This certainly isn't the first rip-off of a major OEM's product we have seen from China, and due to China's... shall we say fairly lax copyright laws, it probably won't be the last. Ainol, a Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer has released a product that might look familiar to you (pictured above).
No, that isn't a Nexus 7, that is a Novo 7 Venus. Besides a name that sounds vaguely like a line of women's shaving products this tablet actually offers some half decent specs.
- 16GB internal storage
- External SD card slot
- 2 megapixel rear camera and VGA front-facing camera
- Android 4.1 Jellybean
- 1 GB of RAM
You can get all of that for a reasonable $155. If the Nexus 7 didn't exist it would be pretty easy to recommend this tablet. But since you can get a Nexus 7 for $200, it would be tough to recommend getting a cheap knock off with dubious build quality for a savings of only fifty bucks. You should also note that although the Novo 7 Venus does have a rear facing camera, it does not have GPS.
There are many out there that advocate the inclusion of SD card slots on mobile devices, and there are lots of solid arguments that can be made in favor of flexible, expandable storage. Especially if you enjoy running various experimental operating systems on your device, an SD card slot can make your life much easier. But GPS functionality would of course mean no Ingress, no accurate location from Google Maps, and many other sacrifices. If you really want to pick up one of these cheap copies of the Nexus 7, you can find them on Ebay, Craigslist, and many other places around the web. But if you want a cheap, dependable, powerful tablet for a reasonable price, you should go get an iPad Mini... just kidding! Go get a Nexus 7. Can you see yourself sacrificing GPS and build quality in exchange for $50 and a rear facing camera? Let us know in the comments section.