Barnes and Noble the BEST ereader for several reasons

i have tested these folks about as far as you can test customer service.  and for me, customer service either makes or breaks.


have ordered their free magazine subscriptions, only to cancel them.  have sent upset/disgruntled emails, only to receive polite and positive response from a REAL person.  and when i asked to cancel a newspaper …

they responded that they would need the order number, etc.  at FIRST.   i let it lie — because my time is just as valuable as anyone else’s.  why should i go paging through emails looking for an order number?  within a week i received an apology and the cancellation with no problem.

now where they DIDN’T excel, was in the programming and design of the Nook reader.  i didn’t care for it —- was a little too heavy, screen too bright.  also the Nook had a security issue, that was my main reason for pulling the plug on that one.

yet i COULD NOT, in all fairness …. opt to go with a Kindle.  i am FOR open source software principals.  i work in Windows AND Linux (Ubuntu).  for those who don’t know how that works:

Barnes and Noble use the open (though drm for bought titles) format ——- called ePub.  you order a newspaper from them, and you can open it up in ANY software program running the ePub format, such as the open source Alkido.


with Kindle —- they have what is called a PROPRIETARY format for ALL of their books and ereader files.  you can ONLY open them in a Kindle — you have to BUY a Kindle and keep a Kindle and forever and ALWAYS be slave to your Kindle. would have to amend and say that you can use the Kindle app for android and other platforms. but every Kindle file downloaded only opens with Kindle.

as an example — say you bought a new sweater, and it is made purposely of a special material. no spots or stains can be removed from this material, unless you also buy and continually use a special soap made by the same manufacturer. is it ethical to make and sell those sweaters of this special material? there is no law that says you can’t. in fact we do — it’s called dry cleaning. all you need to sell something in the U.S. is good advertising, and the institution of boredom combined with expanding methods of suggestion. But that is how i see Kindle, and the harnessing of proprietary ereader formats. it is the dry-clean only sweater of the electronics’ world.


Barnes and Noble is the best choice for longevity, and anyone who is a serious reader.


and since i was not blown-over with the design of the Nook ……….. was delighted to find a different option in the Pandigital reader.  something a little lighter, a little less eye-ball-frying bright.  you can’t get much better than these two teaming up.  Pandigital really knows their software ……….. and although hackers have worked to duplicate it to root the Pandigital tablets, i have watched as this company has stayed one step ahead always on their game.

they do SUCH a nice job of the programming, that for the first time i am seeing Android as a viable OS rather than just a toy.



Since the making of this video, Pandigital has included Flash support in their update. (Flashplayer 10.2 native browser only)

doing a little research on the best deal for a Pandigital Nova – and am really feeling bad about what appears to be a smear campaign by Amazon. perhaps they didn’t want the Nova to take any thunder from their Kindle Fire.

there are little tells, here and there. for example, a larger-than-normal percentage of the consumer comments at Best Buy – state “I’m returning this and getting a Kindle.”

now, that wouldn’t be so odd …. except that the Pandigital in question is a NOOK READER. if you were to return it, the logical replacement would be a B&N Nook reader. who would be INVESTED in Nook and owning Nook books, saying they are now going to go buy a Kindle?

so that didn’t make sense —- even this blog is listed on search engines with the ONE positive thing i said about Kindle Fire, when i mostly talk on the characteristics of the Pandigital Nova. you have to wonder how far advertising companies will go these days.

in my research, i found tech reviews that were obviously skewed, from Cnet onward. all sell-outs. on a You Tube video attempting to say what an awful product Pandigital is – if you look in the comment area, the techs tear him apart and say he doesn’t know what he is talking-about. the app he pulls up on the reader is the Kindle app, rather than the built-in Nook! oh no he’s not getting a kick back from Kindle on that one – of course not. *sarcastic smirk inserted here*

a resistive screen is different, it’s supposed to be different. a plastic casing means it is lighter and distributes what weight it DOES have more evenly, for better reading. my smart phone is actually harder to hold up and read than than my Pandigital reader!

I have the Novel, and was looking at the Nova as a possible upgrade. looks like it has twice the RAM — 512 instead of 256. both processors are at 800 mhz — but seems the Nova processor has a little more get up and go. since it is running the Android 2.3…….. you could apply a hack to get the Android market. if are feeling brave, could even install the Amazon app market …. though after seeing their smear campaign, I would think twice.

not to be pedantic … but come on! when the scripts being offered in reviews AND customer comments are almost identical in wording. ? as a writer and avid reader, I remember that sort of thing. it clicks. and why I am writing this blog, is that when I went to research, there were too many damn clicks. Amazon is running a smear campaign and that just plain isn’t nice. it impedes REAL information on a real product for real consumers.

Pandigital Nova w/ Angry Birds Rio

and if Amazon themselves aren’t doing it, then some of their investors. I don’t know …

but anyway, I was able to drum up enough stats, despite the run around.

