Tech blogs around the web are blowing up about this new found device being debut by none other than MIPS. The Novo7 by Ingenic is portrayed to be the game maker in a world full of sub par, overpriced Android tablets.
For a long time now Android users have been looking for some saving grace in the tablet market. With overpriced tablets like the Xoom and the Galaxy Tab series and the cheapo, unresponsive, and insulting tablets of the pricing nether-region, the time is well nigh that a cheap, but good, Android tablet appear. And the Novo7 appears to be just that. You should note that we haven’t been able to play with this tablet yet, but we’re told it’s a doozey.
Even Andy Rubin, Android founder, had a little something to say about what MIPS has done with the ICS laced Novo7:
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
So as it stands right now, Google has authorized the installation of the stock apps (ie Gmail, Market, etc.) This means there is no need to root the device (although this will most likely happen anyway) and side load all of the essential apps that make Android devices genuine Android devices.
Still not convinced about how well this tablet is built? Curious for the specs? Take a look at the goods in the press release
Press Announcement from MIPS
MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor Announce
Availability of World’s First Android™ ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Tablet
1GHz, Low-Power Tablet Sets New Market Standard at Sub-$100 Price Point
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – December 5, 2011–MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS), a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications, and Ingenic Semiconductor, a leading China-based CPU provider for mobile multimedia applications, today announced worldwide availability of the world’s first tablet based on Android ™ 4.0, known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, that is retailing for less than $100 (U.S). The tablet is powered by Ingenic’s JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which leverages a MIPS-Based™ XBurst™ CPU running at 1GHz.
According to Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, “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.”
The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd. It will be available in the United States and other geographies within the next several months under brands from companies including Leader International Inc. and OMG Electronics Ltd.
The new tablet is available with a 7” capacitive multi-touch screen. 8” and 9” form factors will be available soon. All versions include support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD, as well as 3D graphics with the Vivante GC860 GPU, 1080p video decoding and dual front/rear cameras. The XBurst processor’s power-efficient architecture provides extended battery life—the 7” tablet draws less than 400mA during active web browsing.
“We are pleased to join with MIPS to announce these breakthrough high-performance, low-power, low-cost Android 4.0 tablets. Combining the elegance of the MIPS architecture and Ingenic’s innovation in processor design, we are bringing a new level of processor technology to mobile devices. As we continue to collaborate with MIPS to broaden the mobile ecosystem around the legendary MIPS architecture, we anticipate even broader proliferation of our devices worldwide. We believe the mobile world will be more versatile and colorful with another processor joining in,” said Qiang Liu, chairman and CEO, Ingenic Semiconductor.
“The openness of Android is enabling a new level of connectedness and interaction between devices and between people across the globe. We are excited to be a part of the Android ecosystem delivering on that vision. We applaud Ingenic’s accomplishment in developing this new high-performance, feature-rich Android 4.0 tablet, and offering it at a price point that makes it widely accessible. We look forward to teaming with Ingenic as it continues to develop MIPS-Based mobile innovations,” said Sandeep Vij, president and CEO, MIPS Technologies.
Ingenic JZ4770 SoC
The Ingenic JZ4770 SoC inside of the new tablet is one of the first MIPS-Based systems-on-chips (SoCs) targeted for mobile devices that delivers 1GHz+ frequency, increasingly a requirement for tablets and other devices that incorporate rich multimedia and high-performance applications/functionality. The JZ4770 SoC is powered by a MIPS32 compatible XBurst CPU designed by Ingenic. The XBurst CPU core adopts an innovative ultra-low-power pipelining architecture which consumes less than 90mW in 1GHz (with L1 cache), and the entire SOC consumes ~250mW with the CPU and video engine operating under full load. In addition to the XBurst CPU, the JZ4770 SoC integrates an optimized 1080p video processing engine, OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics processing unit from Vivante Corp. and numerous on-chip analog and application blocks such as audio codecs and GPS.
Pricing and Availability
Ingenic’s JZ4770 SoC for Android 4.0 tablets is available now. The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd. at www.ainovo.com. The 7” tablet retails for less than $100 (U.S.) non-subsidized. The tablet will be available in other geographies within the next several months. For more information, visit http://en.ingenic.cn/.
Further details not shown in the release above include a battery lasting 30 hours on standby, 6 hours gaming, 25 hours playing music, 8 hours showing video and 7 hours with web browsing.
Now, now, after all of that being said, I know many of you are still currently thumbing your noses at the very thought of there being a decent Android tablet that could even remotely run the Ice Cream Sandwich flavor of Android smoothly or even at all. But yet it has been done, and it’s currently on sale…in China. Yes we said China, but fret not! A U.S. release (as well as other regions) is expected to occur within the next few months. Until then you always could slap down another $50 on top of the $100 to have one imported here from China.
Before you go, take a look at a promotional video from MIPS that’s currently sitting on YouTube and leave a comment below!