Then, as of 2012 New Year Eve, new tablets equipped by new, ARM-licenced, Allwinner A10 CPU, appeared.
Are Alwinner A10 based tablets worth buying?
It’s all about the money: Allwinner A10 CPU is sold to chinese manufacturers $7 in big volume, so they are used primarily in low-cost tablets, together with cheap plastic and low/resolution displays to push manufacturing costs as low as possible. Fortunately, not all manufacturers followed this path. Take Shenzhen Ainol Electronic Co., Ltd. manufacturer as an example:
Ainol produces several variants of their 7″ tablets with range from $89 to $169. The cheapest ones - Ainol Novo 7 Palladin and Ainol Novo 7 Basic are equipped with Ingenic JZ4770 @1Ghz.
JZ4770 is based on MIPS architecture and this fact results into slight incompatibility. Most of Android apps are compiled the way that protect them running on MIPS CPU. Some of them can be modified (more exactly their flags in header) by MagicCode and resulting .apk package is then capable running on MIPS CPU, some of them can’t run anyway. Taking this into account, JZ4770 based tablets can not be recommended till all killer apps became available for MIPS platform too.
If you pay a bit more, for $149/$129 you can get either Ainol Novo 7 Elf or Ainol Novo 7 Advanced II , both equipped by Allwinner A10 CPU. What’s the difference between Advanced II and Elf? Elf
is missing HDMI but is equipped by LCD with higher resoution 1024×600, other models are using 800×480 LCD panels. And if you put another $20 on the table, you can get Ainol Novo 7 Aurora with better IPS panel (of the same 1024×600 resolution as Elf).
Is $149 Ainol NOVO 7 Elf tablet worth buying ?
The decition is always yours – but my one is YES.
With Ainol Novo 7 Elf you will not get dual core CPU, but instead good single Cortex-A8 core, together with powerful Mali400 GPU, and Android ICS (you can check Ainol updates and grab the latest version).
Until Kindle Fire gets capability to use full spectrum of Amazon services outside US (yes, we know about Tor and other workarounds), microphone & camera, Ainol Novo 7 Elf or Aurora is at least “worth to try”.
Bonus: Allwinner A10 General FAQ