Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Cool Links and Pandigitial Novel Reviewed by my Mom!

Links: A really important article from The Scholarly Kitchen, the blog of The Society for Scholarly Publishing, about the, "true costs of digital publishing". The piece debunks some of the misconceptions on how digital publishing works and shows that the models for evaluating cost are often inaccurate.

Writer and comic creator Warren Ellis recently posted a link on his twitter account to a blog that focuses on the future of publishing that's been going since 2006. The blog itself is very interesting as is the specific article Ellis posted concerning the future of book covers. Check 'em out!

Pandigital Novel: I first heard about the Pandigital Novel a few weeks ago. This blog being relatively new, and a labor of love, I'm still trying to get connected to all the relevant news and so this one snuck up on me. My Mom, a recent convert to digital reading and a new owner of the nook, loved the idea of the new e-reader when she saw it a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and was the one who brought it to my attention. The device itself sounds pretty interesting on paper. It has full-color, backlit, touch screen and access to the Barnes and Noble online store - which struck me as a smart move; if the nook has to have a competing device at least they can ensure that they are the ones who provide the e-books. At between 169.99 and 179.99 depending on where you go, it's like a Nook and an Ipad had a baby.
Shortly after the devices release there were multiple articles online talking about how owners had already hacked the operating system. PC World reports that some users have put the kindle application onto the device and Engagdet even has a video that has instructions on how to do it yourself.

While some of the reviews have been positive there was a recall of the device in June as reported by Slashgear, which labeled the device "half-baked." It looks like the relaunch hasn't done much better. There have been complaints of buggy devices and lackluster customer service. Here's what my Mom - a Branch Review specialist at West America Bank with over 30 years customer service experience -  wrote shortly after purchasing the device:
"I returned the Pandigital Novel. The color was nice but I don't know all that it can do partly because I couldn't get pass page 40 of the owners manual. When I would page forward it just kept repeating page 40. I emailed the company (which is in the valley here and I could have driven there knocked on their door and gotten an answer faster) but have still not heard back from them. I couldn't register my purchase because their web site was not working properly. When I tried to look up accessories for the Novel, when in the owners manual said I could purchase on their web site, when I went there it gave me a list of store I could buy things from but I never did find the cute covers it showed in the manual.
All this added up to too much trouble. And this was all in the 24 hours I had  it!  I shouldn't have to spend that much time trying to make something work as it should.
The web site for Pandigital is not very informative either. Doesn't really show a very good anything about the ereader.
I'm not sorry I returned it. If I really ever want the color and all the extras I will purchase an IPad. For now I'm sticking with the Nook and I'm very happy with it."

Pandigital Customer Service finally replied to my Mom's e-mails after several days stating, "We at Pandigital apologize for the delay responding to your e-mail. We have had unexpectedly heavy traffic of both calls and e-mails. We hope that our response to your e-mail is helpful."

While this is naturally just one experience, I think it is emblematic of an overall problem with this e-reader and its company. There appear to be problems on every level - from functionality, customer service and support, and the availability of accessories on the website. While the Pandigital Novel appears to have potential, I would definitely wait for them to solve some of these issues before buying one.

1 comment:

  1. One comment I would like to clarify is that Pandigital did finally email me back but it was not in a few day. It was 11 days later! If you have that many emails and calls about your product that it takes 11 days to get back to your customers then I think I was right in returning a product that just doesn't work.