Monday, February 6, 2012

MIPS based AINOL NOVO7 a media hype ?

I recently bought a 7" tablet from AINOL called NOVO7 Basic. The news of the device which was hyped as world's 1st Android ICS tablet came in androidos.in newsletter which I have subscribed. This device was said to be endorsed by Google's Andy Rubin in the article in androidos.in. The device was based on MIPS technology's 1GHz single-core MIPS-based XBurst CPU with Vivante GC860 GPU and all other basic features. The device didn't had 3G and GPS inbuilt. It was a love at first sight for me when I saw the video of the device described by the MIPS' Amit Rohatgi. After a lot of digging I got the details. After a few mails to MIPS and AINOL they confirmed that the ainovo.com website is legitimate. There was a buy now button at the products page. Upon clicking the button a Paypal payment page appeared on which I made the payment. The cost of the device including courier was $159. A few days after getting the device I saw the device at a Dubai based Chinese laptop repair shop selling the product for $109 which made me feel bad. After paying up I had to make hourly followup per day to get the NOVO7 Basic delivered to my office in Dubai. The make of the device was superb and well made considering other Chinese brands. The device was very heavy considering its size. The ainovo.com is well made and the site' support and faq pages were very helpful in changing the language to English. Eventhough I changed almost all the language settings to English, I was not able to remove the Chinese language and it's settings. I removed all the Chinese apps as I didn't understand Chinese language. Later I browsed the web and found a very good resource for the device from a forum called TabletRepublic which had a very extensive subsection for a relatively new product. The device came with ICS 4.0.1 and they had the latest update to 4.0.3 which I did without any hitches, a very big thanks to them. I had to again remove the Chinese language and apps from the device. The I added my Gmail account and wanted to put more apps like Skype, Jumblo (VOIP), Fring, Nimbuzz  etc. Went to Android Market and started selecting apps one by one. To my utter dismay I found that 90% of the apps that I wanted to install were not supported by the device.    The apps that I wanted to work with the device were Skype, Jumblo (VOIP), Fring, Nimbuzz , Kindle, Flash (Which is advertised to be working), The face detection tool in ICS is not to be found, Adobe Reader, Oanda currency convertor, Google Finance, Google Gesture search, Google Goggles, last.fm, kingsoft office, Kayak, layar, phonebook 2.0, winamp, tunein, istorybooks, mundutv, shazam, the list is endless. I have contacted MIPS as well as AINOL and they take their own sweet time to reply. MIPS came back and said 90% apps on the Android Market works, whereas on contrary 90% of the useful apps doesn't appear to work. It was a mistake from my side that I didn't check the Internet as always when I purchase something like this out of my instincts. 
Engadget and such gadget sites also has done live review from CES 2012 etc. to increase the hype for the device. All of them never said that the device the device's CPU from MIPS had a very small following. 

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