Until now it was expected that the first tablet to come to market with the latest version of Android would be the all-powerful Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (which we are currently pawing in the TrustedReviews office), but a little known manufacturer in China seems to have beaten Asus to the punch.
Ainovo is claiming that its 7in NOVO7 tablet will be the first to market with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and this claim is backed up “by Google’s official recognition” according to the company.
The NOVO7 is a 7in tablet with a capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480. It will be powered by the Ingenic JZ4770 single-core 1GHz XBurst CPU and backed up by a 444MHz GPU. The tablet will come with 4GB of local storage expandable via microSD card.
The JZ4770 processor has been optimised for 1080p video with OpenGL 3D graphics and its average power consumption is about 250mW - making it extremely efficient. Ainovo is claiming the battery will last six hours for gaming, eight hours for video playback and seven hours for browsing.
It will also feature front and rear cameras, a HDMI port and even promises decent video decoding supporting files such as mkv, mp4, and mov. Ainovo also obtained Google’s CTS Certification meaning that native apps like Gmail, Google Maps and Google Music should run perfectly.
Google’s own Andy Rubin has even given the tablet his seal of approval: “I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.”
The tablet is available now in China with the company promising it will be coming to the US and other regions in the coming months. Regarding pricing, the NOVO7 will cost $99 (£63) in the US, but there will be an additional $60 (£38) shipping fee to the UK on top of that, meaning the NOVO7 should still cost just £100 when it is available in the UK.
Is the NOVO7 is answer to the budget tablet dilemma? Or will it prove as disappointing as so many others have in the past? Let us know what you think in the comments.