Usually, when people hear about Chinese Android-based tablets, they run for their lives, expecting poor build quality or low performance. Or, in many cases, both. However, there are the occasional exceptions of tabs coming out of that corner of the world that are budget-friendly, snappy and reliable, all in one package. Oh, and not clones.

Such gadgets might be the newly unveiled Novo 10 Hero and Novo 10 Hero 2, coming from Ainol, a name that might ring some bells after the releasing of an ICS-based tablet for $100 and a dual-core 7-incher with Jelly Bean for just $140.

Now Ainol has bumped the prices a bit, but it’s not like you won’t get what you pay for and probably a few extras. The Novo 10 Hero duo includes a budget-conscious dual-core tab and a super-fast quad-core one, both sporting 10-inch displays and running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

The more expensive tab, the Hero 2, comes with a 1.5 GHz Actions Semiconductor ATM7029 quad-core CPU, an ARM Mali 400 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. The display is an IPS 1280 x 800 pix res one, while other features include 16 GB of on-board memory, microSD support, a mini USB port, HDMI, GPS, Wi-Fi, an 8,000 mAh battery, and 2 MP/0.3 MP dual cameras.

The Hero 2 also comes with support for an external 3G dongle, so it has basically all the features it needs to be called a high-end device (except, maybe, a high resolution screen). As far as pricing goes, Ainol lists the tab on its website at $209.90, but the Hero 2 is already out of stock. Meanwhile, Gadget Greats has it in stock, but it’s asking a slightly heftier $239.99 and promising early December shipping.

Slightly lower on the Android “food chain”, the Novo 10 Hero looks identical to its “brother” on the exterior, while coming with just one major tweak under the hood. The quad-core CPU is downgraded to a dual-core Cortex A9-based 8726-MX Amlogic CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz. Other than that, the two tabs are identical in terms of specs too.

Unlike the quad-core tab, the Novo 10 Hero is in stock at both Ainol’s website and Gadget Greats. The latter is actually offering the better deal, at $193.99, while the company’s official site sells it for $199.90. You should have no problem getting either retailer to ship it to you basically anywhere across the world, although you might have to cough up some big bucks to get it in Europe or the US.

Anyone interested in either “hero” device? Why? Why not?

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