Pandigital is certainly going through some growing pains, we reported last month that users were having a tone of problems with WI-FI, internet connectivity and all sorts of UI errors. The company did a recall of the items, although you had to hunt around for the particular details.
Pandigital then said, a firmware fix would be issued, and it was for a while, but it did little to address the on-going problems.
Yesterday, June 24 2010, Pandigital announced a halt on sales of their Novel E-Reader. They will try and fix some of the on-going firmware problems. The company did mention that in August at the latest the device will again be available. Rumor has it, Pandigital is scraping the current device, and going with a new version that is black, has more RAM, and more functionally, this model is currently being reviewed by the FCC.
The Pandigital Novel Costs only $199 and features a 7-inch TFT LCD color multi-touchscreen display. It measures 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches and weighs 454g (16oz). The Operating system runs Google Android and has an ARM 11 Mobile Processor. The Resolution of the device is 800 x 600 and allows great renders of your full color book shelf. Finally, the unit features WI-FI, a mini USB port, 1 GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 32 GB. It reads many popular E-Book formats such as PDF, EPUB, HTML and TXT.
The Google Android operating system allows this e-reader to surf the internet with a dedicated web browser, check email, listen to music and have access to many different applications available for download.
This device not only allows the user to connect up to the Barnes and Noble E-Book store, which currently has over a million E-Books. It also has the ability to use B&N Lendme technology, which allows users to share electronic books with each other for 14 days. The User Interface is both intuitive and customisable. It has great responsive touch screen technology.
Although the Pandigital first cut its teeth doing digital photo frames, its transition to quasi tablet driven e-reader should be a case study for other people trying to get involved into this increasing competitive niche. They tried to rush out a device too quickly to get market share, only to alienate existing customers and turn future customers off with their inability to provide firmware updates, and depending on KOHL to handle the recall of the device.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.