Review Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core Tablet

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 05/14/2013

Tablet made in China. The manufacturer Ainol is based in China and is now represented with extremely cheap tablets in the Western hemisphere as well. What does Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core have to offer for a price of around 90 Euros (~$116)? And how will it fare in comparison with other low-budget devices?

In Review: Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core

For the original German review, see here.

The manufacturer calls its tablets Elf, Aurora or Dragon. However, Ainol not only likes mythical names it also has compiled an extensive portfolio featuring dozens of tablets. We are testing the 7-inch Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core that is sold for an extremely low figure of 90 Euros (~$116). Its specs are a quad-core processor, eight GB of flash memory and a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. Our test device is courtesy of the online store www.cect-shop.com,  which specializes in Chinese tablets and phones.

Many manufacturers are currently relying on extremely cheap 7-inch tablet. For example, rather unknown names like Coby and its Kyros MID7022, Odys and its Loox or Prestigio and its MultiPad 7.0. Of course, the bigger manufacturers are also rounding off their portfolio toward the lower end. An example here would be Acer's Iconia B1-A71. Not to forget competition by way of Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 7 or Google’s Nexus 7 that are available for a slightly higher price. Can Ainol score with its Novo 7 in this competitive environment?

Case

No one should expect a metal casing for not quite 90 Euros (~$116) and Ainol wraps its tablet in simple, black plastic. The back cover is glossy and susceptible to fingerprints. The casing's design is plain and should unlikely deter any customers. However, it does not feature any highlights either.

Interestingly, the casing makes its big debut acoustically. The tablet makes creaking noises everywhere just by picking it up. It also produces an audible snapping noise when pressure is applied to the front's upper left. The stiffness is inadequate. The slightest pressure from the back is passed on to the screen and becomes visible as waves in the liquid crystals. Some of these pressure marks even remain for a while. We have not yet seen this to such an extreme extent in any device. On the other hand, the tablet cannot be warped and the transitions between the parts are well processed.

Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal positions itself in the midfield compared with its contenders. However, its weight undercuts even a few brand name devices. With a weight of 335 grams (~11.8 ounces), it is much lighter than Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 7 that weighs 60 grams (~2.1 ounces) more.

Connectivity

The tablet's interfaces are all located on its left when holding the tablet in landscape mode. The home, volume and on/off buttons are at the upper left edge. This puts them in a favorable position when the tablet is held in portrait mode because the buttons are then in the upper area and all connections are at the top like on a smartphone. The connectivity corresponds to tablet standards. However, Ainol integrates a micro HDMI port that is not available in all low-budget tablets.

The innards of Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal are composed of a quad-core processor and a dual-core graphics card as well as one GB of working memory and eight GB of flash memory. The tablet only sports one webcam that also has a rather low resolution. As for equipment, the Novo 7 Crystal is generally on a par with its contenders. Solely the quad-core processor seems promising because it is usually only found in brand name devices like Google's Nexus 7.

Many of the apps are Chinese and useless for Western users.
Many of the apps are Chinese and useless for Western users.
Only the good OWL player is included in English.
Only the good OWL player is included in English.

Software

The Chinese manufacturer installs Android 4.1.1 and thus a quite up-to-date version of the operating system, although version 4.2 is available. Ainol installs a few apps that look very interesting but are written completely in Mandarin Chinese and thus will cause confusion rather than add value for Western users.

Although a German reseller has reconverted the operating system to German, the tablet starts in Chinese after resetting it and some knowledge of Android or Chinese are needed to find the language menu in the settings. This YouTube video could also help. Some apps also used the settings for Chinese symbols and were illegible due to the lack of characters. Only the good Owl Player video player is included in English and a nice extra.

Communication & GPS 

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support is standard for tablets and Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal makes no exception. That is also the only communication option. The 7-inch tablet does not feature Bluetooth, NFC, mobile Internet or a GPS sensor.

