Pandigital has been having a little trouble with its Android-based Novel color e-book reader device (which we previously mentioned here). After shipping them, it turned around and recalled them because of problems with the software. It will update the software and put them back on the shelves. It is unclear why the company didn’t just push out an update to the software to everyone who already had the device, rather than recalling it.

Nate the Great from The Digital Reader and Mobileread got his hands on a Novel for a while, and was not thrilled by what he found. His preliminary review noted problems with touchscreen, wifi, sluggish response, weight, and inability to add third-party apps, among others.

Nate posted a brief update on some further discoveries (such as the fact that wifi worked on other networks, just not his own), then finally returned the device for a refund as part of the recall (though said that if he’d realized it was just a software recall he would have kept it).

The Novel is still available for sale from Amazon for $249.


  1. I first thought it odd that they would recall the product to do a firmware update. Then I added in that they’ve been selling through departments stores and other non-techie venues. Since they are actively targetting non-techies, they apparently decided it was better to do a Day 4 recall (not many sold, yet) than slipstreaming the update and having customers flooding user support or, worse, returning them on their own and walking away.

    Early reports have been that their tech support has been friendly, competent, and US-based. (Apparently they’re not big enough to outsource to Bangalore yet. 😉 )

    I’ve been keeping an eye on their reader, waiting for the release of Kindle for Android. There is some potential in the gadget.

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