"Just what I wanted/needed/expected."3.5 starson by uncletilmer
Pros: Competent book reader.
B&N account management and book downloading could not be simpler.
E-mail client is very good
Battery life is very good - better than expected.
Decent video and music player.
OK web browser.
Good e-mail client.
Cons: Periodic freezes
Can be slow to adjust from portrait to landscape
Needs a file browser to access downloaded material
Summary: I got this reader for only about $120 after a coupon and rebate from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I did not need an iPad or anything close to it. I wanted an e-reader. What I got was a competent reader with some extra features that are actually pretty nice. Overall, I'm happy.Just noticed that I accidentally mentioned the e-mail client twice in the "Pros" section. Guess I really like that feature, huh?
I really like the B&N account management tool. Downloading purchased books could not be any simpler. Works great every time. I also like the e-mail client. I can e-mail PDF files to my Gmail account and plunk them directly into my bookshelf from within the e-mail itself. Nifty. You could do this with a USB cable, but e-mail over Wi-Fi is really handy.
The biggest complaint I have about the Novel is the instability of the OS. It's Android-based so you would think it would be OK, but every now and then the device locks up, requiring a reboot using a paper clip in the little hole on the top edge of the device. It does not happen a lot, but when it does, you need a paper clip or you are dead in the water. There's no way to do the battery pull trick you can do with a cell phone to reboot it. Again - it doesn't happen a lot, but it can happen. I'm not sure what triggers it, but once every 3 weeks or so I have it happen. I use the device practically every day so that's not frequent enough to make me want to toss the reader.
The other complaint I have is that there really needs to be a better device browser that allows you to manipulate downloaded files. If you download a file from a web site using the web browser, it goes into the "downloads" folder. That folder cannot be accessed unless you connect the device to your computer. That's kind of a pain. (If there's another way to do this, I haven't found it.)
I hear a lot of complaints about this device regarding speed. Yes, it is slow - but in the end it is a book reader. How fast do you need to turn those pages anyway? I don't have too many issues with performance once the device is booted up. It does take too long to boot - roughly a full minute. And - it can be slow to realize that you have reoriented it from portrait to landscape (and vice versa). It also can be slow to render web pages. But - you didn't buy an iPad did you? You spent about 1/4 of the money and got an e-reader. Don't expect it to perform like a $500 iPad.
Another complaint the Novel draws is the performance of the touch screen. I really have no issues with it. The directions tell you to use your fingernail or a stylus for the best results. I use the flat back edge of my first fingernail and find that it works great. It tooks some getting used to, but now it's second nature.
The bottom line is that I really like this little e-reader. It's a bit quirky sometimes and no one knows what you are talking about when you say you have one, but it suits me just fine.
Updated on Sep 8, 2010