$99 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet to debut in US

The 7-inch Novo7 sports a 1GHz CPU and includes front and rear cameras, 3D capability, 1080p video decoding and an HDMI port.

The Novo7, a 7-inch tablet available in China that runs Ice Cream Sandwich, is set to arrive in the United States in the coming months with an expected price of $99.

The game-changing tablet could shake up the market just like the Kindle Fire did with its debut in November. The Novo7 doesn’t skimp on specs and cut corners at every turn. It has a MIPS XBurst 1GHz CPU and includes front and rear cameras, 3D capability, 1080p video decoding and an HDMI port, not to mention up to 8 hours of battery life while watching video. It also features a multitouch-capable touchscreen and the latest version of Android, where other inexpensive tablets have been known to run older versions.

Currently offered in China from Ainol Electronics, the tablet is expected to be available in North America from brand names including Leader International and OMG Electronics.

Another indication of the Novo7's seriousness is the fact that it has been certified by Google. In fact, the Novo7 is tantamount to Google and MIPS firing a shot across the bow of their respective competitors, most specifically Amazon and ARM.

While Amazon's Kindle Fire may technically be built upon Android, the mobile operating system was drastically forked to suit the e-retailer's needs and the $199 tablet doesn’t offer access to the Android Market.

Android tablets have struggled to compete with the iPad in the high-end market, so perhaps Google sees a chance to go after the lower end of the market. That strategy proved successful with smartphones, where it has been gobbling up a huge chunk of the market and outselling the iPhone.

For MIPS, the Novo7 could represent an aggressive push into the tablet market currently dominated by ARM processors. Earlier this year, the company said it planned to have an Ice Cream Sandwich demo available within weeks of the release of the source code, with a model in production within 90 days. Instead, the Novo7 became available within weeks instead of months.

"I'm thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market," Google's Android head, Andy 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."

MIPS currently dominates the embedded device market, and much like Intel, is convinced it has a shot at challenging ARM in the mobile sector. The company says 8- and 9-inch form factors are already in the works.

It is reportedly possible to get a Novo7 from Asia right now for about $50 in shipping costs, provided you can find a site that isn't sold out of them.

E-mail Eric at EMackPCW at Gmail, follow him on Twitter, and at ericmack.org. Follow PCWorld on Twitter, too.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags tablet PCconsumer electronicsGooglesmartphoneshardware systemsAndroidtablets

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Mack

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?