Is Allwinner A10 CPU the winner?

During December 2011, there appeared many cheap tablets containing JZ4770 Xburst CPU,  usually together with Vivante GC860 GPU (yes, the same one as we have seen in Arnova 8 G2 aka Wooky 2.0 tablet).

Then, as of 2012 New Year Eve, new tablets equipped by new, ARM-licenced, Allwinner A10 CPU, appeared.

Allwinner A10 CPU architecture

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

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8 Responses to Is Allwinner A10 CPU the winner?

  1. Pingback: Tablet CPU: AMLogic 8726-M, Rockchip RK2918, Vimicro VC882, AllWINNER A10 | Tom Kaňok

  2. Pingback: Tablet CPU performance comparison: Allwinner A10, RK2918, AML8726 | Tom Kaňok

  3. Pingback: Jz4770 | TagHall

  4. OP says:

    MIPS is not an architecture.
    MIPS = Million Instruction per second.
    It gives the number of instruction(in million) that can be executed bu the CPU in 1 second.

    DMIPS = Dhrystone MIPS
    Here a benchmarking program is used to calculate the number of instructions it can execute in 1 second.

    • Dennis Ma says:

      ok, MIPS is also Million Instruction per second. but……..
      Your Wrong…. You should do your homework before you post….
      MIPS is an CPU arch….. SGI (Silicon Graphics) had used this arch in there systems..
      and even today it is quite common in embedded solutions…
      I’m old school… 30 years in the Computer industry….. ex-Data General…..
      oh.. this just in:
      have a good read and learn….

  5. Tracy says:

    I’m shopping a cheap yet not too anemic tab.

    What’s your take on these specs? Is the 8GB a deal-breaker? Also, what is your opinion on the best chip for the money right now?

    Brand IPPO
    Model W7
    Product Type Tablet PC
    Screen Size 7”
    Screen Material LCD
    Operating System Android 4.0.3
    Processor Type/CPU Type Cortex-A9 dual-core
    CPU Manufacturer Nufront
    CPU Model NS115
    CPU Speed 1.2 GHz
    RAM/ Technology DDR3
    RAM Memory 1 GB
    Hard Drive Type Fast flash
    Hard Drive Capacity 8 GB
    Extend Card Up to 32GB
    GPU Mail-400
    Keyboard Touch virtual keyboard
    Touchpad Technology 5-point capacitive touch screen
    Max Resolution 1024 x 600

    • Tomkan says:

      It’s not bed if priced appropriately, I mean under $120.
      Personally, I’ll prefer buying a model equipped with (more expensive) IPS or at least MVA display, p.e. Ainol Crystal.
      And think of community support ! (new ROMs, patches, How-To etc.)

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