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Best cheap Android 7" Tablet?

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#1
iamthecosmos

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I know most people will say spend a little extra money to get a Nexus 7 or even Kindle Fire, but aside from those 2, what is currently considered to be the best budget 7" Android Tablet? There are seemingly hundreds of cheapo Chinese Android tablets, mostly of dubious quality, but many are increasingly shipping with recent builds of Andoid (ICS or even JB), and sometimes with specs that compete or even best the Nexus 7 and all at a cheaper price.

Anybody have any opinion on the Ainol Novo 7 Flame/Fire (same product I gather)? Questionable company name aside, their flagship tablet appears to be great value. Advantages in it's favour over the N7 are expandable storage, HDMI out, and rear camera. After selecting the free UK Settings, adding the UK Plug option, and added airmail shipping the total comes to £110.75. In the comments someone said customs charge was £6.99 so that would still come in under £120.


http://www.ainol-nov...tooth-16gb.html

Are there any other tablets in that price range to consider? I'm looking for something with at least a dual-core processor, at least 16GB memory, and with a capacitive HD screen.

I should state this is for a friend who is considering what tablet to buy as a gift, and if they can save £50 that does matter! I'm happy with my Nexus 7, but even I can see expandable storage etc would be handy!

Edited by iamthecosmos, 10 October 2012 - 02:45 PM.

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#2
gadgetshop

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I know most people will say spend a little extra money to get a Nexus 7 or even Kindle Fire, but aside from those 2, what is currently considered to be the best budget 7" Android Tablet? There are seemingly hundreds of cheapo Chinese Android tablets, mostly of dubious quality, but many are increasingly shipping with recent builds of Andoid (ICS or even JB), and sometimes with specs that compete or even best the Nexus 7 and all at a cheaper price.

Anybody have any opinion on the Ainol Novo 7 Flame/Fire (same product I gather)? Questionable company name aside, their flagship tablet appears to be great value. Advantages in it's favour over the N7 are expandable storage, HDMI out, and rear camera. After selecting the free UK Settings, adding the UK Plug option, and added airmail shipping the total comes to £110.75. In the comments someone said customs charge was £6.99 so that would still come in under £120.


http://www.ainol-nov...tooth-16gb.html

Are there any other tablets in that price range to consider? I'm looking for something with at least a dual-core processor, at least 16GB memory, and with a capacitive HD screen.

I should state this is for a friend who is considering what tablet to buy as a gift, and if they can save £50 that does matter! I'm happy with my Nexus 7, but even I can see expandable storage etc would be handy!


I've got an ainol elf & Aurora, both bought from gadgetfreakz, build quality for the price is great. Both come with ics installed and market access.

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#3
kram23

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The Flame 2 sounds good, quad core and with GPS, wonder how much it will be when its out.

Found it http://www.ainol-nov...tooth-16gb.html

Edited by kram23, 18 October 2012 - 10:01 AM.

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#4
iamthecosmos

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The Flame 2 sounds good, quad core and with GPS, wonder how much it will be when its out.

Found it http://www.ainol-nov...tooth-16gb.html


Good find! Well a direct conversion from that listed $179.90 works out around £111.... not too bad for a Quad-Core HD Tablet! ;)

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#5
jimac

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I own a number of different Ainol Novo 7 tablets (Paladin, Aurora, Aurora 2(two of), Crystal, Flame), so am speaking having significant hands on experience with them. I am currently installing an Aurora 2 as a dashboard in my car (running a heavily customised tuner studio shadow dash ms for android - http://tunerstudio.c...hadowdashmsmenu) with a bluetooth dongle. I also have a Nexus 7, Cube U90GT and Yuandao N101+. I like gadgets (currently waiting for a few MK808 sticks to be delivered for my TV and monitors!!)

