It has been about 10 interesting days now with Ainol’s Novo7 Tornados, which is a 7-inchs capacitive screen Android Icecream-Sandwich tablet. Very budget tablet, I think it is the lowest cost Android ICS tablet in Pakistan. You can get this baby for 8,000 Pakistani Rupees easily at the time I am writing about it so do not compare its specs with high-end brands.
I will list some problems and issues that I ran into by now.
Novo7 Tornados will not win any spotlight and it has its flaws and weaknesses but after intense use for whole 10 days or more I am confident to say this little guy is capable to handle more than just basics. From entertainment to productivity and staying connected, Tornados has been handling these tasks well. But again it behaves as long as you keep it in its safe ground, and understand its boundaries.
If it acting up or refuse to do some heavy lifting, just remind yourself the amount you paid for it and you will be fine again.
Now Tornados has 1ghz processor so you should be ready to face some slow time here and there, and I want to remind you that I do not count ‘lag’ as a problem. Small lags are a must in any computer-like device. Also if you try to push too much, the applications or apps will likely to crash and I do not blame Tornados for this either. These are the moments where you get to learn why some products cost more than others.
PC Connectivity: Tornados doesn’t like connecting to my pc much. Charging through USB works perfectly but it doesn’t always enable device as storage medium. At the moment I am not sure if it is due to my tortured Windows XP or it is something with the tablet or it is Android 4.0.4. Because this is an important function for me so trouble with it really driven me crazy in start.
Solution 1: Easy solution is restarting the tablet and it let me connect to pc 3 4 times before giving up.
Solution 2: Installing an app to transfer files over WiFi. The free app WebSharing I am using is not very ideal solution to transfer too many files but for few files it gets the job done so I am happy with it.
Ghost Touches or No Touch at all: Well, luckily I am no longer having these after new official firmware so if you face any of these problems make sure your tablet is up-to-date. If it is, get a replacement right away.
Weak WiFi Signal: This is something I read a lot over the forums but personally I haven’t suffered too much from it. However do not expect highest quality signals on it, remember the low price come with compromises here and there.
Screen under Sunlight: Not too bad for occasional outside uses but If your usage of Tornados is outside under the sun is more often, you need to look elsewhere, more importantly you need to dig deeper in your valet and try Aurora or Aurora 2 (a dual core, great screen, more compact tablet from Ainol).
SD Card Reading problem and Corruption: I have been using Tornados very rough. From watching movies to Internet surfing, occasionally small games to PDF reading and extreme web surfing to a lot of files transferring between tablet to PC. I have never found any file damaged until out of the blue almost entire memory card messed up. Files reduced to 4k sizes, card took a very long time to read, numbers of applications that I moved to SD card are gone (4k file size).
To avoid such incidents, make sure to backup or sync all important data. I had to search and install all required applications again.
Battery Life: Battery is great for me. In start I was getting not more than 3 hours on lowest screen brightness. Later on I mute all key and screen touch sounds, killed the vibration and now I am getting over 5 hours easily with heavy use. With WiFi always on, emails, heavy surfing, movies and long typing. Most of my surfing is full version of Facebook using either Opera Mobile or FireFox. My Opera Mobile is set to desktop client so very much all the sites I view websites in desktop version.
For movies I use ear plugs, youtube goes with built-in speakers. With this setup I am getting up to or about 5 hours of active time.
Typing/Text Editor Lag: If text you are typing is long, such as this document you are reading, they almost half way you will start facing noticeable delay between your input and its result. To avoid this, I had to type this document in 3 different Notes entries. While this Lag or delay is annoying, I also noticed that it didn’t skip the letters, which is a good thing.
Screen Display Angle: In the smartphones’ reviews when someone says Poor Angle Visibility, I feel furious for that non-sense, however when dealing with the tablet I think viewing angle is an important element to have. I am also very sure of viewing angle’s importance in larger, 4+ inches screen smartphones too. Tornados doesn’t have a good viewing angle screen but personally I doesn’t feel it unless I am watching full length movie.
At the end, I want to repeat one more time that Ainol Novo7 Tornados is not a costly machine so do not expect to do things that a 300$ tablet does. Tornados comes under 100$ or Rs. 8000 in Pakistan and it is well capable to handle a lot more than I was hoping and for me, it worth the price. List of weaknesses above is just to give you an idea what you should prepare if you are to go for Tornados.
But best suggestion for anyone who could invest up to Pakistani Rs. 15,000, go for Ainol Novo7 Aurora 2. There are many other tablet brands are available in Pakistan too but I use these 2 personally and own Tornados and using so I know these better than others brands and products.