Ainol NOVO 7 ELF II review
TweetWith new smartphones announcements emerging almost every other day as of late, a slate unveiling is a sure change of pace. We have Ainol to be grateful, as it’s lifting the curtain on the 7-inch NOVO 7 ELF II. As you could recall, we previously rubbed shoulders with Ainol late January this year, where we managed to spend some quality hands-on time.
When you talk of tablets, big as the market is, one notion regularly holds candle: the slim the tablet is, the better. Ainol, for example, surely has never managed to equate a svelte silhouette product since we last touched its Ainol Novo 7 Aurora. And indeed, its fingerprint filth tablet, at 7.4 x 4.4 x 0.5 inches that was almost identical to the Fire, housing in at 0.1 inches lesser and 0.3 inches narrower had its fare share of thickness. That Honeycomb model has now a new, lower-priced incumbent, the NOVO 7 ELF II.
Taking you back $124, you get a slate with a bit more meat left in its bones, but of course with an increased weight (at 360g) in exchange of some more respectful specs: GPU Mali 400 dual-core AMLogic AML8726-MX, 1.5GHz with 1GB of RAM – and some mouthwatering Ice Cream Sandwich. Even as you can easily guess which of these tablets makes a serious candidate (clue: the one with the “ELF”), figuring out the Ainol NOVO 7’s position in the grand hierarchy of slates calls for little more examination. Luckily, that’s our job, so join us shortly to as we take through the assessment without a single “Aurora” pun.
It’s exactly what you see, so let’s not go in circles: and in this case, the Novo 7 ELF II’s unibody isn’t still exactly what we’d anticipated. And we are not saying its build won’t bottleneck to the pressure of everyday tasks, but to give credit; Ainol improved upon the tacky build quality of its slates. Besides slimming down attempt on the design (although not satisfactorily enough), Ainol opted for more premium materials. Its matte finish does sacrifice a decent grip to some extent, thanks to the inclining rear edges.
Ports were neatly arranged on left side of the tablet: housing a headphone jack, micro-USB 2.0, micro-HDMI connection, 3.5mm audio jack and a complete-size SD card slot that allows for additional 32GB of external storage (or supposedly more). On the right edges houses the power button, volume rocker and a lever for keeping the screen locked on orientation, while the top is home to a 2-megapixel front webcam.
A flip to the display side, we have a 7-inch Capacitive 5 Points Multitouch Screen with a 1024*600px resolution. At that pixel density isn’t anything outside the norm, but it’s a screen that delivers decent viewing angles and vivid colors. Opening web pages on the ELF II is fluid – perhaps a few sporadic lag in recording swipes, but light gaming is a pleasure – we hurriedly rekindled our liking for Angry Birds Space. There were no any glitches experienced when streaming live HD video.
The NOVO 7 ELF II runs Ice Cream Sandwich, and as with previous tablets, Ainol didn’t tinker with Google’s interface. Sure, it’s fairly much stock Android inside. Ice Cream Sandwich’s updated interface shines on the 1024*600 display, and we didn’t see at any moment the slate being bogged down by intrusive bloatware. It comes pre-loaded with full pack of Google apps – including Gmail, Office, Browser, Gallery, Clock, Calculator, Calendar, Taskiller—together with its own branded utilities.
That’s all great news, our dear readers, and Ainol NOVO 7 ELF II has the makings of a grand Android tablet. The firm, comfortable design and full-size SD card slot, clean OS and AMLogic’s AML8726-MX power all tally up to an excellent user experience, but can the deficiencies like the lack of a rear shooter rob this slate from earning a shimmering endorsement? You be the ref.