The Touchpad has been a huge loss for HP financially, but it showed the market how hungry the consumers are for a $99 tablet, as long as the quality is decent enough to be usable. Obviously the HP Touchpad cheated to get in so many people’s hands because it was actually a firesale, and the quality of the components were higher than even a $200 tablet like the Kindle Fire would have.
But that doesn’t mean people can’t get a very usable tablet for $99. For once it actually has a capacitive display. Most cheap tablets so far have used the reflexive display, which used to be in PDA’s before the iPhone arrived, and that type of display gives a very poor touch experience, and the quality of it is pretty bad, too. The Novo7 tablet features a capacitive display so the touch experience should be just as good on high-end tablets or very close to it at least.
Novo7 has 1 Ghz MIPS chip with graphics that can handle some of the latest 3D Gameloft games, so that speaks a lot about its performance, even if it’s not as good as say Tegra 3 performance. The resolution will be a little low at 800×480, but considering the price, I’d say it’s a reasonable compromise. It will have Wi-fi b/g/n, 3G, USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.3 ports for media and game streaming to the TV.
The tablet is also the first one with Android 4.0, which is big news. Android 4.0 really seems to be a new inflection point for Android, now being available for both MIPS and x86 architectures, besides the default one which has been ARM. This could potentially take Android in new places and markets. It does seem like it has enabled Android to arrive on sub-$100 tablets already, which means that it could potentially sell a very high volume of them.
This is why Android can’t be beaten at the market share game. It can be on any type of hardware, and for price points that are as low as possible. iOS will never compete with that, and even WP7 will be too slow to get there. Not to mention WP7 only works on phones, and Windows 8 will most likely be too “big” for devices these chip, not to mention the whole license could cost as much as the device itself.
The Novo7 is already available in China, but it should start shipping in US and Europe very soon, and in the coming months there will also be 8″ and a 9″ versions, too.