Pipo may not exactly be a household name — I’m not even sure it’s actually the name of a company. But the Pipo U1 tablet looks like it could be an interesting option for bargain-hunters looking for an Android tablet that’s only 3/4ths the price of a Google Nexus 7 — and which offers some features Google’s tablet lacks.

Pipo U1

AliExpress and Pandawill are both offering the Pipo U1 for $150. If you’d rather order from a store you’ve actually heard of, you can find the same tablet at Amazon, but it’ll cost you $190.

The tablet features a 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS capacitive toucshcreen display, a Rockchip RK3066 dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and Mali 400 graphics.

It has 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. It features a front-facing 2MP camera, 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.0.

The Google Nexus 7, on the other hand, lacks a microSD card slot and costs $249 if you choose a model with 16GB of storage.

On the other hand, the Pipo U1 only gets up to 5 hours of battery life, which falls short of the 9 hours of run time I typically get from my Nexus 7. And while the RK3066 is the fastest processor from Chinese chip maker Rockchip, I suspect it’s not quite as zippy as the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 in the Asus-built Google Nexus 7.

I’ve also seen hints that early versions of the Pipo U1 may have suffered from display problems — but it’s not clear if those issues affect the units that went on sale this week.

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9 replies on “Pipo U1: $150 Android 4.1 tablet with RK3066 dual core CPU”

  1. I have my second PiPO Ultra-U1 Pro. Everything about the tablet is great except. This and my first one plus a M? and S? all have WiFi Radios that only connect at 802.11g. Not only that, but there range was shorter than my Acer A500 that also only connects at 802.11g speeds. It might only be a problems with early models that where shipped here to the Philippines, but I would advise anyone buying one to make sure what kind of link speed shows up in Setting/Wifi “connected site”.

  2. It is said that the novo 7 fire even with the 5000mAH battery, falls short in it’s performance due to the firmware. So I’m a bit confused deciding between the two.

  3. Thanks Brad for reporting this. It’s nice to see that a main stream blog like yours are reporting on Chinese tablets.

    Soon others will follow, Chinese tablets in terms of performance has arrived or are almost there. So people should acknowledge it.

    The next lot of these Chinese tablets will definitely give the biggies run for their money for sure. When the QuadCore RockChip, Allwinner and Amlogic tablets will arrive on this Christmas. As they all come with now matured enough Jellybean and 1280×800 screen. Also after the Ainol Fire’s 5000mAh battery, other has to follow the same. Which means a very usable and decent machines at very affordable price.

    Now just being affordable and good doesn’t cut much in terms of real value proposition until you could able to ship your product to masses.

    Chinese tablet ships to around 220 countries around the world, without asking a single penny extra. So even Google tablet is better and whatever, it means nothing for the people who can’t get it even if they want to pay for it. Hence these tablet are much better value for the money then they sound.

    As last time I’ve checked, there are still few billion people live outside America, Britain and Australia.
    Don’t trust me? Then check Google map and Wikipedia on your Nexus7 🙂

    1. MAx, very nice PR piece for the Chinese tablet makers, and I agree that for those who live in less mature markets, free shipping from China does help to keep the costs down. But if you’re living in Europe or the USA, for example, you’re taking a pretty big risk ordering direct from China — if your tablet breaks or is not satisfactory in some way, it can take weeks to sort out, given the time involved in shipping the devices to and fro. If my Nexus 7 comes with a small scratch in the middle of the screen, I can return it for another within a week or so. Will I even want to go through the hassle of waiting a month to do the same with a Chinese tablet?

      Logistically, the Chinese manufacturers are going to have to get local distributors and service centers if they are going to compete with the likes of Google and Apple in the larger markets. Yes, that’s going to bump up the price a little, but not that much.

  4. Hi, thanks for the article. I would love to see a review of the Aionol Fire which has similar specs like the pipo or the nexus. Cant decide between nexus and ainol..

    1. I don’t think the decision is all that difficult really. If HDMI and expandable storage are very important for you, then you should consider the Pipo. But in terms of build quality, weight, speed, battery life, screen quality, support (including warranty support, most likely), then the Nexus 7 is by far the better device, and worth the extra money.

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