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ViewSonic ViewPad 7 - Cameras, Battery Life, Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

5

User Score:

Unfortunately, as with the Galaxy Tab, the cameras on ViewSonic's tablet are pretty much an afterthought. Stills from the three megapixel rear unit are of mediocre quality while its standard definition video is edging towards dreadful, with plenty of smearing, noise, artefacts and loss of detail. It's just about adequate for video calling, but certainly not ideal for capturing memories.

Battery life from the non-removable 3,240mAh unit is decent. Though you won't get 10 hours like the iPad, ViewSonic's claim of around six hours seems to be spot-on, as the ViewPad 7 gave us just over six hours with average use (with the screen set to Auto - i.e. using its ambient light sensor to determine brightness - and usage alternating between web-browsing, downloading over Wi-Fi, document creation, gaming and video playback). Obviously your mileage will vary with use, but especially with the screen brightness lowered, it could last you all day.

Finally we get to value, which is by no means straightforward. Though the ViewPad 7 is available for £400, if you have any unwanted netbook or laptop lying around you'll get £100 cashback from ViewSonic's trade-in program. That's not "up to", it's £100 for any working machine up to four years old, bringing the price for the tablet down to £300.

At £300, if you can live with its limitations the ViewPad 7 offers halfway decent value, with its Android 2.2 OS, 3G, official App Store support and its long battery life (not to mention a two-year collect and return warranty) setting it apart from the cheap £150 tablets being sold by many lesser-known brands online. Arguably you would be better off buying a similarly-priced Android smartphone, but the larger form factor does have a niche appeal.

For the full £400 though, we just don't feel ViewSonic's smallest tablet offers the kind of quality you would expect for that kind of money. Samsung's Tab was also overpriced, but at least it offered Full HD video playback and HDMI video out (albeit with an optional dock that costs extra), a higher-resolution, better screen, and hardware specifications that were powerful enough to run every Android application out there.

Despite its proprietary nature, even Apple's iPad easily justifies its £30 premium, and the competition isn't exactly standing still, with Dell's intriguing little Inspiron Duo coming in at £450. Unfortunately, the best aspect of the ViewPad 7 is its case.

Verdict

ViewSonic's ViewPad 7 Android tablet looks good, is fairly well built and has plenty of features, not to mention a great case. However, it's seriously let down by its uncomfortable shape, slow 600MHz processor and a low-resolution, slightly unresponsive screen.

Overall Score

5

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 5
  • Value 5
  • Features 6
  • Design 7

Ataripower

November 26, 2010, 2:30 am

Great review, thanks. The pricing of this is very interesting. With the Galaxy Tab now available for around £450 online and contract free why on earth would you pay £400 for this? Have Viewsonic missed a great opportunity to pick up some market share by offering this for £220-£250. At this price it would be tempting.

GoldenGuy

November 26, 2010, 1:56 pm

512MB is a shocking amount. Who cares if it's got an SD slot when the price of entry is £400? So in short : crap screen, slow and unresponsive, and bugger all storage. Bang up job guys. Call it lowering the bar all you want, but every time another wannabe tablet gets released, the iPad just looks better and better - and not that expensive either!

TechVegan

November 26, 2010, 2:25 pm

@Ataripower:


I agree, at £250 it would be quite attractive, especially considering it offers equivalent features to many smartphones costing £300 and more (though they're not always implemented as well).





@GoldenGuy:


Do keep in mind that a 16GB MicroSD card shouldn't set you back more than £20 at most, but yes, at £400 you would definitely expect better.

Stelph

November 26, 2010, 6:24 pm

I agree with all the comments so far, with the Galaxy Tab dropping in price (and im sure it will keep dropping) and the Archos 101 out for £250 and Archos 70 for £220, Viewsonic really have missed the mark with this.





Hoping the Adam Notion really becomes the game changer that they are pushing, if does look interesting with a 10" screen and apparently a touchpad on the back as well as the touchscreen (quite a clever idea). We shall see on the 4th Dec I guess when something exciting is apparenly going to happen (hopefully release or at least pre-order)

Gordon394

November 26, 2010, 7:27 pm

Must say I actually much prefer the ViewPad to the Galaxy Tab. It is a very similar device for a lot less money. The problem with Android tablets as a whole, however, is they are currently just big smartphones. For now keep your wallets in your pockets people.

Ataripower

November 26, 2010, 9:46 pm

@Gordon, I really can't get my head around your thinking here. I picked up the Galaxy Tab last week after it was reduced to £450 and have to say is an awesome device, fantastically portable and a great complement to a smartphone. Really can't fault it. Yes it may get even better when later Android versions are available but in my opinion its a great portable alternative to the iPad which doesn't leave my coffee table due to its weight and size :-)

Arctic Fox

November 26, 2010, 9:47 pm

I suggest people wait until they get the chance to look at Acer's offerings in the first quarter of next year. Both Android and WP7.

Gordon394

November 27, 2010, 12:26 am

@Ataripower - I'd have suggested you wait until Gingerbread and tablets specifically designed for it, but I'm glad you like the Tab. It has an iPad quality about it in that I know people who are big fans and people who can't stand it.





I suspect you've already read this, but these were my feelings:


http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

TallPaul

October 30, 2011, 2:48 am

You say "However, a more significant disadvantage is the screen's low 800 x 400 resolution". I'm confused by this as Viewsonic claim the Viewpad 7 has a resolution of 800 x 480 (see )

Kevin Sykes

April 22, 2013, 6:54 pm

My screen broke soon after I got my viewsonic & cant get a repair done anywhere

ebibai okumo

November 28, 2013, 9:40 am

please where can i get my veiwsonic 7( 2.2) touch pal/ screen replaced in Lagos Nigeria

amar tiwari

March 31, 2014, 7:52 am

my -viewsonic-viewpad...‎7 is not working what i do...?

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