Cameras & Multimedia

Manufacturers often make cutbacks in cameras and Ainol does not put much effort in the small lens on the front either. The low resolution of 640x480 pixels goes hand in hand with pale colors, intense color noise even in bright light and blurred edges. Thus, using the tablet for shooting pictures is not recommended. The video function should not be used either because it only makes jerky pictures. The camera's main purpose is video calls anyway because it is on the front. However, an external camera should be connected for sending better pictures to the called party.


Videos ran smoothly in all common formats in practical use. Ainol also installs two demo videos in 720p and 1080p, although not much difference is seen between the two due to the screen's low resolution.

Front-facing camera: 0.3 megapixels
Front-facing camera: 0.3 megapixels
Reference: Canon EOS 450D, 12 megapixels
Reference: Canon EOS 450D, 12 megapixels

Accessories

Besides a USB cable and the charger, Ainol does not include any accessories for the Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core. However, the manufacturer offers many reasonably priced accessories on its website. The buyer will have to add 10 to 20 Euros (~$13 to $26) for shipping because the accessories come directly from China.

For example, an artificial leather case can be ordered for 5 Euros (~$6), an HDMI cable is available for 3 Euros (~$4) and a WWAN dongle for connecting the tablet to mobile Internet costs 3 Euros (~$4). The highlight is most likely a protective case with USB keyboard for 10 Euros (~$13). However, the quality of the accessories is questionable considering the tablet's build. Besides that, shipping costs as well as possible customs fees increase the price of the accessories.

Warranty

Ainol includes a 12-month warranty on its tablet. It can be upgraded by a further 12 months for a low 30 Euros (~$39). Warranty claims can easily be submitted via a form when the tablet is registered on the manufacturer's website and an account is created. The tablet has to be sent directly to China for repair and it would thus be advisable to inform yourself about customs regulations. Ainol's support tries to answer all questions on the website and there are also a few updates to newer Android versions available.

Input Devices & Controls

The manufacturer has not modified the general Android interface and uses Google's default virtual keyboard model. This is usually not a drawback because the on-screen keyboard is very functional. Users who do not like this keyboard can look around in Google's Play Store for another one.

The capacitive touchscreen detects up to five fingers at once and works reliably. All inputs were identified correctly during our test. The surface also exhibits an agreeable resistance when gliding and does not give reason for complaint.

Display

Just as we were praising the tablet, the screen, with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, gives us plenty of reasons for complaint. First, there is the much too low brightness, on average 178 cd/m². Although that more or less corresponds to the tablet category standard when compared with the Captiva PAD 8 Pro or Odys Loox, the low rate involves clear limits in outdoor use or bright surroundings, which we will describe further below.

180
cd/m²
184
cd/m²
171
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
172
cd/m²
174
cd/m²
181
cd/m²
162
cd/m²
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 196 cd/m²
Average: 178.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 196 cd/m²
Black: 0.98 cd/m²
Contrast: 200:1
Distribution of brightness

A poor contrast ratio of 200:1 results from the quite high black value of 0.98 cd/m² alongside the low brightness. Consequently, it is difficult to see a difference between similar colors. The colors look fairly vivid in practical use, but dark hues often look faint due to the high black value.

The screen in Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core fared quite well in the field of color accuracy, which we ascertained using the CalMAN software and a colorimeter. Although it also exhibits the typical bluish cast seen in many screens, the red and yellow color hues do not deviate as strongly as in other displays. However, a bluish cast in the gray hues is visible to the naked eye in the grayscale in the chart of the screenshot. Green and blue are very close to the ideal value but red is very under-saturated in the color saturation. The corresponding screenshots can be seen below.

CalMan - color accuracy
CalMan - color accuracy
CalMan - grayscale
CalMan - grayscale
CalMan - color saturation
CalMan - color saturation
The dark screen is not much use outdoors
The dark screen is not much use outdoors

The low brightness already make it difficult to use the screen in brightly lit rooms indoors. Outdoor use is virtually impossible. Although it is possible to work with the tablet in the shade, it is very strenuous on the eyes due to the permanent reflections caused by the glossy screen.

