With little fanfare, the Ainovo Novo7 Basic launched just before CES as the world's first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, at a retail cost that deserves attention: $99. Even at that price, the Novo7 has a capacitive screen instead of a resistive screen, a feature that hadn't yet made its way down to the bottom end of the tablet market. It also has a processor we haven't yet seen much of, based on the MIPS architecture.

The world of tablets was relatively stable six months ago: there was the iPad 2, a bevy of Android tablets at various sizes, and not much more. Amazon's Kindle Fire managed to disrupt that market as a well-made 7-inch Android tablet, at a surprisingly low $199. Ainovo's entrant is not going to be anywhere near as disruptive as the Fire or the upcoming iPad 3, but it could be the precursor to two very real disruptions: the widespread adoption of Android running on non-ARM processors and the widespread availability of very cheap tablets that you'd actually want to use.

That's a pretty big job for a pretty small tablet. Can the Novo7 Basic do more than herald the impending invasion of inexpensive-yet-decent Android tablets? Does it lead the vanguard? Even if you're not interested in this very low-end tablet, the answer to those questions are going to matter to Intel's chances in the Android ecosystem. Read on.