Cortex A9 Dual Core Android 2.3.5 – Renesas/Rena3

Hi guys,

If you are an owner of the Renesas 3 tablet, also known as NEC A9, Rena3, Cortex A9, oPad and tons of other names, you are probably as frustrated as I have been about the fact that it’s shipped with Android 2.2, with vague promises of an official 2.3 firmware by some websites.

Bad news – an official 2.3 firmware is not coming.

Bad news – an official ICS firmware is not coming.

However, I stumbled across a non-official 2.3.5 firmware for the Rena3, and it’s actually working great.

Downside – HD video will not play well on this tablet with 2.3 either. It simply does not have the graphical capacity needed hardware wise. A bit of a bummer if you, like me, happen to have 90% of all your video media in 720p or 1080p. TVersity and forced downscale of the video does the trick though, so don’t give up yet! :-)

To make sure we have the same tablet, please have a look at the pictures at the end of this post, and also note that my tablet has bluebooth and GPS. If yours does not, we don’t have the same and this firmware might not function properly. Please drop me a comment to this post if you want to double check our tablet HW configurations before proceeding.

My mirror of the firmware is available at https://www.engren.se/android/rena3/M9_20111220.rar (md5 bd6b31a158e1774128a69d4b29ca23f7) – read my notes below!

Unrar the file to the root of your SD card.
It consists of 10 files: android-fs4.tar.gz, cramfs4, cramfs4.tar.gz, ff4, install.sh, sdboot.bin, uboot4.bin, uboot-sd.bin, uImage4, update.conf

Please note! This procedure will completely wipe out ALL of the files/programs on your device except for the default programs that come with Android. I suggest backing up your “paid” applications and a few other things beforehand using “Titanium Backup” or something simular.

First of all, make sure that your Rena3 device is fully charged. Rumour says that anything below 50% in charge might give unexpected results.

Power off your device.

Insert the SD card. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain to do this. A paper clip can help!

Now, hold down the “volume +” button on your device, while pressing and holding the power button until the blue light indicator is turned on. Until this light has come on, both buttons must be held down!

Once the blue light has come on, release both buttons and wait while some yellow text on the screen is displaying the progress.

Eventually, after 5-10 minutes, you will see that the last text printed says “INSTALL COMPLETED” or something simular. At this time, press the power button for 10 seconds until the device powers off.

You should now be able to boot your Rena3 tablet to 2.3.5.

 

Ainol Paladin 7 Custom Rom !

Hi guys,

Kevin Pugh over at TLC has collected some awesome information about installing ClockworkMod Recovery and a custom ROM by Tablet Republics pinkflozd. I’ve gotten permission from the missus to give the upgrade a shot, and I’ll try to get around to doing that later on this week. Was planning on it tonight, but some other stuff has come up.

The custom ROM I’ve been looking at is pinkflozds custom ROM. There’s a bunch of cool things included with this ROM, including (but not limited to):

Compatible with 4.0.3 and MagicCode!, SuperUser + BusyBox, All GAPPS Latest (20120205), Working Callendar Sync, Contacts 4.0.3 (People in drawer), SWAP Support, Browser 4.0.3 with working html5, Gmail 4.0.4, Cyanogen Music 1.0, Init.d Support, EXT4 mount improvements (IO Boost), DalvikVM Memory Tweaks, File scheduler set to CFQ, DNS Set to Google DNS, APN List (for 3G), Network Tweaks, CFQ Tweaks, Mount system with noatime (speed boost), Android [GEARS] v.2 Bootanimation, Maps 6.2, Market 3.4.4, Nova Launcher beta14

Mips Compiled Apps:
Hackers Keyboard v1.30rc4, DroidSSHd 0.6, Terminal Emulator 1.0.41, Connect Bot 1.7.1

Advanced Binaries Added/Updated:
Busybox Symlinks, Bash 4.2, Nano Text Editor, Sqlite3 3.7.10, Dropbear 0.53.1, sftp server, SSH, Unrar

 

Now I got you drewling, I guess. How to move forward?

The first step is to upgrade to v4.0.3, as per the instructions that I’ve published on this blog earlier.

The next step is to install ClockworkMod, and do a system backup. Probably a good thing to do prior to installing a custom ROM in case shit hits the fan. Instructions on how to do this can be found at http://androtab.info/mips/ingenic/clockworkmod

Instructions are said to be a bit confusing, so you want to do this:

1) Download recovery-signed.zip for the Ainol Paladin 7 (my copy of the file, md5 c0e072046a7b5e5f7b315c0e4d453288)

2) Rename the file to update.zip, and place it in the root of the SD card.

3) Install it from recovery:  turn the device off then reboot whilst holding the plus button in for a few seconds at the same time as the on button; then from the menu that appears choose to “install zip from SD card”; to make a selection use the Paladin’s volume + and – to navigate up and down; either the power or M button to select; the “previous” button to go back to previous menu.

