Finally, I have an Android tablet

Well, I finally purchased an Android tablet. I’ve been on a search for a few months for an adequate Android tablet to read digital novels and digital comic books. Last summer I purchased a B&N Nook and absolutely love it, however it’s not the all-in-one device I have been looking for. When I want to read a digital comic book I’ve been having to read it on my Dell Mini 9 netbook. Last week I heard of a deal through Kohl’s that you can purchase the white 7″ Pandigital Novel ereader for $60. I was familiar with the product, it was not the best choice for an Android tablet out there and Kohl’s had previously been selling it for around $200. Since the price had dropped to $60 it was a deal I could not pass up for an inexpensive Android tablet that I could test the waters with, and hack.

It took a while to find a Kohl’s in my area that still had them in stock but I finally found a location that had two left. Since I have an 11 year old boy in the house that wants the same tech gadgets I get I decided to buy one for him too. Unfortunately for me, one of the two was defective right out of the box, the calibration of the touchscreen was off by about a quarter of an inch. I gave the 11 year old, Techie Jr., the good one while I have to suffer empty handed. But, that is not the end to that story, I’ll tell you more in a moment. For now I will state that I was able to get in contact with Pandigital customer service and they will be sending me out a replacement to swap out in which I should receive within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I have to suffer a little bit longer without a tablet to read comic books on.

As for the Pandigital Novel Techie Jr. has in his possession, I have been researching around for means of loading custom made Android flavors to install on his device. Most of the information I had found is on slatedroid.com. If you are not familiar with the Pandigital Novel, it comes with a OEM version firmware that comes with a generic Barnes & Noble ereader user interface with no access straight into Android. It looks something like this:

Where the standard interface of Android looks something like this:

The difference is that with a straight Android experience I can install applications (like B&N Nook and Droid Comic Viewer) whereas with Pandigital’s ereader interface I cannot.

I will have to be patient a little longer as I wait for the replacement to arrive. Once it does I will then try to post some videos of it running the Nook application and Droid Comic Viewer application.

But, I want to state, that this is not exactly the Android tablet I am looking for. The ideal Android tablet I want is one with a 10″  capacitive screen (where the Pandigital has a resistive), is relatively fast and is under the $300 price tag. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon so I will try to enjoy this cheap product until that time comes.

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Replacement Droid On the Way

For a little over a week I have had a hardware issue with my Motorola Droid 1, it started flickering, almost like a mini-strobe light. I could still use it as it wouldn’t blackout completely but at times the flickering would become so bad that I fear of seizure. The following video shows a brief example of the display flickering a little. At times it can be worse than what is seen in this video.

Since I am still in my 1 year warranty, Verizon is sending me a replacement that I should see arriving on Tuesday. I have not had any other issues with this device and actually have fallen in love with it. However, I am hoping they send me a Droid 2 as a replacement since it has some keyboard and hardware improvements and is supposed to be faster. I doubt it will happen but I can still hope.

Android Apps

Like the iPhone apps post from last year, I am going to post a list of applications I have installed on my Droid at the request of some friends.

To make it easy, I installed AppBrain application management tool. You can actually see a list of my apps on their site here. And I also have embedded in the right sidebar their neat little widget.

Below is my list of apps. I’m not going to go into each one of them as the post could be quite a few pages. So if you have any questions about an individual application, just contact me.

A very important tip regarding apps in the Android Market: Read the comments. They can be very helpful when you are trying to decide if it is worth it or not.

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