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Ainol Novo 7 Paladin – MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

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Ainol has made an interesting move to get rid of the dominance of ARM-architecture in mobile devices – began mass production of tablets that use MIPS-processor.
So, the hero of our review today, Ainol Novo 7 Paladin
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

And its characteristics : Processor : Ingenic JZ4770 XBurst, 1GHz; GPU : GC860
Operating System : Android 4.0.3
Memory : 512MB/8GB
Screen : 7 inches, capacitive multi-touch, 5 touch, 800 x 480
GPS : No
Camera : No
Bluetooth : No
WIFI: 802.11 b/g/n
HDMI: None
Battery : 4000mAh

This tablet is notable primarily for its price, which ranges around $100. And of course, the decent features for such a price.
For the sake of such a tasty price the company decided to make the device as light as possible, which ended up without BT, GPS, HDMI and a second USB. At least they left the card slot and WiFi.
However, you must pay tribute to the engineers of the company – they didn’t save money on the screen and the processor, putting certainly not a perfect screen, but quite good – bright and with capacitive sensor.
Russian in the official firmware is not and will not be – someone from the players on the Russian market has signed a contract with the manufacturer, so that in the near future should expect the appearance of the tablet in our stores under the brand name, for example Explay. Or DNS. 🙂

Packaging

PW packed the tablet in a thick cardboard box, and wrapped the box of the tablet in film as well. The box arrived virtually undamaged :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

On the reverse side of the inscription is not in Russian :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

If you open the box, inside we find an interesting package – a "book", one part of which contains the tablet, and the other part contains everything else.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Packing : 4+
Looks nice, can be given as a gift.

Complete set

Standard. Headphones (in a sealed bag), charging cable (aka USB-MiniUSB), power supply for charging, ICS screenshot book, Chinese warranty.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Headphones branded :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Which, however, doesn’t stop them from sucking in quality.
The cable is absolutely standard, which can not help but please :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Set of : 3
Not bad and not great. The usual.

Build quality and housing

Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

The housing is plastic, it crunches when pressed from the sides. But it is not going to break. Once I dropped it from about a meter and a half, but nothing fatal happened to the case. However, there is no desire to do it again – the case does not look reliable enough.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

The design doesn’t look bushy :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Fonts are even, on the back side there is a serial number not in paint but in laser, which hints at different serial numbers for each device:
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Also on the back is the grill of the single speaker :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

There is nothing else at the back :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Build quality at : 3-
It looks okay, but is rather flimsy. Didn’t like the constant crunching, and the delicate back cover – without a case it will soon turn into a scratch museum.

Screen

Compared to the Dropad A8X:
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Separately :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

It looks fine in bright light, especially at maximum brightness. The brightness on the latest firmware version can be reduced to very small values, which can’t help but please when reading a book in the dark.
Of course, I would like to have more resolution, but it would be silly to consider it a disadvantage.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

The only thing that slightly spoils the impression of the screen is the frame surrounding it (apparently, it’s cheaper than flush glass). Small debris and dust are constantly clogged under it and have to be cleaned out.
Screen on : 3+
The screen is not bad, low rating solely because of the frame.

Connectors and Interfaces

There is nothing on the front panel except the logo and the name of the device.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

All connectors are concentrated on one edge :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Another one has only three buttons (on, back, menu):
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

I have nothing bad to say about the buttons – the pressure is crisp, with a clearly distinguishable (both tactile and audible) silk. The location of the buttons on the sides of the device caused inconvenience only the first two days – then remembered what was where.
The other two are as empty as a flash drive from the factory :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Only lonely Chinese acceptance stickers can be seen.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

But back to our connectors :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

So what we have here is a volume button, a reset button recessed into the case, a MiniUSB jack, a microphone jack, a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack.
Which, by the way, quite a lot of bad reviews – bad contact on some headphones. But that’s just for the record. No indication of the charge, unfortunately, no – have to rely only on the system display.
Connectors and buttons on : 4
Everything in its place, convenient and beautiful.