Avoid the Flame/Fire for now, there have been issues with both the hardware and the firmware.
The Crystal (can be found for £75 inc delivery, you'll probably want to order a nice chunky 64gb microSD card for it too) and Aurora 2 are the best choices at this time.
Both represent amazing value for money.
If you get an A2, install the Feiyu 1005 ROM with the 1.5 plus package.
http://www.slatedroi...rom-feiyu-1005/
The Aurora 2 have been around long enough to have really slick software etc now, I use more than than any of the other tablets because it all just works and I can use my big microSD cards in it - which for me is a significant advantage over the Nexus7 and I have hardware enabled XBMC on it and plug it into my TV for use as a media center (using WiFi XBMC on my phone to navigate it - about to be replaced though - see comment about MK808 above!)

Also, the quad core tabs won't be out for a while and if they use the SoC that is listed for them at the moment I would give them a wide berth. The GPU in the SoC (GC1000) is a bit duff and not as good as the dual Mali400 in the AMLogic devices (Elf2, Aurora2/Flame/Crystal etc etc).

Hope that helps

J :)

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#6
kram23

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Actually I was wrong unfortunatly, the Flame 2 sounds really good but it dosent have GPS which is something I would like a tablet to have.

There is another one with GPS, the Venus, it is cheaper but it has a really rubbish camera spec of only 2MP! not sure if the CPU is the same either. http://www.ainol-nov...etooth-gps.html dosent seem to bad to be honest, do you really need a 'good' camera on a tablet :unsure:

Looks like Ill wait and see then, thanks jimac.

Edited by kram23, 18 October 2012 - 02:37 PM.

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#7
jimac

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no probs. wouldn't want you to waste your money. ;)
for what it is worth, most of these support external GPS
I have one installed in my car, attached to the A2 (along with bluetoot adapter and 3g dongle, so I can switch to google maps navigation if I like)
Why would you want GPS on a tablet anyway (or would you tether your phone over WiFi for 3g connection for AGPS apps, like google maps Nav to work)?

Probably best to wait - there is a tidal wave of tablets in development in China at the moment.

All I will say is, have a checklist of what you want it to do, wait until one comes out that fulfills all that criteria, then wait another few weeks and watch the forums for idiots like me to buy and test them first) to make sure the hardware is OK and for devs to bring out custom firmware and fix any bugs etc then buy it. If you don't, you will be forever caught in the "this higher spec one is coming out in 2-3 months.... I'll just wait for that".

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#8
kram23

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Yeah was mostly thingking about google maps but I obviously forgot about it needing a 3g connection to work properly and tethering to my phone seems a bit ott when I could just use my phone to start with. For use in a car it would be ok with a 3g dongle attached but thats not really my reason for buying one, actually what is my reason for needing a tablet

Think ill adjust my imaginary list to place GPS as a nice to have not a must have.

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#9
jimac

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Yep, there is a list to show which 3G dongles definately work (lots of them, of the plug and play variety - you can get non-P+P dongles).
As I mentioned, I have built in a powered USB hub (connected to an OTG cable) behind a flipdown panel in my dashboard, which has an old USB GPS reviever, old belkin bluetooth dongle, unlocked ZTE 3G dongle. I made the dash dock with some poly bar and secured the power adapter and OTG cable connections in place with sugru. Plug it in, turn it on, everything works. :)

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#10
SlinkyMonster

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The cheaper tablets that are available have fewer features than their higher-priced counterparts. Cheap tablet PC is a fine alternative, especially for your first tablet. I prefer you ViewSonic gtablet it’s a good one which has a 10 LCD touch screen. Most of them seem happy with this affordable Android tablet.

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#11
metal.mickey

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HI All,

ive been following the tread and im looking for a cheap chinese tablet to teach my kids to read.

Ive just installed bluestacks on my laptop and shes started to take an interest, far more than books anyway.

So im looking for a cheap 7inch android 4.0 tablet. processor size isnt an issue it just really has to have access to the market

can anyone point me inthe right direction

MM

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#12
psionandy

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HI All,

ive been following the tread and im looking for a cheap chinese tablet to teach my kids to read.


Sounds like a great idea.. I'm looking for something similar, so if you find anything that fits the bill, then let me know....

