Here’s a 7-inch tablet that will wow you without burning a hole in your wallet – as long as you accept that it’s not an Apple, Samsung or Motorola, but an Ainol product.
While tablet geeks may have heard about the Chinese electronics maker being the first to make an Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, tablet late last year, most consumers in brand-conscious Singapore are probably not even aware of the Shenzhen-based Ainol.
Yet, one of the most appealing tablets now on the market is drawing the crowds in at Sim Lim Square, where the 7-inch Aino Novo 7 Aurora is on display to curious, surprised shoppers.
Besides offering Android 4.0, it sports a sharp IPS (in-plane switching) display, which lets you view images clearly even from narrow angles from the side. IPS, just to be sure, is also what makes the iPad’s screen so good.
The Ainol screen, however, has a really high-resolution – 1,024 x 600 – which makes for pin-like sharpness on such a small screen. The iPad 2, in comparison, pumps out just slightly more pixels, at 1,024 x 768, on a substantially larger 9.7-inch screen.
The China-made device is also extremely thin at just 9.9mm, making it a rival to Samsung’s more expensive Galaxy Tab 7.0 and Galaxy Tab 7.7, which are arguably the sexiest Android tablets on the shelves now.
But most importantly, what makes the Novo 7 Aurora (specs in Chinese) so interesting is its price. The Wi-Fi version goes for just S$220 in Singapore. Just for comparison, that amount can only buy you an iPod Nano at the Apple store.
So, is Ainol’s Novo 7 Aurora the first of an upcoming wave of low-cost Android tablets that will drive down prices once and for all, like what IBM-compatible machines did to PCs after hitting the market in the 1980s? Or will increasingly well-off Singapore users stick with the more well-known brands?
Going by the crowds at the Sim Lim store, you can tell that users here are interested in the low-cost tablet, no matter if it’s made in China (what isn’t made in China, anyway?). Cost is also a factor in the US, where the Kindle Fire has been a hit, exactly because of its US$199 (S$251) price tag.
After a brief hands-on with the Ainol Novo 7 Aurora last week, I can say it’s well worth considering. I can’t say for sure how well it performs until I have it for a few days. But it’s definitely a model I’d get a quick touch-and-feel test before parting with serious money for my next tablet.
mine less than 3 days kept hanging and touchscreen is not sensitive…. some part of the screen can sense some parts cant…. making me fed-up…. i’m definitely bringing it back for a change!
I strongly suggest any intending buyers steer well clear of the Ainol
Novo Paladin. Thankfully the Ebay seller who lumbered me with theis POS
has the decency to offer (and stand by) a customer satisfaction
guarantee. There is nothing nice I can say about the device … WiFi
connectivity varies from shocking to non-existent, most websites time
out constantly & even hooking up an ethernet connection doesn’t
help. Battery life is less than half the 6 hours suggested by official
blurb, Android Market (or Google Play as its known these days) doesn’t
want a bar of Android 4 (everything I tried was incompatible), Google
Maps are totally possessed (insisted I was 150k north west of my actual
location (interestingly my aging Xperia X8 has no problem knowing the
proper location), text to speech is apparently incompatible but who
cares about minor inconveniences like that when the #^%@$* thing not
only decides (incorrectly by 150k) where one is, but also decides for
itself where one is going (typically the opposite directionj). Anyone
with the ‘need for speed’ would be better unearthing a neanderthal steam
powered XT from the 1980s as this POS is easily the slowest computer
I’ve ever encountered.
Please do not buy this crappy tablet. Just bought one – A-grade and new batch from March 12 onwards (Guarantees from suppliers). Previously it have a lot of bad/dead pixels problems on the Hitachi IPS screen. Now they, (Ainol) is using LG IPS screen. Everything looks great. But it get overheat on the left side of the tablet (with all the connections are: mini hdmi, 3.5mm headphones,etc). It really gets very hot after 5 mins of prolong usage without turning wifi on. Comment: Probably bad capacities…
Thanks for sharing… are you intending to bring it back for an exchange?