Here comes another shocking price-breaking tablet - close on the heels of the launch of $199 Amazon Kindle Fire that runs on Android 3.2, MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor have joined hands to launch an even cheaper tablet - Novo7 - that costs only $99 and - hold your breath - runs on Ice Cream Sandwich!
Yes, Amazon's Kindle Fire can no longer boast anymore as the price-breaking tablet leader.
Priced under $100, the $99 Novo7 tablet is powered by Android 4.0 OS (otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich) and has been just released in China. This is the joint work by MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor. The companies have also announced the availability of the device worldwide. Novo7 boasts of being the first tablet to run on Ice Cream Sandwich.
But don't go rushing into you neighborhood tech store just yet.
At the moment, global consumers can order the Novo7 by contacting Ainol Electronics (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). But soon, it will hit the U.S. market too.
Now that we know that Novo7 has broken the price barrier, the $99 question is how well does it perform?
We haven't tried it out yet, but we think the tablet should do fine - it has a 7-inch multi-touch capacitive touchscreen and is powered by Ingenic's JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which leverages a MIPS-Based XBurst CPU running at 1GHz.
MIPS says that battery life and graphics performance are up to standard. Battery last for up to 300 hours on standby. Novo7 is capable of running multimedia application and the battery has enough juice to keep the device rolling for up to 6 hours (gaming), up to 25 hours (music), up to 8 hours (video) and up to 7 hours (web-browsing).
MIPS also says that 8-inch and 9-inch versions of the tablet will also be available soon.
Novo7 also has a front-facing as well as 2-megapixel rear-facing cameras, support exFAT storage format (over 4GB capacity), features ports for USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD and is Wi-Fi capable (the device also supports external 3G). The device also supports 3D graphics and is capable of 1080p 10bit HD video decoding so that the user can see videos in all formats.
Novo7 is also a sheer delight for gamers, its manufacturers claim: Using Vivant GC860 GPU graphics core, support for OpenGL ES2.0 and ES 1.0, OpenVG1.1 and operating frequency 444Mhz, games run smoother and they're more realistic.
Here's the icing on the cake - Google's senior vice president of mobile, Andy Rubin, has lauded the device.
“I'm thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low-cost, high-performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.” Rubin said in a statement.
Android fans are certain to queue up for the device and until Novo7 hits the stores, enjoy the demo video below.