There is no shortage of cheap Android tablets from Chinese manufacturers that can be found for under $200 online, most of which are running an older version of Android and don’t have Google’s blessing (meaning no Google services and Market). MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor announced today availability of the world’s first Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0-powered tablet, and it just so happens to a $99 budget-friendly tab with decent specs.
The tablet will pack in a 1GHz MIPS-based ‘XBurst” CPU, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, microSD, HDMI 1.3, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, 2-megapixel main cam, front-facing cam, and bluetooth. Ainovo, the company offering up the tablet to the Chinese market, is promising 30 hours standby and 8 hours video playback for battery.
The Novo7 will become available to the US market (likely with different branding) through other companies including OMG Electronics Ltd. and Leader International Inc. at a later date. There will also be 8 and 9-inch variants released in the future, mostly likely depending on the success of the 7-inch model. You might have to pay a little more than the US $99 price tag to get it shipped from a Chinese supplier before it lands stateside, but it will probably be your first chance to get your hands on an ICS tablet if you do.
Google’s Andy Rubin had this to say about the launch of new MIPS-based ICS tablets like the Novo7:
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I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.