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Ainol Novo 7 Fire/Flame - 7" tablet

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just bought one of these after seeing people generally talking positively about it.


(Pics are from google, easier than shooting my own smile.gif)

I got this one mainly because it's dirt cheap and got many features such as external micro SD port, USB, Wifi etc.

But I've got to say I'm not that impressed, while it is really cheap at ~$150, I've found the use of it is far from trouble free and the quality isn't great.

First the build quality isn't great, it flexes a bit and doesn't feel 100% solid. The looks are ok, especially the back side looks nice (very Samsung inspired I guess), but the plastic rounded edge looks and feels cheap. The plastic buttons also have a cheap feel to them:



First problem I got was the "Checking SD card for errors" that never completed, I got it after the tablet switched off when the battery ran out. Once it was there it never went away and the tablet is pretty much useless while it's running since there is no internal SD card storage available, but also it will not go to sleep and the CPU is constantly running at 30-50%. It is fixable, but I had to wipe the whole media partition and reformat the internal SD card (FAT32/64K cluster size).

The next problem is probably the reason they named it fire/flame/burning, it runs really hot. The best gaming experience is when CPU is in performance mode, but the it gets so hot after 15 minutes that you will start burning your hands (not kidding, it really gets so hot you can't hold it)

Another thing that is annoying is the internal speaker it is pretty low quality and placed on the back, so when you place it on a table you can't hear it, and when you hold it, it's hard to hear. It also makes some strange clicking noises at random, even when it's sleeping and charging.

Then there is the camera, the back 5 megapixel is very low quality and the flash is pretty useless and at random it just shoots completely black pictures.



Last problem so far is the location of the headphone input. Since the internal speaker isn't good, I use headphones when gaming on it, but games in landscape are problematic because you can't really hold the tablet in that orientation with headphones connected. Also, I've noticed that you could easily plug the charger into the headphone socket by mistake as they are the same size. Not sure what happens if I do that, but I'm sure I will find out soon.



OK, I know I'm being very negative here, there are positives too, the screen is gorgeous and got a high dpi 1280x800 resolution. The sound quality from the headphone jack is pretty decent, just don't use the cheap included headphones. And the performance is good, both CPU and GPU, most new 3D games are very playable.

So my conclusion is that unless you are willing to spend a lot of time fine tuning and living with the short comings, it's worth spending a bit more on a quality tablet.

It's running Android 4.04, I will try see if I can update it to Android 4.1, there are some unofficial firmware builds available. I'll update with any progress and findings.

However even with all it's flaws I do still find it amazing that it's possible to retail at such a low price.
post #2 of 8
How is the battery life? (And thanks for the review btw).

Also a few questions for the chart I have compiled on 7" tablets if you don't mind.

Can you charge it from the USB port on a PC?

Does it have DLNA support (wireless video transfer to supported tv's)

Does it have an Infrared (IR) sensor on it (similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, it can be used to control all tv's)

Does it have NFC support (Near Field Communication)?

Thanks!
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Murder Box II
(18 items)
 
Home PC
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6800K Asus X99-A II MSI GTX 1080 Twin Frozr VI X G. Skill Trident Z - 32GB/ 3200Hz/CL14/Quad  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35 G-Sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
Mouse PadAudioAudioOther
Inwin Batmat Aluminum Sound Blaster Z Logitech Z906 - 5.1 Maxnomic Commander S-III Gaming Chair 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 120GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 75" TV.... GooBang Doo MX3 Corsair CX430 V2 NMEDIAPC HTPC 6000B w/ Pro LCD Module 
Mouse
GooBang Doo MX3 
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks,

It's got a large 5000mAH battery (according to specs) but I find the battery life to be average at best, but of course I have been running it hard since it's a new toy smile.gif

Yes, It does charge from USB, but it is very slow to charge that way, not sure if it supports high AMP USB charge ports for faster charging.

I don't think there is any native DLNA support, but as far as I know there are DLNA client/server apps available for download. (I have not tried any of them)

It does not have any IR receiver or transmitter built in.

It does not have NFC support.

