Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest Android operating system one would want to get hands on, as soon as they can, with the hype it has got for the features and upgrade it brings from the previous Android OS, and for the same experience in a tablet device, we got the Ainol Novo 7 Android tablet, which is the first Android tablet with the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. And for what it provides, the pricing of USD 120 is not at all high. Here is a quick review of the Ainol Novo 7 Paladin -
Design, Display and Form Factor
Classic, extremely sleek and perfectly shaped tablet device, which the high-end device companies should take inspiration from. Yes it is a rectangular shaped piece, but what else would have brought the name of tablet to it? The black color tablet looks like the iBall slide, but is thinner and smaller, and actually looks a little better than the slide as it is less bulky.
The front has half-an-inch of panel around the screen, and the logos stay in the bottom left and right sides when the tablet is held in the landscape mode. One could use it in both the modes, but in the standing mode the entire screen looks a little cluttered. The top side has 3 physical keys, the Menu, the Back and the Power key. The side has the Volume jack keys, the reset key, the Mini USB slot, Mic and the MicroSD card slot.
The display is pretty good, and as what the specifications say, it gives the 1080p display output. But when you view it from the upper angles vertically, the clarity is gone. Also, the brightness is not at all high to view in bright conditions, especially under the sun.
Operating System, Interface and Apps
This is what someone should buy the Ainol Novo 7 for, the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS. The latest version of Android coming in the tablet device is for the first time, and no other tablet device yet has the ICS in it. The operating system is beautiful, with combined features of Gingerbread and Honeycomb packed into the single next gen version of Ice Cream Sandwich. The lock screen has the option to directly go to few settings or shortcut apps, or else unlock to reach the home screen directly. Many things have been changed in the new version of Android, especially the settings area, the notification and the bottom bar which is seen in the Honeycomb tablet devices, with the right bottom area being the shortcut for various options like the brightness, connectivity, clock etc.
There are 5 home screens which can be edited in various ways, customized and can include various app shortcuts, widgets etc. and for the display that Novo 7 has, the live wallpapers appear pretty good. The bottom left area has the shortcuts for home, back and latest apps or the ones running. The Novo 7 We would anyways be discussing about the Ice Cream Sandwich OS very soon.
Performance, Sound and Battery
The performance is good, provided that the ICS operating system is made in a way to optimize the tasks and running of apps so that the speed of multiple app running is not altered. We played a few games, HD ones that have come already in the device and each of them worked without a lag. The sound output is nice, the speaker being on the back side are on the best place as when you are gaming, you hold the Novo 7 from the sides and the sound output doesn’t get blocked by the fingers or hands.
The Novo 7 gives the output of 1080p video quality, and the test shows some great display. The processor speed and the graphics display sync well, no lag but this could be due to the early review without much usage. The battery provided with the Novo 7 is 3200 mAh and we got a usage of 8 hours while playing the games, playing music and browsing through the gallery, browsing the web all of which took 50% of the battery. 4000 mAh doesn’t seem less for a tablet device, and as said, the Novo 7 is optimized well and we have the 47% battery still left after the standby of almost 24 hours, i.e. the battery used was just 3% for the standby for an entire day. The tab has come with the Super Task Killer app, using which you could make the performance far better.
Connectivity comes in the form of Wi-Fi, a mid-range reception though. There is an option of 3G connection if you are using a 3G modem externally, and that is what had seen with the iBall slide earlier too. So, you are not restricted with just the Wi-Fi option.
For the price of $120, giving the Ice Cream sandwich operating system and the great performance and battery, I would forget the fact that it doesn’t have a 3G SIM option, and the missing of camera can be forgotten. The design is neat, the feel is great and moreover, the first tablet device with the latest Android OS is what attracts the mass. The video output and gaming are less lagging, and so we liked the performance. A worth device for what it provides.