800 mhz processor

512 mb RAM

4 gigs internal memory, and up to 32 gigs more with microSD

Nook reader (membership to Barnes and Noble Nook necessary)

resistive touch screen

Android 2.3 (gingerbread)

4 hardwired buttons

front facing VGA camera

rear-facing 1.5 pixel camera

built in speaker and headphone jack

handles media formats MP3 and AAC for music, and H.264 (.Mp4) for video (basically same formats used in iPod)

is small enough that can fit it into a coat pocket. 7” screen (diagonal)

the Nova is a little heavier than the Novel …. 13.8 oz rather than 12 oz.

while the Super Nova has a 1.0 ghz processor (samsung) – it is also the larger 8” screen. so you are probably looking at similar response-times to the 800 mhz Nova. the Super Nova weighs 16.8 oz.


priced on sale at Best Buy right now for $149 …. with prices likely to become even more attractive farther into the holiday season – the Pandigital Nova brings some very necessary competition to the eReader market.


PS: there is NOTHING that awesome about an “authorized” Android with Google Market. my smart phone is the most schizophrenic device I ever met —– the greater they are, the harder they fall.

google took an open source kernel in linux — and has worked to harness and enslave it for their increasing profits with Android: while linux is a piece of programming that was worked on and developed by those who are dedicated to open source software principals. that’s pretty bad ….. it’s like raiding the convent to stock your whore house with new dames. not that there’s anything wrong with that ….. but maybe there is.

maybe there’s a reason big boy on the block Microsoft stepped in to claim some of the patents on Android.

since Google can’t run the copyright angles on the OS – works to monopolize the software app market instead. getting every idiot and their brother’s uncle to write apps for them — once again, harnessing the element of open source to sell. that’s like getting a free hamburger meal from St. Marks, taking it across the street and selling it at McDondalds for half the price.

there are some things you don’t do. and while electronics and computer science are new to the field of ethics …. ethics will eventually arrive.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>just a message from your friendly, neighborhood soapbox


with the Nova, might be able to play more games, like Angry Birds. and I should be able with an Android 2.3, to get a Video app that will play Windows wmv and wma formats.

of course, could get the Kindle Fire for $199. but there is NO extended storage in the Kindle …. you are stuck streaming everything or using up very quickly the 8 gigs of internal memory. that’s the same storage space I have in my walkman MP3 player.

I like the idea of keeping all my media on-file. which is easily done on the Pandigital, where you can switch files from your computer to your eReader. if you are not constantly reading content from a server and using Wifi — that will save you on battery-life, also.

it’s kind of funny to see Kindle-Amazon worried ……. they came out with their $199 pre-holiday Kindle Fire debut. and following the ideology of set pricing that takes no supply-angle into account…………. are slamming up to the wall of competition. where any customers who DID order the Kindle Fire for the $199 – will become upset if that price drops at all in the near future.

mainly in that once they got the Kindle, find that it is an installment plan. you pay as you go: more, and more, and more …… they even brag about it on the Kindle Fire promo page: stream your favorite movies and music! go home and stream them on your TV. of course, they are counting on increasing pressures of DRM to ensure their market.

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh …… we are already seeing eBooks at TOO HIGH a price. there is no reason for electronic data to cost more than a printed book! no investment of substance whatsoever in electronic data – rules of supply are moot. when they are arrogant enough to price eBooks out of the ballpark like that ……that is called cornering a market.

I really wish they all could just learn how to behave. try to remember American business ethics …. you know, the ones most ditched in the 60’s when they realized wolf man jack wasn’t real. make an honest dollar.

after all ….. we don’t care that you have shareholders rather than owners. dirty money is dirty money. wouldn’t you rather see yours made in the right way?

when you leave it up to the consumer …… and then woo them by making this or that popular. by exploiting ignorance when it comes to tech — well, who wants to do business with a crook?

and I’m like a total Amazon fan and shopper ….. so going to have to rethink that one now, too.

apps i was able to install on Pandigital Nova:

Amazon Store:

  • Angry Birds Seasons
  • Angry Birds Rio (just have to be careful shooting the yellow birds)
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Doodle Jump (fast! )
  • Double Twist video player
  • Gemini App Manager
  • Thunderstorm Live Wallpaper (awesome effects!)

  • Analog Clock collection
  • Battery widget
  • Digital Clock widget
  • Opera Mobile
  • YouTube
  • Adobe Flashplayer

the app store that comes with Nova was weird — it showed different search results from different browsers. maybe just recognizing the android system, but then the downloads just stopped working from GetJar altogether.

is fair to note i STILL can’t find any way to play WMV or WMA on the reader. even with programs like Double Twist that play it fine on my android smart phone. so am stuck having to convert files to MP4 ….which takes up more space for less res value. 😦
update 12/13/2011:

owned the Nova now for several weeks. there are a couple bugs/workarounds worth noting:

