Monday, August 13, 2012

The Only Review of Ainol Novo7 Aurora II Tablet on the Web!

Hello all, and Greetings

As promised, I am back with my review of the tablet I recently purchased. Why do I see fit to label this as the only review? Simple: I Googled it and I did stumble across one or two reviews that were more like detailed product descriptions, but no actual, critical review.


So, let's start with the specs. The tablet boasts a 7 inch IPS display of 1024x600 resolution, dual core 1.5 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of built in memory, a card slot, USB host function and HDMI out. For Rs15,000 this is a cracker piece of hardware, in fact far better value for money than any tablet or phone on the market. GPU is Mali 400 which is again quite respectable and better than many mid-to-high range phones. Add to that the fact that it is running Android 4.0.3 straight out of the box and Aurora becomes nearly unbeatable.


So is there a negative aspect to this device? Plenty. First it doesn't have a SIM slot and therefore no phone functionality whatsoever. Personally I don't mind since I never intend to make a phone call with a tablet, but several people I showed this to differed, so it seemed that SIM slot is a pretty big deal. Secondly, and perhaps expectedly, the performance doesn't match the hardware. Given the fact that this thing is running virtually pure Android with little or no embellishments or modifications, the speed and smoothness of operation seemed just a little bit off. But then, maybe it's just me since I am comparing it to my Jelly Bean-powered Galaxy Nexus and my perception of how fast and smooth an Android device can run have changed  permanently.

The final negative strike is battery life. This thing eats battery despite being not a phone. With Wifi connected it gives me around 2-3 hours of screen time. Perhaps it will take some time to settle down, or perhaps I am not using the proper charger. In any case this might POTENTIALLY be a deal breaker if you intend to use it to complement your work PC.


The list of positives is quite long. Google Play Store compatibility is there and apps download and install all right. Built in apps are nothing to speak of, literally, as they are all in Chinese. I had trouble running YouTube; some Googling revealed that problem was with the YouTube app and not the Tablet, and an earlier version of the app ran just fine.

Web browsing is almost PC-quality, the only drawback being that the screen resolution doesn't cut it anymore and you have to zoom in to read the text properly.

Games requiring good 3D hardware run just fine. The IPS LCD is quite good in terms of viewing angles and surprisingly bright. The UI may stutter as mentioned above, but it is no big deal. Wifi connectivity works well. The device is a little heavy which means it can become uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time, but that drawback is shared by all tablets.


This being a Chinese product, there are a lot of accessories available with local  vendors and there is also a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt. You can get a USB host cable, and even a keyboard dock-cum-flip case. However, these accessories are not available with all retailers. Further, the keyboard dock, while quite functional and pleasant to use, is a generic piece meaning it is not specific to Aurora II, and is quite ungainly in terms of looks and handling. But in the end, the accessories that you might require for this tablet to function properly are all there and can be obtained quite cheaply.


In conclusion, I will say this: you can't find better value for money in the phone/tablet market than Ainol Novo7 Aurora II. It does everything a top-end Android device is supposed to do, while costing one third or even one fourth. For anyone considering an Android phone, Aurora II is a necessary diversion. For many consumers, who do not require a very powerful device with them at all times in their pocket, the combination of this tablet plus a cheapo call-and-text phone becomes almost unbeatable.

I believe we are witnessing a revolution in consumer electronics. With the flood of Chinese tablets and introduction of Google's own Nexus 7 tablet, the pricing paradigm of these devices has changed. In case of Aurora II, you get a tablet that can do 90% of what Android tablets costing 3 times more can do.

All this can only benefit the consumer, and I foresee much, much exciting time ahead for us all. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bringing out an untapped gadget to us. However, I could still see that people would go for some well known brand names while investing into gadgets like these.

    You still have to wait for a while to comment on the durability of the Chinese tablet that you have bought.