Android tablets have really come a long way in the last year. High-end tablets not only gave Apple a run for its money, but lower-end tablets are doing very well too. One such tablet entering the low-end 7-inch tablet segment is the Ainol Novo 7 Tornado. The name is a mouthful, but let’s see what the specs are. The tablet comes with a 7-inch 800×480 pixel capacitive LCD touch screen that supports 5-point multi-touch. The resolution is a bit low, especially when compared to a higher-end tablet, however, compared to other lower-end models, it fits in very well. The tablet runs Android 4.0.3, or better known as Ice Cream Sandwich. This ICS-flavored 7-incher is powered by a single-core Cortex A9 CPU clocked at 1GHz and a Mali 400 GPU.

It also has 1 GB of DDR3 memory that runs at 1333 MHz, making it a pretty fast little tablet. It has more than enough power to run ICS and will probably drive custom Jelly Bean ROMS as well. It also comes with 8GB onboard memory, giving you more than enough space for all your apps, games, eBooks, and music. It also has a TF card slot that supports cards up to 32GB. Along with that, you’ll find an 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter that supports a maximum of 150 MBps, as well as support for external 3G connections via an OTG dongle.

The usual array of G-sensors, a VGA front camera, a mini USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack round it out nicely. It even has a 1 watt external speaker. However, the tablet’s key selling point is the 3.7V 3700mAh lithium battery. This gives you extremely good battery life, around 7-8 hours of video playback or around 30 hours of music playback. However, it lacks Bluetooth and does not have an HDMI port. Also, you probably won’t receive OTA updates from Jelly Bean. However, unlike most of the similar tablets, Ainol Novo 7 Tornado comes with Google Play Store.

On the outside, the device comes in a very attractive black brushed metal front with a white plastic back. It has no buttons on the front and is quite smooth, with a logo on the bezel and a small hole for the camera. There’s a speaker opening on the back near the bottom left corner, with the buttons on the top of the body. It has the usual volume rocker and power button, and an additional home button as well. On the left side we have the audio jack, a hole for the microphone, the mini USB port and the TF card slot.

It comes with a custom user interface running on Android ICS, called Atradius 4.0. It’s a relatively minimalist front-end app that strips away the Android dock and moves the notification bar to the bottom of the screen. The basic Back, Home, and Recent Apps buttons are located in the lower left corner of the user interface, and the menu button floats in the upper right corner. The user interface is relatively smooth and looks pretty decent. Unlike most OEM skins, this allows people to experience Android 4.0.3 plain and simple, and it just works to make everything click into place, based on the Novo 7 Tornado’s screen size.

Overall, the device is relatively good and fast, making it an ideal choice for people looking for a cheap and reliable tablet that they can use for several hours without worrying about running out of battery.

Review: Ainol Novo 7 Tornado

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