Novo 7 Paladin Review

Be fair when reading this review… Here’s the deal.  If you want a $400-$600 tablet, get one.  If you want a good affordable tablet you can use on a day to day basis for under $100, this is the tablet.  Do not update from http://www.ainovo.com/novo7paladin-features.html.  This will get rid of the Google Market/Google Play.  There are thousands of apps that work with this device.  I will post a link to the Chinese firmware with instructions on how to update at a later date.   The proper update is update_knight.zip The knight firmware gives you Google Market and other apps including YouTube.  After the Update, you will have to change the language to English (including the keyboard).  A great little tablet for the money.

So what Browser should I use?  The one that comes with the tablet is slow.  Use Opera for MIPS. Link to our article

For Valentine’s Day, Amanda wanted a 7″ tablet.   She really wanted the Kindle Fire but being Ms. Savealot she wanted to try the Novo 7.   Being less than $100 I decided we could use it in class if our experiment went terribly wrong.  In January I ordered the tablet and after a few weeks I saw it was back ordered and ironically found a refurbished Kindle Fire on Amazon (by Amazon) for $135.00.   Forgetting about the Novo 7, it arrived yesterday.   The wife has her Kindle which she loves and holds like a mother with her newborn.   I on the other hand had dropped the Novo into the kitchen floor during the unpackaging process trying to disguise the thump from my wife as a stool moving across the floor.

When I unpackaged the Nova, I was excited to see how it would perform-especially after the tossing of it haphazardly into a stool and onto the floor.   The Nova is slightly smaller than the Kindle Fire and much lighter.

Larger than most Android phones and smaller than an iPad, the Novo is very portable and the screen resolution is good for this size device.    Movies on the Novo are sharp and play without any hesitation.

My wife had purchased several movies that offered a digital copy.  Copying the movie and music to the Novo was not without a slight problem.  The tablet when hooked up to my pc loaded a driver without an error but it was not correct.  An easy fix was to uninstall the driver and to manually pic the USB Mass Storage driver.   With a momentary delay, the Nova was identified as a drive letter and I copied some music and the movie over to the tablet without any errors.   The transfer rate on the USB 2.0 took around 3 or 4 minutes.

The screen can easily display a majority of movies or remote screens below a 1920 x 1080 display.   Movies supported with the installed Media Player include : MOV, MKV, AVI, RM, TS, TP, VOB, MPEG, MP4 and more.

The Novo’s specifications are:

   Android Ice Cream 4.0.    This latest Android OS is smooth and runs great on this 7″ tablet.  Loaded with features, Ice Cream gives you more than enough applications and widgets installed right out of the box.

  The XBurst CPU provides plenty of power for several games including Spiderman 3D which was loaded on the device right out of the package.

    The GC860 graphics provided a remarkable display while playing movies and by no means is a retina display but for a sub $100 device, it is more than enough for a production or leisure entertainment device.

 Maybe I am terribly wrong but 9 secs from 12 hours of battery life is pretty good.   I’m sure this will be criticized by the masses but the truth is what it is.   11h 59m 51s – that was NOT idle time.

  • CPU: Ingenic JZ4770 Xburst, 1GHz and GPU: GC860
    Operation System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
    RAM: 512MB
    Nand Flash: 8GB(System space just over 2 GB)
    Screen Size: 7″ Inch  around 150 degrees viewable
    Type: Capacitive Screen  1080p HD Screen
    Resolution: 800 x 480
    Extend Card:  TF card up to 16GB (not included)
    Camera: No – Do you really need one?
    Gravity Sensor: Yes
    Multi-Touch : 2 point touch
    Flash:  Yes
    Android Market: Yes
    Youtube : Yes
    Video: AVI/MOV/MP4/RMVB/FLV/MKV (see below)
    Music: MP3/WMA/WAV/APE/AAC/FLAC/OGG
    Ebook: TXT, PDF, HTML, RTF, FB2
    Skype: Yes -No video
    Email and Browser: Built in
    GPS – Goolge Maps – Places
    WIFI: Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 Ghz)
    (US and International Channels)
    Earphone Interface: 3.5mm
    Battery: 4000MAh  250mw – 350mw power consumption
    Other Applications : Office, Browser, Gallery, Clock, Calculator, Calendar, Taskiller, Gmail, more apps from android market
    Extend Port/Buttons:
    1 x MINI USB port
    1 x TF card port
    Volume
    Menu
    Power
    Return/Previous
The screen although capacitive is very very responsive to the touch.  The screen is listed as waterproof and I am sure I will accidentily test it soon.  With little hesitation, the screens scroll smoothly from Home to the side screens.   The wireless was very accurate and a distance of 50′ + was easily obtained with three bars remaining.
So as far as production, what could I do to try this tablet out?  I used Mocha Lite to remote into one of our servers.  The response time was good, however because of the screen size I had to zoom in to accurately use the mouse.  I am limited to using a 3G card and the connection did lag.  This was expected.
So I said the word production.    How can I print from it?  Easy.   I installed Google’s Cloud Print services on our home desktop so now we can print from anywhere and anytime we want.  Of course the dogs will need therapy for the sudden printing when the owners aren’t home.
With Google Docs, I was able to view any document I wanted and with a pdf reader installed locally, it is fair to say the device is a good device for on the go.
With no camera on board, the device truly doesn’t need one.   After all with your smartphone camera, how many do you need?   Realistically?

Value for Price:  

Value against iPad and Xoom tablets:   (But is this fair?)

With such a rating vs. the big boys, why would you want it?  Value for size, budget, portability and performance.  It isn’t a high end device but for the money and after reading reviews on the web, maybe as a consumer we need to get real.  You could also purchase a dual core laptop, netbook and the device for the price of an iPad (new – high end to try to match the value of the three devices).   With the Android Market (Google Play), the device’s performance and price make up for any short comings it may have.

I truly owe a thanks to Kevin, Gavin and Rhett for bringing this device to my attention.  Great tablet for the price.

GPS and Compass for the Nova 7 and other Android Devices

Compass GPS

Weak Wi-Fi on the Novo 7?

Run ARM programs on your MIPS device

MagicCode

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