Chinese Tablets get a heavy weight champion

Two new tablet models by Ainol are making their way to the crowded Android tablet market:

Ainol Novo 10 Captain


Ainol Novo 10 Hero II

So, what’s so special about these two that makes them rise above the crowd?

Ainol is a chinese tablet and other gadgets chinese manufacturer founded in 2004 and located in Shenzhen, China. They have been competitive and made a name for themselves by keeping their prices low, but also sticking to a somewhat higher quality than the other chinese non-brand tablets.

With these two new models, Ainol takes it to the next level.

Although they are both a little bit hefty weight-wise (Both the Captain and the HeroII at 669Grams), they pack quite a punch for a tablet that sells around 200USD.

At the Captain’s and the HeroII’s hearts runs a quad-core CPU, some of the first instances for chinese tablets.

The Captain has a 10.1″ FullHD (1920×1080) IPS screen with 178 degrees viewing angle, and the HeroII has a more modest 10.1″ 1280×800 IPS screen.

Both hold big capacity batteries. The Captain’s 10,000mAh, and the HeroII’s 8,000mAh. These are pretty much required as this resolution and powerful CPUs would not last without enough power. Also, I would take it with a grain of salt, as reported capacity of chinese battery often does not match real-world testing results..

Also another rare characteristic for a chinese tablet is that these contain built-in GPS module. Almost all chinese tablets on the market cut this feature off, to save on cost.

However, something had to go, and the Captain model only comes with 8GB of storage (both have 1GB of working DDR3 RAM), and the HeroII model comes only with 16GB storage. This can be helped by using the MicroSD slot to add more storage (only upto 32GB).

Another point of interest is that both models come loaded with Android 4.1, also known as “Jelly Bean”. This helps the tablets run pretty smoothly.

The rest is a pretty standard affair. The included cameras are the cheap crap (2.0MP back camera, and 0.3MP for skype calls) included with almost all chinese models and some of the brand ones too. BT and WiFi are included, but no 3G (though I suspect that you could use a 3G dongle to get that ability).

There are some reports that claim that this new line contains USB 3.0 support, but I wouldn’t believe it till I get confirmation from a credible source.

Both have OTG (on-the-go) USB host support and also NTFS/exFat/Fat32 file system support. That’s great since it means you can hook up your camera, card reader or even a 2.5″ external hard drive and be able to copy and work from it directly.

Considering that in this price range, their only big contender in the branded tablet section is the Google Nexus 7, they have a big advantage, as long as you don’t look at the plastic-y exterior and some misgivings.


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