I’ve just updated my Novel, and I spent a couple hours playing with it. Coincidentally, I’d pulled it out of the box yesterday because I was going to try to gain root access. I used it for a while yesterday, and this new firmware is a significant improvement. The firmware is dated July 4th, but they didn’t post it until Tuesday morning (I checked Monday).
So here’s what I’ve observed:
I still had to do a second hard reset to get the touch screen to respond correctly.
The screen is noticeably more responsive. I don’t have to press+hold+wait anymore. Just tapping the screen is enough. Response is still a little on the slow side, though.
They fixed the Wifi. It also seems to be faster at connecting to a hotspot. Load time on the browser is reasonably fast. The Reader and Library are still slow at turning the page, though, and you still have to swipe.
The accelerometer works now (all 4 directions). It works automatically in both the Reader and the web browser. Browsing in landscape mode is quite pleasant. It’s not so nice to read in landscape mode because you only have the one column of text (it’s too wide). Also, it doesn’t properly reformat the text when switching from portrait to landscape mode. You have to put it in suspend mode and then turn it back on.
It’s a decent tablet now that it has the new firmware. But I wouldn’t recommend it as an ereader just yet because the page turn is too slow. Also, the Nook Wifi is only $149, and the Nook firmware is significantly more polished.