$99 Android 4.0 Tablet Launched
The Aino Novo7 is based on a 7″ capacitive touchscreen, and it’s running on a 1GHz CPU with a pair of cameras (2MP rear and VGA front), HDMI out, a microSD car slot, and Wifi. It can d0 1080p video decoding using its GPU clocked at 444MHz.
This tablet has actually been around the block a few times. I’ve never seen one, but I’ve heard that it was released some time back running Android v3.0 Honeycomb. Today’s launch is really more of an update to the device, not a new tablet.
Now, lots of people will talk up this tablet because it’s running the latest version of Android. True, ICS adds a number of nice features and I’m looking forward to eventually seeing it. But I don’t care if I see it on this tablet.
This is another tablet coming out if China, but that’s not the problem. I have bunches of those and they can be worth the low price tag. No, my reasons for suggesting that you avoid it are very simple. I’m worried about the CPU.
Nearly all Android devices run on an ARM CPU, but the Nova 7 has a MIPS CPU. The specific differences aren’t important, but this is: apps written for one CPU won’t necessarily run on the other. And I’ve already seen this issue with Android tablets.
Some time back Brad Linder, the editor of Liliputing, reviewed the Skytex Primer Pocket. This is a budget Android tablet with a 4.3″ LCD and running Android v2.2 on a MIPS CPU. Brad found that a lot of apps which were supposed to work on that version of Android wouldn’t. He reported that 75% failed to install. Yes, 3 out of every 4 apps he tried to install failed.
Needless to say, that is an incredibly high failure rate. Unless you expect developers to double their workload to support a MIPS CPU, I wouldn’t plan on getting the Nova 7 tablet. It would be an exercise in frustration. To be fair I don’t know that this tablet will have the same issue. But I won’t be the first person to try one.
Update: Guess what, I was wrong. It looks like the CPU wasn’t the only cause of the app incompatibility. One reader pointed out that the Cruz Tablet is also running on a MIPS CPU and it doesn’t have nearly as many app issues as the Skytex Pocket Primer.