We’ve got an Aigo AigoPad N700 here that has kindly been sent over by Think4Mobile in the UK. It’s a preview model and something that may, or may not, make it to European markets. Given the rough seas right now and the specs of the N700, we’re not sure it has the right stuff to succeed. See our article below and the video at the end for more information.
Android 2.1 on ARM11 with 800×480 and no Google Market/Apps is a surprisingly low-quality combination, especially compared to the build quality and looks of the AigoPad which say so much more. Capacative touch is there and it has a nice ruberised back that I’d love to see on the Galaxy Tab. A magnetic charging port and even 3G is included [The model we have is CDMA /EVDO for the U.S. market so we’re unable to test that bit.] but even if the OS was upgraded to 2.2 with Google Market, the 800×480 screen and ARM11 processor just wouldn’t cut it in the market today unless the price was amazingly low.
Admittedly, there aren’t any 3G-enabled low-cost tablets in the European market right now but given that Viewsonic will likely reduce its Viewpad 7 price very soon to give it breathing space from the Galaxy Tab, that niche might be filled very quickly. Even so, the ARM11 niche isn’t going to last long as features and applications on Android demand ARMv7 architecture and multi-core platforms date it even further.
The N700 appears to have one thing on its side…battery life. Aigo have dropped a 4250mah battery into this thing and I havent charged it for 4 days. Admittedly it was on standby (bluetooth and Wifi on) for 3 of those days but I was extremely surprised to see it still running – with 50% battery. After another day of testing (about 3hrs) we’re only down to 36% battery. This could be the most power-efficient tabelt i’ve ever tested so if you’re looking for that as a feature, here it is!
- Mono loudspeaker is loud and good
- Screen has some fading at angles
- WVGA is noticeable on test having used the Galaxy Tab for 4 months!
- Button hardware: solid
- No Wifi-N support
- Browser fixed to landscape mode
- GPS, accelerometer included
- Sideloading of many apps works without problem
- 3mm longer than a Galaxy Tab (same width)
- About 1mm thicker
- Brightness – good range but nothing new
- No docking port, no hdmi
- Platform doesn’t support 720p decoding
- Only supplied charger worked despite it being a USB cable.
- No search button
- No camera
Overall I’m impressed with what Aigo have done in terms of engineering but the total package misses the mark for developed countries in Q1 2011. We’ll definately keep an eye on Aigo though.
Update: Think4it Solutions tell us that they will be putting the N700 on the back-burner for the time being as Aigo have just revealed a 2.2, ARMv7 version (likely Cortex A8) with european 3G support that is planned for an April launch.We’ll stay in touch in because a low-cost Cortex-based device is exactly what’s needed. Fingers crossed for 1024×600!