There are several popular Chinese brands that make Android tablets. One is SmartQ (which is at the higher end in terms of quality and price) and another Ainol (which is at the other end). Ainol has a history of launching tablets quickly. They make a bunch, sell them and then move on to the next model. Over the last year or so Ainol has released a whole stream of tablets including the Elf, Aurora, Mars, Flame, Crystal, Legend and so on.
The latest 7 inch tablet is called the Novo 7 Venus. It features a quad-core ATM7029 1.5GHz CPU, a 1280 x 800 IPS display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash and dual cameras: VGA on the front and 2MP on the back.
Initial benchmarks are showing that it scores 12398 on Antutu making it slower than the Google Nexus 7, but clearly faster than most dual-core powered tablets. It doesn’t shine so well on the 3D front as it has the virtually unknown CG1000 GPU. But maybe that doesn’t really matter when you look at the cost. You can pick up a Ainol Novo7 Venus directly from the manufacturer for $140. If you are prepared to wait a couple of weeks then postage is free (otherwise you need to use a courier, which will bump up the price). The only downside is that you most likely will need to pay a sales tax when you take delivery. Even with a 20% sales tax, the tablet comes in at under $180. Cheaper than a Nexus 7, marginally.
Have you used a Ainol Novo7 Venus? Let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment below.