Dell has announced the death of the company’s Android tablet – the Streak 7 is no longer available. It’s not surprising that Dell, the first major company to introduce a tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad, is quitting the tablet market. While Apple’s iPhone is having a tough competition with Android smartphones, the same cannot be said about its iPad. Apple is munching almost the whole tablet share market by itself considering that iPad is on target to sell 40 – 50 million tablets by 2011, as compared to all its rivals combined have sold just over a million.
It might be comical but the fact that most iPad rivals have priced themselves on par with the Apple Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AAPL, stock) tablet means choosing which brand of tablet to take home is almost a no-brainer. But if pricing is the only factor that will give iPad a run for their money, Ainovo Novo 7, may just be the new tablet to watch out. The Novo 7 ships with a decent 1GHz MIPS processor paired with a Vivante GC860 GPU, 512MB RAM, and 4GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), Wi-Fi support, front and rear cameras, and the ability to play back full 1080P video. And it cost only $99 a piece.
Ainovo claimed that the 7 inch Novo 7′s battery lasts eight hours on watching video, seven hours when browsing the Web and six hours when playing games. And of course it comes with the latest Ice Cream Sandwich. Even Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, was thrilled and impressed with the low cost and high performance tablet. There’s a catch though – the new Android 4.0 tablet is only available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd., at least for the time being. It will be available in the United States and other geographies within the next several months and it will cost you additional $60 bucks to ship it from China.
The tablet has acquired Google certification to run applications such as Google Maps, Gmail, Google Music, and Google Talk. Google does not provide official Android market access in China though. However, the tablet can access other third-party app markets such as Amazon, from where apps like Angry Birds can be downloaded. This latest tablet from China is a showcase tablet for MIPS Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS, stock), a chip licensing company that is battling ARM and Intel for smartphone and tablet market share. MIPS architecture is an alternative to x86 (your computers) and ARM architecture (your smartphone).
There’s no doubt the Chinese government is heavily subsidizing the research of MIPS architecture in order to create China-made or China-specific devices. So before you say that this piece of tablet is another cheap, low quality, copy-cat, made-in-China, worthless piece of gadget, think again. Sure, it may still be miles away compared to Intel x86 or ARM processors, but they are closing in.
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