the manual and stuff preloaded by Pandigital was wiped out. I didn?t see any warnings stating that a firmware upgrade would cause data to be lost. This is very bush-league.