Ainol Novo7 Elf - Cheap Android Tablet

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This is not an Android tablet review either!

Many people out there usually fancy about ICS (Ice Scream Sandwich), but not me. Especially when it comes from Chinese Manufacture. From the experiences I have with Chinese designed stuffs, it’s all suck! They’re all bad with software and hardware design I am not racist or hatred Chinese guys, but what the f*** is wrong with them? Like they screw everything up. All the fake stuffs always come from China with crap quality, such as fake iphone, ipad, nokia phone, etc. Even, they screw with the food, eg: google “fake egg”. OK, screw them!

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Novo7 Elf (inshort - n7e) is built with Allwinner - A10 Many CORE max speed at 1.5GHz but clock at 1.2Ghz (or 1Ghz - I don’t care), RAM 1GB DDR3 and 8G Nand-Flash, 7” capacitive (crap) touch screen - support 5 point with res 1024×600 (as good as my 10” netbook samsung n218 plus. That mean more pixel per inch, but the output image doesn’t look better than my netbook even with the same distance.

To make it clarify, Allwinner - A10 Many CORE (which printed on the box) is a SOC (system on chip) from Chinese company, and “Many CORE” means CPU + GPU + DSP… on a single chip. “A10” name is misleading and mis-informing since the processor is Cortex A8. ARM only makes Cortex A5, A8, A9 and A15. There is no such thing as Cortex A10. They name the chip this “nickname” to trick buyers into thinking it uses a Cortex A10 (which obviously A10 would be better than A8). And they got me! Even though, Allwinner A10 is still a strong chip.

N7e comes with ICS - the newest Android OS. Some ppl complain that There is no Market installed, and some managed to install market but not working. Mine got Market working in the first place (maybe the retailer fix that for me already) , but SU did’nt. After trying installing some games and uninstall youtube by mistake, I do a factory reset and Market disappear! Following some instruction running a script to add Market to novo7 elf from the internet, Market show up again, but still SU does’t work, and the script install some extra apps, that I don’t want but somehow It won’t allow me to uninstall these apps. After about 5 time factory reset in 3 days, I bring the tablet to the retailer for supporting install cr*ck*d asphalt 5 + 6 because it just can’t work properly. Like this:

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The retailer give up on this bug. Me too. Btw I don’t play this game, just wanna try like they do in the video.

The same as what I hate about korean gui of my moto milestone this tablet comes in Chinese, and some stupid Chinese apps which I disabled right away when I got my hands on this tablet.

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And it get annoying when I have to disable about 8 apps for 5 times each (5 times factory reset).
The 4th day after I bought this one. I decide to use root explorer to take those useless apps out for good and it turn out it is *partial root* which actually gain root access via ADB only. I try to upgrade SU but it won’t help. Then I try to update Angry Bird Rio but, it can not upgrade because certification error or something like that which I don’t remember. Sigh… Now I have to use ADB to remove all that stupid apps and Angry Bird Rio to re-install newer version. Then I manage to replace SU inside /system/bin with SU that I use for moto milestone. Voila, it work, root explorer can gain root access, same as Terminal Emulator. Now I can do things that I want!

Satisfy with that result, I did install a lot of apps. Yeah, 8GB is not much for video, but for apps and ebook it would be more than OK.

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And then in this Sunday morning, I turned on the tablet for reading emails and I was panic. All the apps are gone, all the setting I made change are turn back to default. It is just like I have just mistaken factory reset the tablet. HOLY SH** !!! I spend about 4 hour or more to make it work the right way and about 6 hour to install all the apps + customize the theme to meet my taste. But now it’s gone. OH F*** , what the f*** is happening.

Then I make a test. I remove some shortcut from launcher home screen and add google account and then turn it off. Wait for 10 mins then turn it on. Oh god, it just look like exactly the same as the state when I do factory reset, shortcut re-appear, google account gone, wifi profile gone… Then I run some more test just delete some random shortcut then turn off and on and confirm the result is the same: factory reset.

I am speechless now. I will send this back to the retailer and demand a replacement or refund. This is totally unacceptable.

Ahhhhhh, Chinese stuffs…

Edit Feb-11-2012:

I got the tablet back after 3 days. They re-flash a new (but still old) firmware GingerBread (GB) 2.3.4 which I am the only customer who ask for it. It run smoothly and very fast, but I think GingerBread is not mean for tablet. With this GingerBread I have to swipe the finger across the screen about 10cm (due to big screen) to unlock, compare to just about 3cm in IceScreamSandwich (small circle) or Froyo about 4cm (my moto - milestone). Yes, it starts annoying after about 20 times unlocking the tablet.

So, I revert it back to ICS which is a little laggy, but more comfort in use. My stock firmware come with N7e is ICS 4.0.1 which a bit laggy than ICS 4.0.3 (current firmware).

And then run the Script to install Market and root the phone.
Novo7ELF_AURORA_MarketScript.rar
While gathering information about firmware for Novo7Elf, I learn that there is a light-weight replacement for ICS stock launcher which is look kinda the same: Nova Launcher on XDA-Developers

Finally, after all the efforts to make thing go right, It comes to a happy ending, I am satisfy with this tablet.

In case you need these file:
novo7elf_android_4.0.3_firmware.rar - file size : 272MB
novo7elf_android_2.3_firmware.rar - file size : 136MB
livesuit.rar - file size : 18MB - Instruction included
novo7_adb_usb_driver_win7-32b.zip - file size : 6MB - for ADB connection

Edit April 26th 2012:

Flash custom firmware (which is rooted + remove all stupid apps) from Elvish 0.3 - ModROM. There is a huge different from stock ROM and this mod ROM. And this is good.
elvish-0.3.rar - file size : 266MB

Also get skype apk (which video call working) from slatedroid too.
Skype2.5.0.160.apk - file size : 10MB

It’s time to find some games for this Ainol 7 Elf…