Ainol states a viewing angle stability of 180 degrees in all directions on its web page. This was not confirmed in our tests. The viewing angles stayed fairly stable to the right, left, top and bottom in landscape mode. However, the screen's contrast decreased very quickly when we tilted the tablet away from us.

While the viewing angles are only moderate from the bottom
While the viewing angles are only moderate from the bottom
they are very good from the sides
they are very good from the sides

Performance

The SoC is built by the Chinese manufacturer Actions Semiconductor and is dubbed Actions ATM 7029. The manufacturer's website specifies four ARM Cortex A9 processors in this SoC, which would be a considerable powerhouse for this price. However, the cores' clock rate of 1 GHz is not very high. Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core only offered a poor performance in the synthetic as well as processor benchmarks and constantly placed itself at the lower end.

This was reason enough for us to do a bit of research and we found out that apparently not Cortex A9 cores but rather Cortex A5 cores have been implemented, opposing the official specifications. This would explain the extreme performance difference. We also specified the cores with Cortex A5 in our news about the tablet's launch. A few Internet sources (here in English and here in German) also confirm this suspicion.

Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
474 Points ∼4%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
754 Points ∼6% +59%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
1000 Points ∼8% +111%
Google Nexus 7
1599 Points ∼13% +237%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
833 Points ∼7% +76%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
1137 Points ∼9% +140%
Smartbench 2012 - default
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
1564 points ∼15%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
2455 points ∼24% +57%
ODYS LOOX
476 points ∼5% -70%
Google Nexus 7
3840 points ∼37% +146%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
2478 points ∼24% +58%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
2418 points ∼23% +55%
Linpack for Android
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
28.799 MFLOPS ∼4%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
50.02 MFLOPS ∼7% +74%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
52.89 MFLOPS ∼8% +84%
ODYS LOOX
14.279 MFLOPS ∼2% -50%
Coby Kyros MID7022
13.373 MFLOPS ∼2% -54%
Google Nexus 7
47.15 MFLOPS ∼7% +64%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
39.285 MFLOPS ∼6% +36%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
44.379 MFLOPS ∼7% +54%
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
70.219 MFLOPS ∼6%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
70.9 MFLOPS ∼6% +1%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
84.21 MFLOPS ∼8% +20%
Google Nexus 7
69.296 MFLOPS ∼6% -1%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
37.332 MFLOPS ∼3% -47%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
73.782 MFLOPS ∼7% +5%
Legend
      ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core Actions ACT-ATM7029, Vivante GC1000+ Dual-Core, 8 GB SSD
      Captiva PAD 8 Pro Rockchip RK3066 1.5 GHz, ARM Mali-400 MP, 8 GB SSD
      Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D) Amlogic AML8726-MX, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB SSD
      ODYS LOOX Rockchip RK2918 1.2 GHz, Vivante GC800, 4 GB Flash
      Coby Kyros MID7022 Telechips TCC8803 1GHz, ARM Mali-200, 2 GB NAND Flash
      Google Nexus 7 NVIDIA Tegra 3, NVIDIA GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 8 GB SSD
      Acer Iconia B1-A71 MediaTek MTK 8317T, PowerVR SGX531, 8 GB SSD
      Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch Texas Instruments OMAP 4460, PowerVR SGX540, 16 GB SSD

Ainol's tablet fared quite well in the synthetic GPU benchmarks and could even be a threat for Google's Nexus 7 depending on the benchmark. The Vivante GC 1000+ dual-core should therefore be quite apt for all current games from Google's Play Store. More information can be found below under Games.