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#13
kram23

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I bought a Gadmei E8HD for about 68quid, WIFI is shite on it but everything else works ok, well except the google play store, everytime i try to download something I get an error message from the play store, error 101 or something.

I did fortunatly buy a usb to ethernet adapter that works with the tablet, when I use that the web browsing experiance is nice and quick, but having a wire attached to a tablet makes a tablet kinda pointles.

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#14
Christian Edwards

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How about the Nabi 2 (£150 from Argos) separate child and parent modes.
You get lots of book pre-installed and can buy more.
It doesn't come with the Play store but it's easy to add the Amazon App store.
The Google Play store can be added too if you install a modified recovery like CWM.

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#15
Al_1604

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Don't know about 'best cheap Android 7" tablet' but about the cheapest (at time of posting anyway) is http://www.mobicity....gb-storage.html, expecting mine very soon, will let you know if it's any good at all.

Edited by Al_1604, 16 November 2012 - 06:42 PM.

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#16
psionandy

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Let us know how you get on with it...

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#17
kram23

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Actually the wifi is quite alright now, it seems the tablet just dosent like wep but likes the better wpa2. I also got rid of the 101 play store errors.

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#18
Al_1604

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The 'cheapest cheap 7" Android tablet' finally arived (Mobicity had to send another as it appeared the first was lost in the post).
First impressions: Looks OK (actually looks good for the price), screen resolution 800x480 on 7" makes things look a bit 'pixely' but nothing too bad, hardly a snappy performer (not too surprising). Perfectly good for Facebook & normal surfing, touchscreen keyboard a good size in landscape orientation (wife can use it with her nail extensions - capacitive phone screens are usually no good for her), can play Temple run (playable though not completely smooth).
Wi-fi is proper 'n' (150Mbit/s), not n-lite (65Mbit/s). No GPS, no Bluetooth.
Overall verdict: not too bad at all for the price but don't expect too much - would make a good enough first tablet for a casual couch surfer. :)

[Edit] BBC i-Player runs nice and smooth, probably helped by the low resolution screen (works better than on Huawei G300 on ICS).

Edited by Al_1604, 16 November 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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#19
phillgates

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I have tested many 7", and currently have the Galaxy Tab 2. 7, and the Ainol Novo 7 Aurora II. My brief was to find the best built 7" that could compete with Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 generation product, and I have to say that the Novo 7 is any match for the Samsung Galaxy, it has the same quality screen as the Samsung with a 1024 x 600 resolution, placing both screens side by side, there is no difference. the other plus is that it came with 1 GB of DDR3 memory, Dual core CPU with performance settings, and a High end graphics chip that matches the Samsung.

Where the Novo 7 scored better than the Samsung was, in the actual internal storage, the Samsung is advertised as 8GB, but in actuality you only get a poor 4.4 GB net storage, though there is a Micro SD slot, but with the Novo 7's internal storage is a generous 16 GB, and Micro SD slot, there is 13.20 GB net internal storage available to the user, as well as up to 32 GB Micro SD. It came with Android ICS 4.04, after rooting and removing the Chinese social media bloatware from the system, and installing Nova tablet Launcher, the Nova 7 runs like a dream. It is very much similar in appearance to the galaxy tab 7 though marginally smaller it still packs the same screen dimensions, I have to say that while I purchased the Samsung first, due to it's market name, had I known the quality of the Nova, the Samsung tab 7 would never have been purchased, that said, the Samsung is the one to beat, and when you consider the price of £199, for the Samsung, compared to the Novo 7's modest £90, then it's a clear winner.

To conclude the Nova is in my view one hell of a product for the price, it has everything the Samsung has and more, the only two specs missing from the Nova, which the Samsung has is Bluetooth, and GPS, which for me are not that important on a 7" tablet, and I can't recommend the product enough, having purchased from an online retailer with UK stock, I had delivery within 48 hours. hope this helps iamthecosmos

Edited by phillgates, 18 November 2012 - 10:52 PM.

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#20
rferrett

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You seen this one from Ainol?

http://www.ainol-nov...et-pc-16gb.html

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