Features

Processor : Ingenic JZ4770 XBurst, 1 GHz; GPU: GC860
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

MIPS32 processor from Ingenic Semiconductor. Made with 65nm technology, it includes a single 1GHz core, a hardware 1080P video decoder in H.264, VC-1 and VP8 formats, and a Vivante GC860 graphics core running at 440MHz.
Very low power consumption of only 0.25W at 100% load on the processor and video unit (1080p decoding).
It’s interesting, that the same processor from this very series (JZ47xxx) was used in so beloved by hubrabs Video-in-Print module in Vogue and Playboy.
AnTuTu hangs on doing the 3d test, so see Quadrant’s test totals:
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

I don’t know if you can trust these tests since they are designed for testing ARM and not MIPS. You are not trying to compare x86 and arm with a single test, are you?
Operating System : Android 4.0.3
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

The latest firmware is Android 4.0.3, it comes with version 4.0.1 and 3.2.At 4PDA All these firmwares are available (4.0.3, 4.0.1, 3.2), and for the first two full third-party russifikatorov available.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Memory : 512MB/8GB
The 8GB is split into two partitions, 1GB and 6GB, the rest is probably for the system. The user has 862Mb+5890Mb=6752 available after the reset, just under 7gigs. And that’s not counting the microSD card slot.
Screen : 7 inches, 5-touch capacitive multitouch, 800 x 480
They’re lying, by golly they’re lying — two touches.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

WIFI: 802.11 b/g/n
I haven’t measured the speed, but it connects very fast – in two seconds after I turned it on I was already connected.
Battery : 4000mAh
The real truth :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Interfaces : MiniUSB, USB-host (OTG), Microphone, 3.5 jack.
OTG works. Including mouse and keyboard :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Unfortunately, there is no USB to USB adapter wire in the kit, so I had to look for one.
It has full support for E1820, E1782, E1750, E230, E1550, E180 modems. Unfortunately, I have the E173, which didn’t want to work.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

The headphones, from the ones I had, worked without any problems.
Weight : 325g, Dimensions : 187 x 111 x 12
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

And it is much smaller than the A8X in size.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Including thickness :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Characteristics of : 4
Top hardware is not about it. But it runs smoothly, menus are not slow, memory is enough – what more could you want?

Internals

Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Use a needle to pick up the plastic plugs :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Unscrew 4 screws :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

And with the plectrum we gently snap off the frame :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

At the top there is a sandwich of screen and touch panel :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Lift and turn it upside down, being careful not to damage the loop – it’s a very tricky design.
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Gaining access to the board and battery :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

By unscrewing another screw that secures the board, you can lift and turn it upside down as well:
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Here’s that harmful headphone jack :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

If one is itchy, replacement is not too difficult
Tricky plan loop with controller :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

In disassembled condition :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

The battery is quite large compared to the size of the device itself :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Repairability at : 4-
Easy to disassemble and reassemble.

Programs and work

A spoonful of tar. First of all, it’s not 2.x or even 3.x. Some programs don’t work well on ICS, JustReader, for example, I still can’t get it to work. The latest version of JustReader works fine.
Secondly, the changed architecture also has its limitations – only some applications can run on it, for the rest you need to install MagicCode – program that allows you to run applications written for ARM. Unfortunately, some programs can be slow and/or glitchy. Swype, in particular, was sluggish at all, I had to go back to the stock keyboard.
Also, the normal Root applications can not help either, you have to put ClockworkMod Recovery and then the Root_Fix package (you can get the from here Paladin_ROM_ROOT_Fix.zip). The Russification is also easy to install. instructions
4pda-user Teoret1k wrote a small list programs and games that definitely work on Russian firmware 4.0.3 with MagicCode.
In general, everything is not so bad. Users took a liking to the handset, new apps are constantly released for it, and the list of applications working correctly on the ICS is constantly expanding.
Convenience of operation (in terms of software) on the : 2 +
Currently out of the box is poorly usable, but with a file you can live. Further is better.

Working time

This is where everything is great. Uninterrupted playback of movies from the built-in memory without WIFI, with maximum backlight – 7 hours(14% left):
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Read more :
Ainol Novo 7 Paladin - MIPS tablet on Android 4 ICS

Flat is night, it drains very little in standby mode.
Working time at : 5
Summary :
Great tablet for its price. Cheap, with good hardware, good battery life. It does require some tweaks but it is not too complicated.
References :
Discussion thread about the tablet on 4pda
Overview
American Review
Review on mysku.ru
And you can subscribe so you don’t miss new reviews on the company page and on my profile (subscribe button)

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