Ainol may be a name that rings a bell if you were looking for cheap Ice Cream Sandwich tablets towards the end of last year. The Chinese tablet maker brought the MIPS powered Novo7 tablet to market, and it wasn't bad for costing only $100. They have been busy since then, but their most interesting addition to their lineup is the new Novo7 Aurora II.
This latest tablet has been upgraded in a number of ways compared to the original Novo7. Primarily, the processor has been updated to a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM processor, which means faster speeds and none of the incompatibility caused by the MIPS processor in the previous model. Backing up the processor is a full 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The display is still a 7-inch 1024 x 600 panel, but will include both capacitive touch and IPS technology. Additional features include a 2MP front camera and expandable microSD storage.
Android 4.0 is the OS of choice for the tablet, which is a good thing to see when you can't always depend on these manufacturers for updates. However, these improvements do come at a cost. According to some leaked product listings, the tablet Aurora II will retail for $190, with a non-IPS version coming in at $149. If it includes the Android Market, the Novo7 Aurora II could prove to be a formidable Kindle Fire alternative, so I would keep an eye out for it to launch later this month.