Cheers,
post #4 of 8
That's great thanks for the info.
Murder Box II
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Home PC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6800K Asus X99-A II MSI GTX 1080 Twin Frozr VI X G. Skill Trident Z - 32GB/ 3200Hz/CL14/Quad  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35 G-Sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
Mouse PadAudioAudioOther
Inwin Batmat Aluminum Sound Blaster Z Logitech Z906 - 5.1 Maxnomic Commander S-III Gaming Chair 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 120GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 75" TV.... GooBang Doo MX3 Corsair CX430 V2 NMEDIAPC HTPC 6000B w/ Pro LCD Module 
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GooBang Doo MX3 
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Murder Box II
(18 items)
 
Home PC
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6800K Asus X99-A II MSI GTX 1080 Twin Frozr VI X G. Skill Trident Z - 32GB/ 3200Hz/CL14/Quad  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB Corsair H100i V2 - w/ML120 Pro Fans Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Acer Z35 G-Sync 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Steelseries Merc  EVGA Supernova G2 1000W Corsair 450D Mionix Naos 8200 
Mouse PadAudioAudioOther
Inwin Batmat Aluminum Sound Blaster Z Logitech Z906 - 5.1 Maxnomic Commander S-III Gaming Chair 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G3440 Asus B85M-E/CSM EVGA GTX 950 Patriot Viper 3 - 2x8GB 1600hz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 120GB + 4TB/3TB x 2/2TB WD Green LG CH12LS28 Bluray Scythe Big Shuriken 2 w/Corsair SP120 Fan Windows 10 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 75" TV.... GooBang Doo MX3 Corsair CX430 V2 NMEDIAPC HTPC 6000B w/ Pro LCD Module 
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GooBang Doo MX3 
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have had a bit of fun writing some software for my new tablet the last couple of evenings.

It's most fun to play with graphics (sticking to 2D for now). I started out using the old school canvas, since I'm doing 2D, but it really performs very badly.

So I had to pick up some Open GL coding, it's really not too bad, and using Eclipse with the Android SDK works really well, just hook up USB and it's possible to run and debug directly on the tablet.

Here a shot of what I've got running so far:



All the layers are moving endlessly at different speeds as the guy in front is running along.

It's runs really well with OpenGL using the GPU instead of canvas using purely CPU it seems.

(I didn't do the graphics, just the coding)
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I had a go at updating the firmware to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) using a modified CyanogenMod 10 build. It took a while and I had lots of trouble (internal SD disappearing etc) but got it running in the end.

4.1 really makes a great difference in speed and responsiveness, the UI is super fluent including the web browser.

I did however run into a blocker, sound in games became really choppy with 4.1. The graphics are fine, but the sound is horrible, can't live with that so I had to revert to the old firmware 4.04 (ICS).

Interested in hearing if anyone got a solution to this?

Cheers
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
The best way I've found to do Android backups is to use the Android SDK's adb command.

Install the Android SDK then connect device on USB, open a CMD prompt and go to the folder where the SDK is installed, e.g. c:\program files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools

First type adb devices this is just to confirm your device is connected properly, if you don't see your device, check USB, driver etc.

then type: adb backup -apk -shared -all backup.ab

You can enter a password if you want to encrypt your backup, but I just leave it blank and click start on the tablet.

Takes some time to complete (depending on how much you have installed).

Restore is also done with adb. In CMD prompt just type adb restore backup.ab
post #8 of 8
Hi jvjessn,
Wonder if you can help me out, reading your post on a Ainol nova 7 you said the running hot problem can be solved by wiping the media partition on the internal drive and reformatting the drive and so on,
I think have the same problem, even when turned off the back of the tab is still hot, right up till when the battery runs out , the heat is in and around the charging port area, its nowhere near the battery which i initially thought was the heat problem. My second thought was it may be the cpu but I could not understand how it would be still running after shutdown, I had never run into something like that with a laptop or desktop, It can get extremely hot when charging even with the usb.
Could you give simple directions in the process you used to repair your fault or is there a guide to it somewhere out there ?
How did you reinstall the operating system after the wipe ? did you copy it from the drive first or can it be downloaded from somewhere ?
Will I need a micro sd or will connecting to a laptop suffice ?
Sorry for all the questions, kinda new to the tab world...my tab is a Ainol Novo 7 Crystal, duel core.
Thanks again and any help will be much appreciated.
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