I have tried to resuscitate my old tablet: the Ainol Novo 7 Paladin. I stopped to use it near before two years because I thought that it is damaged.
First I tried to run it without microSD card (and it worked), then I added spare card to it and then I have started to optimise the installed software. After removing of about 90% of applications the tablet have started to be snappy and responsive. Some problems have remained – a random effects (ghost presses) on the touscreen are the most annoying.
Some of software cannot be installed at all – it’s a MIPS device and it is not able to run any native ARM code. Thus the C:Geo and many others are out of the interest here. The device also does not have GPS, nor Bluetooth so navigations and the Pebble cannot be used here. Also, there is no camera so no photos can be taken and no barcode or QR-code stuff can be red.
It can run the FBReader, the WordPress, the Evernote and also a Gopher client (the Overbite). So the most important stuff is available. Also on-line LaTeX and Octave clients are available (Anoc/VerbTeX).
It can be a nice device for places with higher risk of loss or damage. I have an increasing feeling that most of my pocket devices are too precious to be carried to such places (Zauri, Palms, Psions) so an availability of a cheap, small and light tablet is a good thing.