Another cheap Android tablet, but before you go, ‘Ainol Who?’ we’ll tell you that this company aims to be different. It may be relatively unknown on a global scale, but it’s one with a unique mission – build super cheap AND usable Android tablets. Very often we have seen ‘either or’ in that case, but can Ainol make the seemingly impossible, possible? Let’s find out.
Extremely thin bezel
Design and Build Quality
The first thing we noticed about the Paladin when we got it out of the box was its amazingly thin bezel. Obviously with tablets, it eventually will be a rectangular slate (unless it’s the tablet P) and there’s not much originality to boast of, in terms of design; but guess what, the Paladin is one device that we really liked holding – it was sleek, slim and that oh-so-thin bezel. Easily, one of the better designed tablets in this price range. Let's have a quick tour of the device after the break.
The power ON, back and menu buttons are located on top, for easy access with your left hand. Moving on to the sides, there’s a volume rocker, a reset button, the mini USB charging port, the microphone, a hot swappable microSD card slot and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Basically everything you’d need and nothing you’d want (HDMI, anyone?) and we’re happy with that. Under the hood, there’s a non-removable 4000 mAh battery.
With this form factor, it's amazingly portable. It might even fit in your pocket and though the build is predominantly plasticky, it's quite sturdy and durable. It might sound repetitive, but in this section, the Paladin is easily one of the best tablets in it's range.
Features and Performance
The Ainol Novo 7 Paladin runs on a relatively unknown 1 GHz single core, MIPS-based XBurst CPU with a Vivante GC860 GPU. There’s 8GB of memory onboard and 512 MB of RAM. Since the tablet has an MIPS-based architecture, it does tread a different route than the other tablets we have seen; starting off with the response times, video playback section, the benchmarks and finishing off with the app store, yes, we’re talking about Google Play here. More about that has been covered in the subsequent sections.
Back to the look and feel of the interface, Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0.1, with 4.0.3 available for download) on tablets is a lot closer to the Honeycomb experience, and there’s not a lot that has changed. Whether that’s a good or bad thing may depend on your personal preference, but we weren’t overly impressed, or disappointed. Speed-wise, the UI is slick and considering the price bracket that we are looking at, it was definitely impressive. Navigating through the menus is lag free and though multitasking wasn’t a problem, the tablet did tend to get a little slow when it was running out of battery, or when there were quite a few memory intensive apps running in the background. However, with ICS, you can easily swipe apps off the screen and free up memory, so that’s a welcome addition. The response times were much quicker than a lot of other tablets,including the Zync Z990 and that’s another plus point for the Novo 7.
Product sourced from eBay India
Updated 21 May, 2013, 5:27 pm IST
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