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Well, I did try, honest. I really wanted to love the little fella, did all the hacks, installed software and gave it love, but in the end it just didn't make the grade so I returned it to BBB a couple of hours ago and got my money back.Before I give a mini review, I have to fess up and admit that I owned an iPad before, sold it, got the PDN, and bought another iPad yesterday, so I can't claim to be unbiased and I also, probably unjustly expected more of the PDN. Also I travel a lot overseas and spend a bunch of time in planes, airports and hotels so my criteria for what makes a tablet or netbook usable is probably different from most other people here.What I liked about it:-1) Build quality - I thought it was very well constructed and had a lot more quality to it than the Augen 78 which although I never bought, I played with for about 30 minutes. I had the PDN for almost a month and no sign of cracks or defects at all.2) Weight - I liked that it was heavy and felt substantial and not flimsey. Maybe a shade lighter would have been a bonus, but can't complain.3) Aspect ratio - 800 x 600 is the best for me. Good for reading books / pdfs and for displaying web pages. 800 x 480 is just too narrow when in portrait mode and needs more scrolling when in landscape.4) Video Player - This seemed to work fine. I tried a couple of different videos on it; a ripped movie for iPhone and one shot from my camera. Both worked great and I could easily have watched a full movie on a plane or sitting in an airport.What I didn't like about it:- (note some of these could probably be fixed by firmware upgrades)1) Slow - even with the 7-24 update it still took too long to open apps. Scrolling was slow and not very precise. Obviously comparing it to the iPad is totally unfair but when you get used to a capacitance, multitouch and high res screen, it difficult not to compare unfavourably. One thing I will say and this may just be my imagination. The browser and email seemed to open up faster using the PDN standard interface rather than Pandahome launcher. I thought it was just a figment of my imagination and should have clocked both to see. I was running the hacked 7-24 and the JIT and still things seemed pretty slow.2) No true sleep mode - Real ballache to put it in sleep overnight and find the battery was almost dead in the morning.3) WiFi - reconnecting from sleep was a pain in the arse and the reception footprint was pretty poor. My iPad and iPhone and Blackberry can get WiFi in any room in the house, the PDN was pretty much limited to the living room where the router is. Maybe not such a big deal for others but was for me. Also WiFi was slow. I did a pageload test this morning on the iPad and PDN. The iPad beat it by miles. The worst thing though was inability to reconnect automatically on wake up.4) Screen response - Yes I know it is a resistive screen and I actually used a stylus most of the time, which was no hardship at all, but the response was still pretty poor. My old ipaq which I dug out to compare it with was far better. In fairness, though, maybe that's because I was used to pressing harder on the ipaq screen than on the PDN.5) Lack of apps - this one is not the PDNs fault, because I needed to do the ugly hack to get to use the android app store, but, there seemed to be a real paucity of apps in it. I suspect I wasn't getting the full list because things like Bloomberg and USA Today are supposed to be there but they never showed. Another problem with apps was that many of the ones I wanted to use didn't work fully or crashed.6) Integration - Took a whole bunch of fiddling and different apps to try to get email to save attachments and play them. Classic case. Vonage phone messages are wav files. Just couldn't get the PDN to play them at all.Other things that bugged me:-1) The fact that Pandigital didn't seem to give a crap about the community here. OK, no real reason why they should but they seemed to lead us on and promised firmware source, but never came up with anything at all. In fact they seemed to have lurked here, took the info that we provided and then locked the black version down even tighter. Granted the PDN is a reader that is built on android and they most likely only want it to stay that way, but, I would have thought that they would have welcomed a testbed like this to help iron out bugs and show just what the unit was capable off.2) No official Pandigital case - I suspect that they won't have any for the white version because the black one will be out soon and it is smaller so they didn't manufacture any for the white one. I would guess they will have cases ready when the black one ships.That's about it. Probably unfair on the PDN because it really is a cheap little device with rebates and does pretty much what it is designed to do. There is nothing to say I won't get a black one if it gets rooted and 2.1 or even 2.2 can get installed on it, but at the minute I'm waiting to see what the Cruz has to offer. That has the advantage that it will be the sister of a tablet they will release at the same time and if the hardware is pretty much the same then it may be possible to just overwrite the reader firmware with the tablet firmware. Personally i think that if that is the case you will see the PDN forum here die very quickly. I hope not because I think if Pandigital had done the decent thing the people here who have spent a lot of time and effort getting the device to where it is now would have been well rewarded.I'll be lurking to see the developments.
 