4) Make a backup using ClockworkMod. To do this you simply need to reboot using ClockworkMod recovery (holding plus button again while turning on) and then choose the “backup and restore” then “backup” options from the menu. After the backup is competed it will then return you to the “reboot system now” menu item. Do this, just a regular reboot.

5) Download the Paladin custom ROM (my copy of the file, md5 bc9a98f72cd29db3f79ad191ba3b915e) and place it on the SD card. This is version 20120214 – a newer version might be available over at pinkflozd thread at TabletRepublic.

6) Install the custom ROM using the ClockworkMod Recovery *and* clear the Dalvik Cache. (Copy the zip to the root of the sd-card, reboot using ClockworkMod Recovery, choose “install zip from SD card”, select the newly downloaded zip, let the install complete, and once in the menu, go to advanced and “Wipe Dalvik Cache”. Then, reboot!

PS. If you follow these instructions, including clearing the Dalvik cache before rebooting, everything should work fine. There is a possibility you might have missed a step, you need to boot into the Recovery mode, and choose “wipe cache partition”, “Wipe Dalvik Cache” and “wipe data/factory reset”. This clears the tablet completely, and you need to reinstall all the apps not included.

There are many apps that don’t show up in market due to the Paladin being a MIPS processor based devices, you need other sources for the apk packages. These will be sources where you download the plain .APK files. Before downloading and installing any APK files, you need to install the Astro File Manager via Market. The Astro FM is needed to install the apk files from the SD card.

The reason we prefer the Astro FM is simply because you browse to the APK file, click it, and then press “install”. Voila!

One of the more decent (and trustworthy) sources for confirmed packages for the Ainol Paladin 7 is available over at Tablet Republic, in this thread. The packages listed as “No Magic Code needed” is confirmed to be working out of the box. Just download and install. For the other packages, you must download Magic Code v1.3 (or later) from the forum thread. Install it, open it, and then enable it – simply turn it on. It will be permanently activated even between reboots – until you decide to disable it. With Magic Code installed and enabled, you can install the other packages from this page using the Astro FM.

Enjoy!

 

Source: Kevin Pugh, techlovincodgers.com

 

Ainol Novo 7 Paladin ICS 4.0.3 update released

Hi guys!

I know I’ve promised to get back to you with a more in depth review of this tablet, but I haven’t had much time to play with either of them. Or, well, I’ve had time – they have just been occupied by their owners. A positive sign for these tablets, I’d say!

I’ve just upgraded one of the tablets from ICS 4.0.1 to ICS 4.0.3, and as a result, a little bit quicker tablet. Unfortunally I have no changelog for what has changed between the two releases, but it seems to be quite alot. It’s recommendable if you have one of these.

As a reminder for myself and a redundant archive, I’ll copy the instructions and wise words from Colonel Zap;

1. Go to your settings and remember where to change the system language.
2. Download the update.zip here. (and yes, I mirrored the file too)
3. Copy the update.zip to the root of your sd-card. DO NOT UNPACK.
4. Tablet is off, sd-card is inserted. Press and hold Vol + and Power until update procedure starts.
5. Be patient, wait until update is complete and tablet reboots.
6. Go to the settings and change the language from Chinese to whatever you like (hope you didn’t skip step 1)
7. Enjoy!

As a positive side effect, svtplay mobile (website) actually shows HD content now. Not sure if this is the actual Paladin update or SVTPlay sorting out some more problems on their side. All good, either way. :)

 

Edit 2012-02-28;

Apparently, there is a ClockworkMod out for this tablet, together with other information on how to get Youtube running if you are struggling with that, in combination with a custom rom that has been released.

I have followed this up with another post and instructions on how to proceed here.

The future looks bright for Ainol Paladin users!

 

Cube U9GT2 1GB RAM 16GB 9.7inch IPS Screen 1024*768 1.2GHz ICS 4.0 Dual Camera

 

In the absense of finding the Onda Vi40, I’ve been getting pushed towards the Cube U9GT2, available for USD 260 from Merimobiles. Its all metal and glass, just as the Onda Vi40 – but overall performance is said to be slightly better. Also, ColonelZap prefers the Cube, and he is my tablet compass in this confusing world.

Videos and pictures after the specs ;

Product Cube U9GT2 1GB RAM 16GB IPS Screen 1024*768 1.2GHz ICS 4.0  Dual Camera
CPU Rockchip RK2918 1.2 GHz
GPU Vivante GC800
OS Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Memory 1GB DDR3 Ram, 16GB Nandflash built in
Extend Memory up to 32GB via micro sd card
Screen 9.7 inch IPS Capacitive 10 points Multitouch Screen
1024*768px  4:3
Audio Built in Loud Speaker
3.5MM headphone jack
Supported Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, VBR, APE,FLAC
Video 1080P
Features and highlights
  • 10 points Capacitive Multitouch
  • ICS 4.0.1
  • 2 USB ports
  • OTG port
  • Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 1.2GHz Rockchip processor
  • 1024*768 4:3 High Resolution
  • Dual Cameras
  • 16 GB Built in
  • Flash 10.3
  • Smooth video playback performance
  • Gsensor
  • Speaker
  • Microphone out
  • Slim body
  • 3.5mm audio jack
Battery Built in Battery 8000mAH (4000mAaH*2)  10 hours music, 4 hours video, 5 hours wifi
Camera 2.0 MP Front, 2.0 Back
Package
Content
  • Cube U9GT2
  • Earphone
  • USB Cable
  • Charger

