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ViewSonic ViewPad 10

Ardjuna Seghers

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ViewSonic ViewPad 10
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Summary

ViewSonic showcased several new products at the event we attended yesterday, but the most exciting of these were undoubtedly the American company's new tablets, the ViewPad 7 and ViewPad 10. Both offer attractive looks, more features than you could shake a stick at and some nice extras, so should the Apple iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab be shivering in their metaphorical boots? As we've already given you an extensive look at the ViewPad 7, we'll instead concentrate on the ViewPad 10.

In terms of specifications, the ViewPad 10 is actually closer to a netbook than a mobile phone. As its name suggests, it features a 10in screen, making it slightly bigger than the 9.7in display of Apple's famous tablet. Unfortunately its resolution isn't as high at 1,024 x 600, but this is hardly surprising as it is identical to that found on practically every netbook and affordable tablet around. Potentially its most exciting feature though is that is will dual boot into either Android or a full-fat version of Windows 7!

In terms of looks and design, the 10 is one classy device. Its glass-fronted screen is perfectly integrated into a glossy black bezel vaguely reminiscent of the iPad's, with a brushed aluminium back completing its premium look and feel. The bezel is kept clean but for three menu buttons, subtle status indicators and an unobtrusive 1.3megapixel webcam. It felt very sturdy in the hand too, though as a result is quite heavy at 835g (the Wi-Fi iPad weighs only 680g).

When it comes to specifications there is quite a bit of power under the hood. For processing duties we have an Intel Atom N455 CPU, which runs at 1.66GHz and is almost identical to the N450 found in most netbooks (like the Samsung N230). The main difference is that it actually uses more power, consuming 6.5 instead of 5.5 Watts – go figure.

It's backed up by 1GB of DDR3 RAM and Intel's integrated graphics, again equivalent to most netbooks. However, for permanent storage there's a 16GB SSD. While not great by portable hard drive standards, this is plenty for a tablet and means no moving parts, less heat, no vibration and a higher likelihood of your precious data surviving – not to mention longer battery life. You can of course add more storage (up to 32GB) using the microSD card slot.

Connectivity, meanwhile, is good by tablet standards. Two USB 2.0 ports allow you to plug in anything from external storage to peripherals, while a mini-VGA port can output video to a TV or monitor. On the wireless front we have both Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 2.1, though no 3G (that's reserved for the Android-only ViewPad 7).

Mikey uk

October 29, 2010, 8:48 pm

If you run Windows 7, then presumably it will need some of the inevitable baggage needed with a Windows OS, most notably some sort of antivirus/anti malware program, with its attendant daily database updates and regular scanning, during which the tablet will probably slow to a crawl. I love Windows 7 on my desktop, but ... is it really suitable for use on a tablet form device, where surely the main requirements (well, mine at least) are low power consumption, instant-on/off and rapid task switching using the touch screen?

Jones

October 29, 2010, 9:00 pm

It's another step in the right direction for me - just as the ExoPC is.





While Windows might not be optimised for touch use, I personally do not want to be restricted to a typically seen iPhone/Android type OS. I want to install whatever I want on my machine - including old games and what not. There still isnt a really good middle of the road option at the moment that offers the usability of, say, the iPad with the functionality and use of a fully blown OS.





As for the ViewPad - it really isnt far off being tempting enough for me to jump in. Android 1.6 is a big draw back as is the lack of hdmi which I would use endlessly in the house.





So far, Notion Inks Adam is the one to keep an eye on but being honest, it's probably never going to see the light of day. Still, at the rate at which these tablets are getting churned out I reckon by next summer we will be seeing some serious good machines on the market that will all compete well against the inevitable iPad 2.

eyepopper

October 29, 2010, 9:52 pm

The underpowered 7 inch Viewsonic tablet will without a doubt sell more than its 10 inch bigger brother featured here. Windows operating systems and tablets go together like Katie Price and a Fiat Uno, and are a definite no-no, just on battery life alone. The best of the tablet bunch so far has been the Samsung Tab by a clear mile, but Dell's 7 inch Looking Glass may be a contender, if the price and the feature-set are right.

andyathome6129

November 5, 2010, 8:17 pm

The Viewpad 10 is an excellent concept and on paper a nice spec product marrying Android OS and Windows 7 on the same device. Very excited by the Viewpad, I immediately purchased one on release and with great disappointment was forced to return after less than 24 hours in my possession. Here is a very brief run down on my experience with the product, both good and bad.





There were no surprises during the unboxing of the product, included is the unit, 2 software discs including the manual, quick start guide and power leads. It is worth noting that the power brick is actually quite slim. It would also have been nice to see the inclusion of a mini VGA adapter. The build of the device felt OK, fine for day to day use, though some of the plastic frame on the facia felt as if it would come apart over time while holding the device with one hand.





Powering on the product reveals the first fundamental flaw with the device. The fan noise is truly horrendous, producing a high pitched sound even when sitting idle. The noise is audible over music and TV at a reasonable level. The noise level would probably prohibit the use of the device in meetings or similar environments. This said the back of device still gets quite warm becoming uncomfortable to hold in the hand for extended periods of time.





The actual performance of the device was better than expected, undoubtedly due to the inclusion of DDR3 RAM. While Windows 7 touch interface took a few minutes to get used to, I found that it was generally pleasant to use. While the interface is not to the standard of touch optimised OS such as Android or iOS, I found it more than usable. There was very little lag, even when running other tasks in the background, though changing the orientation of the screen can be a bit sluggish. A final note here is the limitation of space on the SSD, only 3GB out of the box rapidly taken up by an MS Office installation.





The screen quality was quite acceptable, not to the standard of other devices, but the contrast, brightness and viewing angle would be average, though reflection was a problem in bright light. The orientation of the screen, while good for movies was not ideal for reading PDF’s etc.





The second major issue with the device was the quality of the wifi. Sporting an N standard Atheros Bluetooth / WiFi combo, reception was generally very poor. Even standing about 10 feet away from the router with no obstacles, signal strength dropped to around 2 bars, this was reflected in both Windows & Android. Also, indirectly related is the wireless switch. The home button functions as the wireless on/off switch in windows (took a while to figure that one out as it is not marked).





In summary, Windows and Android OS both run very well on the device. However some poor choices with the hardware, particularly the cooling system, wireless card and particularly cramped SSD make this device feel like it is still a prototype and not viable for everyday use. Obviously this is my opinion based on one device; others may have had a better experience. Hope this helps anyone who is considering this device.

jasoncui

July 9, 2011, 7:28 am

The Idea is great "Dual OS"
Screen isnt that bad.
bought this for my son and i must say he has been hooked on it for sometime now , I really don't use it myself as its more of a teen stuff in my opinion but so far it hasn't given any problem and the price i bought it

http://www.china-tablet-computer.com/16-gb-10-inch-dual-boot-multi-touch-tablet-pc-win-7-android-1-6-8028.htm

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