3DMark (2013) - 1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
1931 Points ∼1%
Google Nexus 7
3523 Points ∼2% +82%
Epic Citadel - High Performance
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
30.8 fps ∼51%
Google Nexus 7
53.6 fps ∼88% +74%
NenaMark2
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
58 fps ∼86%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
55.6 fps ∼83% -4%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
41.1 fps ∼61% -29%
Google Nexus 7
55.6 fps ∼83% -4%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
20.5 fps ∼30% -65%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
27.8 fps ∼41% -52%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7 - T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
6.7 fps ∼0%
Google Nexus 7
5.3 fps ∼0% -21%

The same picture as in the processor benchmarks is seen when Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core is used for browsing on the Internet. The synthetic benchmarks consistently show a poor system performance. The tablet is usually in last place. Websites need a longer time to load and scrolling is not smooth in practice.

Peacekeeper
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
183 Points ∼3%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
436 Points ∼7% +138%
Google Nexus 7
468 Points ∼8% +156%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
457 Points ∼7% +150%
Octane V1 - Total Score
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
617 Points ∼3%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
1232 Points ∼6% +100%
Google Nexus 7
1313 Points ∼6% +113%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
1389 Points ∼7% +125%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
690 Points ∼4%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
1282 Points ∼7% +86%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
1638 Points ∼9% +137%
ODYS LOOX
134 Points ∼1% -81%
Google Nexus 7
1236 Points ∼7% +79%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
1384 Points ∼8% +101%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
1383 Points ∼8% +100%
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark 2.0
Metal
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
245 Points ∼17%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
481 Points ∼33% +96%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
441 Points ∼30% +80%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
1262 Points ∼87% +415%
HTML5
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
1019 Points ∼33%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
1323 Points ∼43% +30%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
1072 Points ∼34% +5%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
342 Points ∼11% -66%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
460 Points ∼15% -55%

The flash memory of Ainol's Novo 7 is not particularly fast either. The tablet unfailingly places itself behind its contenders here. This is noticed in the long wake up times needed from standby and the delayed start of apps.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
12.16 MB/s ∼9%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
8.77 MB/s ∼7% -28%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
20.75 MB/s ∼16% +71%
Google Nexus 7
16.87 MB/s ∼13% +39%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
29.94 MB/s ∼22% +146%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
42.73 MB/s ∼32% +251%
Sequential Write 256KB
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
6.41 MB/s ∼11%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
24.61 MB/s ∼43% +284%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
8.92 MB/s ∼15% +39%
Google Nexus 7
5.22 MB/s ∼9% -19%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
6.23 MB/s ∼11% -3%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
12.3 MB/s ∼21% +92%
Random Read 4KB
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
1.32 MB/s ∼8%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
8.46 MB/s ∼51% +541%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
13.39 MB/s ∼80% +914%
Google Nexus 7
4.76 MB/s ∼29% +261%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
7.9 MB/s ∼47% +498%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
12.11 MB/s ∼73% +817%
Random Write 4KB
ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
0.39 MB/s ∼13%
Captiva PAD 8 Pro
0.13 MB/s ∼4% -67%
Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo (PMP5770D)
2.92 MB/s ∼100% +649%
Google Nexus 7
0.28 MB/s ∼10% -28%
Acer Iconia B1-A71
0.28 MB/s ∼10% -28%
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 inch
0.59 MB/s ∼20% +51%

Games

Owing to its fairly potent GPU, the tablet did not exhibit any glitches or delays in gameplay during the practical test. Zombiewood ran smoothly even when dozens of undead staggered across the screen and the shooter ShadowGun: Dead Zone ran well even in maximum graphic settings. The apps only needed a bit longer to open than in other tablets due to the somewhat slower flash memory.

We also did not notice any stutters in the racing game Real Racing 3, which has quite demanding 3D graphics for tablets. Here, we could also test the position sensor's precision, which implemented our steering commands accurately.

Masses of Zombies are not a problem for the hero or the graphics card
Masses of Zombies are not a problem for the hero or the graphics card
Even demanding 3D graphics run smoothly
Even demanding 3D graphics run smoothly

Emissions

Temperature

The temperatures of Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core were never extraordinary even when the tablet was put under full load for a long time. 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.54 Fahrenheit) on the back can be felt but the tablet still can be held comfortably. The maximum temperature of 34.5 degrees Celsius (94.1 Fahrenheit), without load, measured on the lower left front will barely be noticed anyway.