 





2.4G Ultra Mini Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad

So,

In the absense of finding a store that actually carries the Onda Vi40 tablet that I’ve been drewling over for quite some time now, I’ve been browsing around for small keyboards that could be used with the Onda Vi40 (and other tablets).

I’ve found an ultra mini wireless full qwerty keyboard with a touchpad, with full navigation keys, windows multimedia control – with a built in laserpointer with remote control. Looks awesome, and I can see so many other areas where I can use it besides using it for typing blog posts on my tablet… if I ever get one.

 

 

Costs about USD 37 including shipping with Focalprice – and a horrible USD 69.99 if you would purchase it without purchasing a tablet at the same time from Merimobiles. I’d order from Focalprice if I were you – I’ve done several orders from there, and they have been most prompt with deliveries, and their customer service has always been very quick to reply if I have had any questions.

 

ICOO D90W Tablet PC 9.7 Inch Android 4.0 IPS Screen 1GB RAM 16GB Dual Camera 2160P

 

ICOO D90W is a recent listing of the new tablet, equipped with 1.5Ghz A10 processor,  a 9.7-inch high-resolution hard-IPS screen. It’s delivered with Android 4.0. It seems to be a very powerful configuration with many features, and it’s available for purchase from Deal eXtreme and other online supermarkets in China.

The ICOO D90W is a stylish tablet, with a 9.7 inch display, the mandatory G-sensor, 1024×768 resolution, A10 processor of 1.5 Ghz, 1 GB DDR3 memory and 2 GB built in storage. The graphic chipset is a Mail400, and games are reported to run very smoothly – especially in combination with the powerful and user friendly Android 4.0.

In addition, the tablet has dual cameras – front camera of 1.3 MP, and back camera of 2 MP. It also supports playback of up to 2160P ultra definition video decoding and 3D video playback – ofcourse accompanied with a HDMI output interface so you can enjoy your videos as they were intended to.

 

Onda Vi40 Elite 9.7 IPS Capacitive Screen Full HD 2160P A10 1.5GHz Android 4.0 OS Dual Camera

 

This is probably a winner in so many aspects. Can’t wait for the factory to actually be able to  assemble these units in a rate to keep up with demand. The pre-order list for these units is currently huge – delivery in end of March if you order now, and at a price that’s rather silly compared to the list price.

However, the specs make me drewl.

  • Operating System: Android 4.0.3
  • Function Comb: Web Camera, 3G support, WIFI
  • Attached Accessories: Docks & Chargers Computer Headphones Data Cable
  • CPU Speed: 1.5HZ
  • Screen Size: 9.7 inch
  • Memory Capacity: 1GB
  • Processor Type: Allwinner A10
  • Screen Type: Capacitive Screen
  • Processor Brand: Allwinner A10
  • Hard Drive Capacity: 8GB

Ainol NOVO 7 Paladin 7 Capacitive Touch Screen Android 4.0 Ultra SlimTablet PC with Wi-Fi (Black)

Due to my 5 year old getting her own 7″ Android tablet back in October for her birthday, I’ve gotten an increased intrest in these devices.

I still have major issues with Android as a concept because of the lack of enforcement for manufactorers to supply source for their hardware upstream to the Android main tree – but it’s getting better. Slowly, and as long as you don’t get the cheapest available “hit’n’run”-tablet on the market.

The latest test purchase is the Ainol Novo 7 Paladin tablet that’s still with EMS. Was hoping that it should have been delivered prior to this weekend, but turns out a no show. Probably stuck with swedish customs by judging of how the delivery scheme usually is for these devices. :-/

Anyways! This Ainol NOVO 7 Paladin was ordered from China a couple of weeks ago. Probably not the cheapest supplier, but have only read positive things about them. The supplier is called Focalprice, and I have previously ordered some Nintendo Wii stuff from them with a positive outcome – not to mention that Flashback and other forums are only saying positive things about them.

It’s a MIPS based Android tablet, which in itself is a bit concerning in regards to marketplace compability, but I am assuming that the open source community will wake up and ensure that all available software for Android is working equally nice on a MIPS based as on an ARM based tablet.

It has a 5 point capacitive display, accompanied with a 1 Ghz Xburst MIPS CPU – and to top it off, it runs Android v4.0.3 for the ultimate experience of the Android OS.

I’ll get back with a more in depth review of this tablet once it arrives. Fingers crossed it’ll be here soon.