  • with magazines through B&N — do NOT use the “Article View” feature. instead, double-tap magazine page to enlarge print — installing B&N for android helps with support programming.
  • Double Twist can be a little buggy on the Pandigital — to where have to reboot if it gets stuck (problem is with the ability to process consecutive commands.)
  • rear-facing video and still camera is very dark on default. requires manual adjustment of shutter speed.
  • many apps programmed to “contact the mothership” — causing extra battery drain when connected to Wifi. installing a task killer, like w/any android system — a must.
  • when playing most games, battery length 2-3 hours (eats up the juice pretty fast)
  • calendar function a “hook-up” to an already set calendar server (if you have one) rather than free-standing calendar program.
  • initiate front-facing camera through menu option in camera program only. (i don’t skype so couldn’t say on that)
  • chassis feels a little vulnerable on the Nova–where with Novel could fling it across the room. so recommend having a sleeve or case. (can even build one out of a real book)

if you ever get completely stuck, the Nova has a System Recovery similar to Windows …. under Settings/Privacy/Factory Data Reset. will put your tablet back to its original state.

and last thing i will say — when comes to a decision between Kindle Fire or the Pandigital Nova– is that the Pandigital is an excellent product, but Kindle Fire might work if the purchase is for a child or someone who is cybernetically-challenged. without a micro SD slot, your teenager will not be able to destroy a Kindle Fire as readily as they could a programmable android tablet. just remember that with a Kindle Fire, are looking at hosting most of your media on a remote server — requiring constant Wifi to access your own files. and the added cost of streaming and storing media is a factor that can change in price and availability at any time.


512 mb Ram
800 mhz processor
7″ resistive touchscreen
4 gb internal storage
micro SD slot: YES
OS: Android 2.3 (gingerbread)
camera: YES
weight: 13.8 oz.
email: YES
internet browser: YES
wifi: YES
plays angry birds: YES


512 mb Ram
1.0 ghz processor
7″ capacitive touchscreen
8 gb internal storage
micro SD slot: NO
OS: Android 2.2 (froyo)
camera: NO
weight: 14.6 oz.
email: YES
internet browser: YES
wifi: YES
plays angry birds: YES

Pandigital is a California-based company, from the Bay area …. privately owned. its President used to be the CEO of Casio and a graduate of Texas Tech.



4 Replies to “Barnes and Noble the BEST ereader for several reasons”

  1. Thanks very much for such a comprehensive review! I have been looking at all the different e-readers, thinking that I *might* get one…but you know, in the end, I decided that I am just too ‘old-school’ and would rather have the paper version. I don’t know, there is just something….’real’ and ‘solid’ about having the weight of the book and the smell of the paper…:) If that makes me a sap, then so be it.

  2. oh no, i like books too. if for nothing else, they are an actual product being sold as a product.

    with electronic data — it’s important to develop the secure translation and storage of that data. you want to be able to read that electronic book in 50 years? i do …. well i probably won’t be alive in 50 years! but then shouldn’t my kids be able to have the electronic books and read them? when you are investing the same amount of monies, if not more —- there is no reason to not “have” data as an investment and an heirloom.

    why am working to develop and find the best paths for longevity. and that’s where you combine data and machine into one device and storage medium that might have a fighting chance of sticking around.

  3. “…combine data and machine into one device and storage medium that might have a fighting chance of sticking around.” <— Which is exactly what you were saying about the open source vs. the proprietary garbage, and I definitely agree!

    My mom did a "time capsule" back in 2010, and despite misgivings, I actually filled up a 2G flash drive with images and stuff to read, etc. to put inside of the capsule. I wondered at the time if there would even be the technology in 50 years to open it or read what is on it, but figured USB is pretty universal at this point…and even if/when they surpass that technology, surely there will be a museum or library somewhere in the future that would have an "archaic" machine that would be able to read it! Or at least, that's the hope, anyway. 🙂 Lol…kind of like the microfilm/microfische reader machines we have in the libraries today – back in the day, they were cutting edge.

    1. i still have poetry on floppy discs! lol …….. have no way to get to the files, but i keep them just the same.

      it’s not so much the USB likely to change as it is the ability to READ the file format. even those that are the same, are constantly changing parameters. they TRY to include all past versions when “updating” —- but as you can imagine, those that don’t play ball are dropped. oh yea …….. images can be coded with what is called an ICC profile. i make sure those i save of my art are NOT coded with an ICC profile. but most images are (for example, the scans from my scanner are coded in the Epson ICC profile)—- and it’s how they identify how the image was made and how they are to “read-back” the color. but say like, if pentax decides not to play ball ——– then on the updates a machine is programmed to NOT read the pentax ICC. …………………………………….. 🙂 i’m sorry, but that’s truly how they are working it.

      for awhile all the video i took from my camera stopped having sound because they discontinued the codec in their updates. then they put it back but my friend is dead now………… and i can’t do anything with the video i took of her with a message to her fiance fighting in the iraq war. sits on my hard drive and i don’t have the heart to delete it.

      i keep the older install programs for codecs, but at anytime windows can change their way of processing the install and block the ability to decode a video or movie. SO — is a matter of getting something working, machine and data — then keeping it offline and well-cared-for. have to remember to go through and delete the task scheduling ……. those can sit like bombs waiting to go off. have some schedules on this machine for 2014 for when i figure they figure my warranty is up! lol … so that’s when she is going to be going offline.

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