Max. Load
 35.9 °C31.1 °C28.5 °C 
 37.3 °C32 °C29.5 °C 
 37.5 °C35.9 °C30.8 °C 
 
28.1 °C30.3 °C36.5 °C
29.4 °C31.9 °C40.3 °C
28.3 °C36 °C37.6 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 33.2 °C
 Maximum: 40.3 °C
Average: 33.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The tiny speaker located on the back surprises with a rich and powerful sound that only lasts as long as the opening is not covered. The sound is muffled as soon as the tablet is placed on a table or a finger covers the speaker opening.

The sound is loud and balanced when the tablet is held in the hand, but it could overdrive in maximum volume. Although the sound mainly focuses on mids and trebles, they at least sound very natural. Music and movie fans will likely prefer external speakers or headphones. However, the internal speaker is quite acceptable should that not be at hand.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of Ainol's tablet is class average. The high consumption of 0.5 in a deactivated state or one Watt in standby mode could be held against the tablet. Acer's Iconia B1-A71 does a much better job with zero and 0.1 Watts.

The idle consumption rates are pretty much on a par with other systems. The weak processor cores are noticed favorably during load. The Novo 7's maximum power consumption of 5.5 Watts is much lower than that of its contenders.

Power consumption

Off / Standby 0.5 / 1 Watt
Idle 2.4 / 2.9 / 3.6 Watt
Load 5 / 5.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

This low consumption is also noticed in the battery runtimes. Ainol's Crystal is far in front with a load runtime of 3:20 hours. Although 6:18 hours while surfing via Wi-Fi is 30 minutes less than Google's Nexus 7, it is a lot more than Prestigio's MultiPad 7 or Captiva Pad 8 Pro.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 9min
WiFi Surfing
6h 18min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 20min

Verdict

Our first impression after unboxing Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core was devastating due to the creaky and unstable casing as well as the user's manual written in Mandarin Chinese. However, Ainol's Novo 7 could pacify us to an extent in the end. Its 3D performance is decent and it renders all current games smoothly. The speaker's sound is good when the tablet is not placed on a table, the temperature remains within an acceptable range and the power consumption is fairly low.

Nevertheless, the painful knowledge that Ainol's Novo 7 has a few major shortcomings, at least in our version, remains. The language has to be changed after resetting the device and the user will want to delete Chinese apps, which are useless for Western users and regains storage capacity. Repair can take a long time when something is damaged because the device might have to be sent back to China. Also, a slower system performance than is known from most contenders has to be accepted. This only has a minor impact in everyday use; Android and most apps run smoothly.

The Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core is, in keeping with Ainol's mystical names, perhaps something for rebels who refuse to buy a brand name tablet and want to look outside the box to see what smaller manufacturers have to offer. However, the price should already indicate that it is not a tablet that is top-rate in every category like the Google's Nexus 7. On the other hand, the price difference of 100 Euros (~$128) is not too bigAcer's Iconia B1-A71 or Captiva's PAD 8 Pro are somewhere between that and prove that comparing devices before buying is definitely worthwhile. These inexpensive tablets are not perfect but, for example, feature a superior casing quality and computing performance.

Users looking for an extremely low-priced entry-level tablet and who can accept one or two major compromises will find in Ainol's Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core a tablet that many people pass over. But maybe there is a reason.

