Can a $150 tablet be any good? We recently had a chance to spend some quality time with the Ainol Novo 7 Elf, and, we must say, for the price, it’s an excellent tablet.
Almost everything is made in China these days. The combination of low cost resources and cheap labor seems to be an irresistible draw for most companies in the tech industry. Hot out of the furnace of an industrialized and modernized China, rises an unlikely competitor in the tablet arena. One that seeks to provide acceptable quality products at affordable prices. All that without the “bleeding edge” factor of high end products.
Ainol is a Chinese company, and when we heard that our friends at The Taken Shop were stocking some Ainol Novo 7 tablets, I jumped at the chance to do a review for all of you. Can cheap tablets really be good? Let’s see.
It is surprising that this device is fast and smooth, considering it’s powered by a single core Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Frankly, it worked just like any dual-core tablet out there, except for an expected processor bottleneck when doing some more serious multitasking. The stock ROM is decent, and packs a punch. It’s equipped with the full Google services set, but the guys at The Taken Shop said that they could root your device and install a pure Google ROM instead. That’s pretty useful, since Chinese OEMs often struggle with poor software implementation.
Unlike other China-made tablets, the Ainol Novo 7 comes with 1GB DDR3 RAM and a powerful Mali 400 GPU. That looks very impressive on paper, but it turns out average in real life. App switching is brilliant, but that CPU bottleneck does little for power users.
On the media side, the Novo 7 Elf puts many other tablets to shame as it plays 1080p videos perfectly – surprising, since the tablet’s display is a 1024×600 resolution. There’s no noticeable lag, and it’s a great entertainment device. Casual gaming is great on this tablet, though high-end 3D gaming will leave much to be desired.
On its own, the display is fitting for daily use. It’s sharp and crisp, but the LCD falters in direct sunlight, but it’s not like you’ll use a tablet under the sun that much. The tablet’s screen is vibrant enough for web surfing and entertainment.
The Ainol Novo 7 Elf only comes with WiFi. There’s no Bluetooth. There’s no 3G. If WiFi is all you need, then that’s great. You’ll either find yourself enjoying the simplicity of it, or you’ll be scrambling around for an internet connection. The bundled on-the-go USB cable does help a lot, though. There’s a 3.5mm jack for audio, as well as mini usb support and mini HDMI support.
The Novo 7 Elf has a basic 8GB internal storage, with about 5.8 GB of free storage. However, it supports a micro SD on the side of the tablet that lets you bump up the storage capacity with up to an additional 16GB.
This is one tablet without the extras. There’s no rear camera for any photography, which I must say is the right track. I think that’s it’s not practical nor fun to shoot photos and videos on a tablet. That’s what your smartphone is for. Instead, the Chinese were smart enough to incorporate a 2MP front facing camera that’s good enough for Skyping and video chatting.
The Elf is made of plastic, which makes it quite sturdy and light. It feels great on the hands. The tablet has a non-removable 3700 mAh battery, which is great, and, considering that it’s only WiFi enabled, it does last days without needing a charge, as long as you don’t use it relentlessly for demanding games or streaming on the move.
At $184USD, this is definitely an affordable tablet for all. It’s cheap and it simply works – if you can live with the averge performance. Without a doubt, it can rival other tablets in that price range, for the Novo 7 Elf is a great first tablet for the kids that won’t leave a bid dent in your bank account.
For a limited time, you can get an additional 10% off this tablet from our buddies at the Taken Shop as well as an Androski kit. This offer is only till the 15th of April 2012. Promotional code – ANDROIDAUTHORITY
Plus, they are running a promotion that gives you a free case, worth $11. It’s great value for money considering the potential Ainol holds.
Shame there’s no bluetooth.
How are the viewing angles and reflectivity on the display?
If it had bluetooth and the screen has good viewing angles but isn’t super reflective, this would be better than a Kindle Fire. Otherwise, you’re really just getting ICS and a micro SD slot.
Hello, I own one, the view Angle is OK even for two, But I can’t use it because of inaccurate clock.
Calcolator OK, Evernote and Onenote for tasks, Yahoo mail works fine, but how to use as alarm clock?
Now it is on bid, and I don’t recomend to by anyone only in store,
and control the clock before buy!
how did you install evernote?? Because g. play said it’s incompatible with novo7 elf.
Alarm clock? A tablet used to alarms? You have a phone, I am sure.
no bluetooth? hmmm
Where do you need bluetooth? Handsfree is the only purpose…
Because the tablet computer is still a newish product, brand name suppliers are overcharging. We all need to stop thinking that it’s necessary to pay $400. My opinion is that by this time next year, the “normal” price range will be as follows:
$50 7″ resistive display, no camera
$100 7″ capacitative display, camera. 10″ resistive display, no camera
$150 7″ high specification. 10″ capacitative display, camera
$200 high specification
Actually makes sense.
I just spotted the Ainol Novo7elf (most decent Craplet) for an affordable $104 at Dino
Tegra 3 7″ will hit be available Q2/Q3 for $250, will make these chinese knockoffs not worth their price.
it is not a knockoff…
Hi there, the discount code is extended until 22nd of April 2012.
wow lop dis gadget.!!!
this is IPS screen ? i want get a ainol IPS screen tablet http://www.itabletpcshop.com , but the IPS screen next out fo stock …
hi kindly tell me abt my novo7 elf….become hot up during charge and normal ussage …. is it normal feauture or this is my tablet problm …..plz hurry ….!!!!
i also experienced that thing. i think its normal. but i suggest not to use the tablet during charging
Not having Bluetooth and 3G support is the biggest Drawback of this tablet.
3G support is there…you can plug in 3G USB dongles…
please teach me how to use 3g usb dongle. I mean how about its setting? how to? please email me firstname.lastname@example.org thank you!
Also the device must support you dongle. Almost all dongles of Huawei (specifically E1750) is supported.
yes i did plug in 3G USB dongles.but how to do the setting
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I bought this Elf two months ago and I am really satisfied! I bought it on http://www.mychinesecost.com
I bought this tablet and I liked it a lot, unfortunately I broke it so it is no longer working.