MIPS, Ingenic and Ainol join forces to market and sell the Novo7, a 7-inch tablet that is reportedly the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich slate on the market.
chip companies have joined forces to build what they claim is the first tablet
computer based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
initially in China by Ainol Electronics Co. for just $100, the Novo7 tablet has
a 7-inch display powered by a 1GHz CPU built by MIPS Technologies (NASDAQ:
MIPS) and an application processor from Ingenic Semiconductor.
which will soon be offered with 8-inch and 9-inch displays, will be available
in the U.S. within several months, branded by Leader International and OMG
Electronics, among others. MIPs will show the tablet off at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
specifications of the new slate include front- and rear-facing cameras with 1,080p video
decoding support, as well as support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, High-Definition
Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and microSD cards.
even has an endorsement from Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at
Google and the face of Android at Google.
thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-based Android 4.0 tablets into the
market," Rubin said in a statement. "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."
The real draws
here are the OS and the price. ICS, a merging of the Android 2.x smartphone
branch and Android 3.x Honeycomb branch for tablets, includes software navigation keys, a holographic user
interface and several other UI improvements.
The first ICS
phone is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which has drawn rave
reviews as the best Android phone yet by many gadget geeks.
Novo7 won't be available in the U.S. in time to challenge the popular new
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire for this holiday season, the low-cost slate
could be an attractive wallet-pleaser when it arrives in the U.S. next year.
It's hard to
beat $100-the price HP's TouchPad was marked down to in a fire sale that helped
it fly off shelves-and most companies simply can't afford to offer one without
It's not clear
how Ainol, MIPS and Ingenic will make much money from the new ICS tablet at its
current price. But if enough consumers buy the slate, enjoy it, and spread the
word to their friends and other consumers, it will raise the profile of