ViewSonic only released the dual boot ViewPad 10 last October, but today at CES we managed to get our hands on the ViewPad 10S, which is the latest in the line of ViewSonic's tablet range.
Due to ship in the States by the end of Q1 this year, at a price of around $399, ViewSonic said they don’t yet have a date for a UK release but expected it to be across the Atlantic by the middle of next year. As you can see in the video the 10S is similar in size to the ViewPad 10, but the feel of the body is completely different. The first thing you notice when you power it up is the lack of any fixed buttons on the front bezel - as were present on the previous version.
Instead ViewSonic has decided to place a fixed hardware “Back” button on the top of the tablet and all other buttons will appear on the touchscreen. Another unique feature is a strange feeling ridge around the side of the 10S which seems to serve no particular purpose.
ViewSonic told us that while the hardware for the 10S was finalised, the software will be tweaked prior to shipping. The 10S runs on Android 2.2 however we were unable to see any video running or see how the web browser worked due to a lack of wireless connection. Inside, the tablet will run on a dual core Tegra 250 processor at up to 1GHz. It will have 512MB of RAM, 16GB of storage, WiFi, Bluetooth and optional 3G.
Connectivity will be served by a full sized USB 2.0 port, a micro SD card slot (up to 32GB), an HDMI port and a headphone jack. It has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The 10.1in capacitive multi-touch screen will have a resolution of 1024 x 600.
Overall this tablet left us a little cold as it felt slightly strange with raised ridges around the edge. Also the lack of buttons on the front of the 10S is a slightly odd choice considering almost every other tablet (with the exception of the PlayBook) having buttons on the front. We can’t really judge the performance without seeing video or web browsing and with the interface yet to be tweaked fully, we’ll reserve judgement until we get our hands on a review copy. However, shipping with Android 2.2 at this stage seems to be a little behind other manufacturers who are now rolling out Honeycomb on their tablets, but again we’ll have to wait and see.