A Spare, 7-Inch Slate

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A Spare, 7-Inch Slate

This is one of the smaller 7-inch tablets we've gotten our mitts on. It weighs only .78 pounds, making it a super lightweight in terms of portability. It measures 7.4 inches long, 4.4 inches wide and 0.48 inches thick. The white plastic back cover made frequent clicking and creaking noises when we handled or touched the buttons.

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Novo7 Ports

The slate has plenty of ports for its size, including, from left to right: a headphone jack, HDMI out, a micro USB port, a microSD expansion slot capable of supporting up to 16GB, a recessed reset button for when this budget tablet freezes and needs a reboot and a DC power port to charge the 3.7 volt, 14.8Wh battery. There is 8GB of storage onboard and only 512MB DDR2 system memory.

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Rear Panel View

The device has a weak, 2 megapixel camera that took grainy photos. This is coupled with a 0.3 megapixel front-facing shutter.

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Powering Up

The Novo7's LCD screen has a modest resolution of 800-by-480 resolution at a time when other Android tablets offer 1280-by-800 resolution. Tapping the virtual keys proved a chore sometimes. Users have to be very accurate typists. But we still had to press a key multiple times. So, it's not very touch-friendly.

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Home Screen

The Novo7 is selling in China now, but MIPS was kind enough to populate our review unit with some homegrown U.S. apps, such as Facebook, YouTube and Angry Birds. Apps opened with some latency on this Novo7, which runs the single-core Ingenic XBurst CPU at 1GHz.

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Angry Birds

Angry Birds performed adequately, but this was clearly no Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus premium tablet, or even an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet in terms of screen quality or application and graphics performance.

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Docs to Go

While most Android tablets feature QuickOffice, the Novo7 runs DataViz's Docs to Go Microsoft Office mobile suite.

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A Modest Applications Menu

Here is a modest applications menu. The Novo7 does not access Google Mobile services, which means there is no way to instantly launch Android Market from the device. You have to navigate to the Market from the tablet's browser.

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Manually Provisioning the People App

The absence of the ability to connect the tablet to your Google account to import contacts means you have to manually provision your people app.

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Applications Tray

However, Ice Cream Sandwich does provide some sweet OS features, such as the application tray popularized in Honeycomb to let users multitask and flit between apps.

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Widget Panels

Users may also access preconfigured widget panels, which may be moved around and shuffled.

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Widget Options

Here is the widget option list users may choose from. Users can press, hold and drag the widget of their choice to any of the Novo7's five home screens. We like the ICS OS build on the Novo 7, though the slate's weak hardware and lack of easy access to Google services means some extra work for the consumer. But for $100, this Novo7 tablet is a bargain for bargain shoppers.

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