In Review: Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core. Test device courtesy of: www.cect-shop.com
In Review: Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core. Test device courtesy of: http://www.cect-shop.com/

Comment this article:

In Review: Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core. Test device courtesy of: www.cect-shop.com
In Review: Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core. Test device courtesy of: http://www.cect-shop.com/

Specifications

ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB, DDR3
:: Graphics adapter
Vivante GC1000+ Dual-Core
:: Display
7 inch 16:9, 1024x600 pixel, capacitive 5 point touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD reader max. 32 GB, Sensors: G-sensor,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n )
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.2 x 189.3 x 120
:: Weight
0.335 kg Power Supply: 0.093 kg
:: Battery
14 Wh , 3700 mAh
:: Price
85 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
:: Additional features
Webcam: Front: 0,3 Megapixel (640 x 480 Pixel), Speakers: rear-facing mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, 12 Months Warranty

 

Stylish packaging and the power supply has its own box.
Stylish packaging and the power supply has its own box.
Ainol sends its Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core to our test lab from China.
Ainol sends its Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core to our test lab from China.
It found its way to us despite restrictions on the packaging.
It found its way to us despite restrictions on the packaging.
This is because Ainol...
This is because Ainol...
delivers a universal PSU with a regional plug.
delivers a universal PSU with a regional plug.
The design is rather plain and the build quality is regrettably unsatisfactory.
The design is rather plain and the build quality is regrettably unsatisfactory.
Ainol has a preference for mystical names. Our test device is dubbed "Crystal".
Ainol has a preference for mystical names. Our test device is dubbed "Crystal".
The casing creaks and can be warped easily.
The casing creaks and can be warped easily.
The back cover is also susceptible for fingerprints.
The back cover is also susceptible for fingerprints.
The flipside is so unstable that pressure applied to the back remains visible on the screen for a longer time in form of colored marks.
The flipside is so unstable that pressure applied to the back remains visible on the screen for a longer time in form of colored marks.
At least the single parts are joined without big gaps
At least the single parts are joined without big gaps
The user interface is in Chinese after resetting the tablet.
The user interface is in Chinese after resetting the tablet.
Ainol has not modified the tried Android interface otherwise.
Ainol has not modified the tried Android interface otherwise.
Ainol includes a few shortcomings in its Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core.
Ainol includes a few shortcomings in its Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core.
The tablet does a few things quite well.
The tablet does a few things quite well.
For example, the speaker is very powerful and the sound is quite good.
For example, the speaker is very powerful and the sound is quite good.
The tablet weighs less than many of the contenders.
The tablet weighs less than many of the contenders.
The touchscreen does not give reason for complaint. It is gliding eager and detects up to five fingers reliably.
The touchscreen does not give reason for complaint. It is gliding eager and detects up to five fingers reliably.
The tablet features an HDMI port...
The tablet features an HDMI port...
which not all budget tablets offer.
which not all budget tablets offer.
A micro SD card can...
A micro SD card can...
expand the storage up to 32 GB.
expand the storage up to 32 GB.
The webcam disappoints with a low resolution...
The webcam disappoints with a low resolution...
and poor picture quality.
and poor picture quality.
Users who adapt their expectations to a price of 90 Euros (~$116) could be happy with the Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core...
Users who adapt their expectations to a price of 90 Euros (~$116) could be happy with the Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core...
although Ainol makes a few blunders that most other suppliers avoid in this price range.
although Ainol makes a few blunders that most other suppliers avoid in this price range.

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Links

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Pro

+Affordable price
+Decent graphics power
+Low load power consumption
+Micro HDMI port
 

Contra

-Chinese language after resetting
-Creaking, unstable chassis
-Weak camera
-Low computing power
-Possible problems in warranty cases
-Useless apps for Western users
-Dark screen
-No Bluetooth

Shortcut

What we like

The high 3D performance and low power consumption

What we'd like to see

A stiff casing is simply standard nowadays.

What surprises us

How inexpensive some tablets are today.

The competition

Acer Iconia B1-A71, Coby Kyros MID7022, Captiva Pad 8 Pro, Prestigio MultiPad 7.0, Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7, Google Nexus 7

Rating

ainol Novo7 Crystal Quad Core
08/05/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
62%
Keyboard
59%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
40%
Weight
100%
Battery
93%
Display
68%
Games Performance
25%
Application Performance
35%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Add Points
63%
Average
68%
80%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Ainol Novo 7 Crystal Quad Core Tablet
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-05-14 (Update: 2013-06- 6)