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A lot of good points. The WiFi, in particular, is still a work in progress for them, AFAIC. Definitely some bugs to be worked out.But, it is unfair to compare it with an iPad - that's like comparing a netbook to a MBP - they just aren't in the same league. With coupons and price matches, my PDN is almost $400 less than the cheapest iPad out there, and that's a big difference. Personally, I'm not even interested in the black one at this point - I want to see the Cruz Reader and Tablet, plus the future Samsung offering. Those will be very interesting to compare to an iPad when the time comes.
 

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Too bad you feel that way. I am very frustrated with Pandigital as well, but the device has a lot to offer... way more than the price would suggest. I actually had contact from a PR rep, who told me he would get back to me on Monday and has competely ignored me. Once the thing is obsolete, I hope to have the source code so I can have a device I can afford to fiddle with.Wifi is one thing I just haven't had trouble with. I wonder if there is a quality issue in there, but I may be the only one who has no real issues with the wifi.
 

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Good points Gortyargen - I agree. The most disturbing is the lack of interest on the part of Pandigital = IMHO this will doom them into oblivion. They can get FREE research here and these jerks don't even want to take advantage of it! A similar situation is developing over at Archos - another bunch of jerks. Instead of really refining their flagship Archos 5 Internet Tablet they just keep bringing out a line of craptablets - they too have a very active and knowledgable forum at archosfans.com.I think I'll keep my Novel for now but it's apparently doomed to be a mere footnote in history unless Pandigital wakes up!
 

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still working about it. Asked for an update on the release of the source today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just had another look at the Cruz tablet video.YouTube - www onut kurich com Reader Cruz & Cruz Tablet Tablets Android based 7 inch screen at Low PricesIt looks to be far faster responding than the PDN. Yes, the video could be speeded up, but if not the response is actually quite good indeed. It is also interesting to see how they seem to have it running like a hacked PDN. The back button seems to be one of the volume buttons. I'm wondering if they are hanging out here? Hell, I may just drop them a line :)
 

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Tell them to send me a review copy... :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just sent an email to the press guy.....................not sure if you know this or not but there is a thriving Android community over atwww.slatedroid.comGo to the forums and hit up the Pandigital Novel forum. Your Cruz reader looks very similar to the Novel and I see from your promotion video that it seems to use the same volume key as back button hack that was implemented for the Novel.I'm the member called Gortyargen and if you read my post PDN Returned...close but no cigar, I think you will see where Pandigital missed a golden opportunity. When the Cruz tablet and reader come out we will make a new forum for it and if you guys want to hang out there and be part of it I think you will find a wealth of talent and people who are prepared to help further the devices................. lets see if i even get a reply , let alone a review device for you and me :)
 

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I SO agree with the comments on the lax Pandigital response, so far. Their window of opportunity is closing as each day passes. We haven't even seen a firmware update since the 7/24 firmware was pulled. Are they actually doing something amazing like compiling for Eclair right now and testing, or are they just sipping French Vanilla coffee by the water cooler?The stuff I'm doing right now I don't find to be a waste of time, since most of it goes into the old noggin' for future Android tablet use. But I don't see Panditigal in my future unless they shock and awe me, in the next few weeks.
 

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They probably don't care. It works "ok" as an eReader, and in their minds all the other stuff is just extra functionality that you should be grateful for.Someone has to pay for those changes to be done, and if they think we're not worth it and everyone else will keep buying, they won't bother.
 

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Hey, I'm having a ball with this thing, and I have yet to really begin to play. Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! For a hundred and change, we really don't have a bitch whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
[quote name='clockworx;36483]They probably don't care. It works "ok" as an eReader' date=' and in their minds all the other stuff is just extra functionality that you should be grateful for.Someone has to pay for those changes to be done, and if they think we're not worth it and everyone else will keep buying, they won't bother.[/QUOTE']I would agree entirely.... but.... lets say they had come here, helped you guys out with source code and made it easy for people to use as a tablet, the word would have got out pretty darn fast and instead of people buying the Augen 78 they would have bought the PDN. Suddenly Pandigital have a cult following which starts to generate revenue that they never counted on and also they start to win the hearts and minds of people as a company who cares and is trying to go above and beyond..yada, yada, yada... you all know how it goes. As it is now, if the Cruz is hackable and they make it anyway easier, the PDN will just be remembered as a colour reader. In 6 months from now there will be shelves full of alternatives. Missed opportunity which for little or no outlay on their part could have been a long term revenue generator.As my father always said; "its not just about being better, its about being seen to be better."
 

