Pandigital Novel fails to impress: slow, broken WiFi and poor ereader app

Jun 7, 2010

Considering picking up a Pandigital Novel ereader now that they're available at Kohl's?  Judging by ebook-afficianado Nate's first-impressions, you might do better to wait a while before dropping your cash; he's found the Novel to be slow, broken in its WiFi support and significantly lacking in flexibility.

Based on Android, though heavily re-skinned, the Novel has proved slow to react to touchscreen presses, and after Nate calibrated it things got even worse.  WiFi won't connect, and the promised landscape orientation mode that Pandigital mention is nowhere to be found (there's no accelerometer, it seems, and the option to flip orientation is hidden better than Nate can find it).

Meanwhile build quality is patchy, with the face plate already pealing at the corner, but most damning is the software and how poorly it caters to the sort of frequent readers likely to pick up an ereader.  Page turns are slow, navigating ebooks is slow, and despite a recent firmware update, you can't adjust margins, line spacing or fonts.  To be fair, Nate says he'll be sticking with the Pandigital Novel to give it a fair shot, but when you consider Kohl's are charging $260 - the same as a Kindle or nook - we're don't think many others will be as accommodating.

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