More than a few people got excited at the prospect of a $100 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet when a no-name manufacturer sprang out of China marketing the Novo7… and immediately became less excited at a $60 shipping fee that seemed more than a little fishy. Now the same low-powered tablet is sitting pretty with a pre-order status on import sites PandaWill and Merimobiles, both of which seem legitimate enough as far as Internet storefronts go. The latter is claiming an $80 discount off of the “retail” price of $200.
Just for a quick refresher, the specs on the Ainol Novo/Novo7/Knight/Paladin (it seems to have something of an identity crisis) are as follows: a 7-inch screen with just 800 x 480 pixels, a 1Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM, and a microSD card slot. The resellers note that it comes with the Android Market, but I would frankly be amazed if this turns out to be true. Considering the brief experiment Android Community pulled with the Galaxy Nexus screen density, I’m kind of amazed they managed to force Ice Cream Sandwich to display its tablet interface on a resolution that is a little low even for a 5-inch device, let alone a 7-inch.
So, will the somewhat lower price and less shady sellers convince you to lay down your hard earned cash? It shouldn’t. In the next few months dozens of cheap ICS tablets will become available, and almost all of them will feature better specs and less cringe-inducing credentials than this little guy. For just a little extra cash you can pick up the Archos Internet Tablet 70b, a Honeycomb tablet from a respected manufacturer with an active mod community for just $200. You’ll be seeing a home-grown ICS build on the hardware soon enough, and an official update eventually.