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[quote name='clockworx;36483]They probably don't care. It works "ok" as an eReader' date=' and in their minds all the other stuff is just extra functionality that you should be grateful for.Someone has to pay for those changes to be done, and if they think we're not worth it and everyone else will keep buying, they won't bother.[/QUOTE'] Very true. PD built and marketed this as an ebook reader with a little additional function. Remember, this is an outfit that made picture frames up 'til now. They need to build an infrastructure to support a full fledge tablet and if that wasn't already in their business plan it may not be something they're prepared to jump into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[quote name='Mark Adams;36492]Hey' date=' I'm having a ball with this thing, and I have yet to really begin to play. Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! Price! For a hundred and change, we really don't have a bitch whatsoever.[/QUOTE'] Mark, I was having a ball too when I got it. There was real excitement around here from the first days when it got the button hack. Several people here are superstars but even they are now coming up against brick walls and you only have to beat your head against one for a wee while and then you walk away. Yes it was cheap but I never got any rebates and so paid full price with tax which was just over 180 bucks (could have got the rebates but wasn't sure I would keep it). then I spent 20 odd on cases. Once the fun started to run out, the 200 bucks didn't seem so cheap. If Pandigital had stepped up and word got out then I believe the big boys in the rom cooking world would have moseyed on over and with the guys here and them, we could have seen some stellar PDN action. For just over 100 smackaroonies, if that's what you got it for, it is almost disposable and the fun lasts a bit longer.
 

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Another thing that the PDN has going for it is the 4:3 screen. Quite a few of the coming wave of MIDs are 16:9. Many prefer 4:3 if they have a choice & it looks like the PDN would be one of the only 4:3 in the near term. It must be a huge decision for Pandigital to step up & decide to play in the tablet arena. They may not have the staff to support such an endeavor. When you've been successfully selling photo frames & a few other not-so-interactive products, something like a MID is a big change. I hope they decide to come out & play & see where it goes.Cheers,kev
 

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[quote name='gortyargen;36386]... I have to fess up and admit that I owned an iPad before' date=' sold it, got the PDN, and bought another iPad yesterday,... [/QUOTE'] Did you come across the issue with WIFI signal strength affected screen brightness? I am debating between the two also and wonder if Apple actually fixed the problem?
 

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[quote name='bodex;36521][URL=http://www.slatedroid.com/pandigital-novel-android-tablet-discussion/4717-8-06-firmware-posted.html]http://www.slatedroid.com/pandigital-novel-android-tablet-discussion/4717-8-06-firmware-posted.html[/URL]That was like a magic trick' date=' what else can you make appear?[/QUOTE']...We haven't even seen the open source code, yet......:DI had gotten mine for about 107 bucks, after all the rebates and coupons (and I will get the rebate, of that I have no doubt - I know the tricks when it comes to that). For what it does at this moment, it's worth the money imo.But I am also disappointed in Pandigital's response to this grassroots effort to make their device better. This market is going to change so fast, in the next few months, they are missing a fantastic opportunity, here. I'm brand new to this forum but have posted a lot....but when something better comes along I think this effort is going to fizzle out, which is a shame.
 

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I pledge to you, we will have the source code. I have the names and direct email contacts of several people at Pandigital, and have been told they intend to release the source this month. I will not let up. We will get it. Worst to worst the PDN becomes a learning tool for android hackers. At $100, it's still a deal even for just that. At the end, you still have a $100 color ereader with web. It's the best bang for buck out there. Period. Still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hfc99;37522 said:
Did you come across the issue with WIFI signal strength affected screen brightness? I am debating between the two also and wonder if Apple actually fixed the problem?
Can't say I ever noticed any screen brightness problems at all with either the last iPad or this one.
 
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