I've owned Ainol NOVO 7 Aurora Tablet since April 2012 and thought I'd share my experiences with you. Having researched various tablets on the internet, I may just start with why I decided to buy this tablet:
- I wanted something cheap and cheerful (<£120). I will still be using my iPhone 4S for most of my activities, so the tablet was just for browsing, videos and reading (books, comics and magazines).
- Wanted an Android tablet to learn more about Android OS
- 7" is perfect for portability and light-weight (minimises wrist fatigue)
- Reviews on YouTube show it was powerful enough to run HD video and render 3D games; indicates to me that it should suit my needs perfectly.
- CPU: AllWinner Many Core A10 1.2GHz processor. GPU: Mali 400.
- 1GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB internal storage, microSD slot
- 7 inch IPS Capacitive Screen 1024×600 pixel resolution (LG version i.e. V3)
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 3.5mm audio, mini USB, mini HDMI
- Size and Weight: 189mm x 123mm x 9mm, 313 grams
Overall... very happy with the device!
However, if I had to purchase a tablet now, I think I'd struggle to pick between the Novo7 Aurora II and Nexus 7. Without looking at in with much depth, I am slightly swayed towards the Aurora II purely due to the microSD card. I use my 32gb card all the time!
Added 25/9/2012: If you want another option (only slightly more expensive than the Aurora II) then have a look at the Novo7 Fire: 1280x800 IPS screen, dual core processor, front and rear camera, 5000mA battery.
Added 10/02/2013: If 10" is what I want, it would be between the Novo Hero 2 and Google Nexus 10... purely from a pricing a features point of view, I'd buy the Hero. However, if I wanted an excellent high-res screen and want the latest factory android iOS, I'd get the Nexus 10.
- 201201 = Aurora v1 (Hitachi screen)
- 201202 = Aurora v1
- 201203 = Aurora v2
- 201204 and above = Aurora v3 (LG screen)
Learning points to share:
- The Aurora comes pre-rooted and CWM installed!
- If you need to change the language because the ROM defaults to chinese: Settings menu > option "A" icon > choose the first option
- ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM) is activation: Hold the BACK button and press POWER button for approx. 2 sec, then release POWER; keep BACK button pressed until CWM mode/menu is activated (it may take approx. 10 sec). Release the BACK button.
- With the factory installed ROM, the opened android logo with red exclamation mark is actually CWM mode: press BACK button for CWM menu.
- Updating to a different ROM (been trying feiyu, Mobiz and ConRom v2-7) to make the Aurora even faster/smoother. I was using ConRom v7 (CM9) for some time but now on Quarx CM10 nightly.
- Installing busybox into the wrong directory can cause the tablet to self factory reset on each reboot and result in errors. Ensure you install BUSYBOX to /system/bin (not the default xbin). This issue is caused by the busybox install, caused by an incompatibility between busybox and ICS (Android 4). What happens is the a couple of vital directories containing user data FAIL TO MOUNT. The reason is that the program /system/bin/busybox is missing. As you will not be able to download anything from Google Play at this time (No space - volume not mounted) you have to get hold of term.apk, The android terminal emulator, and copy the busybox in xbin to bin. Then reboot.
Type into the terminal emulator: cp /system/xbin/busybox /system/bin
Alternatively: Complete a full format flash.
- LiveSuit 1.09 unable to recognise AURORA in DFU mode (hold down volume-up, plug USB, press power 6 times) on my computer! (Windows 7 64bit). I tried absolutely every driver combination to attempt to get it to recognise the tablet, but gave up after 4+ hours. Eventually, I used another laptop I had access to and it work right away (same version of Windows!)
Apps I have installed:
SwiftkeyXCM10 keyboard is great
- SetCPU (Min 408. Max 1056 - interactive), Screen Filter
- Opera Mini, Dolphin Browser (and mini)
- Ghost Commander File (+ SMB plugin)
- K-9 Mail
- PerfectViewer (+PDF plugin) (to read comics)
- Adobe Reader, ezPDF Reader, Flipboard, gReader
- YouTube , BBC News, iPlayer, Sky News, TED, TVCatchup
- MX Player & BSPlayer
- Nova Launcher (Quarx CM10 20120901 launcher currently has problems)
- Lucky Patcher
- Superuser, Root Explorer, Advanced Task Killer, Quadrant Standard
- Terminal Emulator, SManager ads (for V6 script)
Quarx CM10 10121209 install procedure
- Using Livesuit v1.09 (and press YES for format), install/flash Feiyu 0429 ROM - aurora_v1_feiyu_mod (0429)
- Load CWM to install the following:
Activate CWM mode: Turn device off. Press & HOLD "back" key. switch device on. Let go of back key once CWM screen is loaded.
- CWM6 (cwm-22.214.171.124.zip)
- Feiyu 0429 V3 touch patch (aurora_v3_patch_(0429).zip)
- Quarx 1209 (CM10-20121209-NIGHTLY-a10.zip)
- Aurora V3 touch drivers (lg_touch_fix_v3.zip)
- Gapps (gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip)
- Install Nova Launcher (via Play Store)
- Download and install YouTube 4.1.47.apk (via Google)
- Use V6 SuperCharger script to optimise memory and remove lag:
- Install BusyBox v1.19.4 to /system/bin (Play Store)
- Install SManager (Play Store)
- Use SManager to run the newest release of V6 SuperCharger Script.pdf (run as "SU")
- Patch and install services.jar using Ultimatic Jar Patcher Tools (Windows PC)
- Use SManager to run 99SuperCharger as "SU" and "On Boot"
- Use V6 SuperCharger Script to "SuperClean & ReStart!"
- Use V6 SuperCharger Script to "Fix Emissions"
- Bugs with Quarx CM10 1209:
- Wifi sleeping when device is off, even when set to "Always On" - Use SoftLock app
- Default Launcher crashes on rotation - Use Nova Launcher as mentioned above
- Still some lag - V6 script worked for me.
- Some browsers are still "slow" e.g. Chrome.
I use Opera Next (simple/fast browsing) and Dolphin Browser (full website browsing)
Beginners guide to improving Novo 7
Full list (with google translator)
Deleting APKs:"Deleting apk from /system/app is like uninstall.
Check this cyanogen website or this link to find which apk's is safe to remove.
Since Aurora didn't have 3G/phone function, it's safe to remove Contacts.apk, ContactsProvider.apk, Phone.apk and TelephonyProvider.apk"
Supercharger V6 script