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ViewSonic ViewPad 7 - Design, Size, Specifications and Connectivity

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

5

Visually, the ViewPad 7's design is sharp and clean. At the back only a camera and the silver ViewSonic logo disturb the black finish, while the front features four touch controls marked by minimal icons and a front-facing camera that's subtly integrated. It isn't nearly as good at resisting fingerprints as some premium devices either, meaning you'll want to give it regular wipe-downs.

Unlike its bigger ViewPad 10 cousin with its rounded edges, the ViewPad 7 suffers from the same ergonomic problem as the iPhone 4, in that its somewhat sharp edges don't make it the most comfortable device to hold. Also, because of its bulk it feels heavier in the hand than Samsung's Galaxy Tab, though in actual fact it's 5g lighter (375g to the Tab's 380g), slightly thinner (11.5mm compared to the Tab's 12mm) and offers a smaller footprint (179.4 x 110mm compared to the Tab's 190 x 120.5mm).

Further indications of the ViewPad 7's more wallet-friendly aspirations are revealed when we get to specifications. For rather than the 1GHz CPUs regularly found in high-end tablets such as the iPad and Tab (or indeed large smartphones like the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy S), here we're dealing with an ARM11 running at a relatively paltry 600MHz. Thankfully the effects of this aren't felt too often in average use and productivity. However, fire up a more intensive game and you'll soon notice the difference. More damningly, though version 2.2 of Android natively supports Flash, the CPU just can't cope and even 720p HD video will play like a slideshow. So if these are important to you, this is not the tablet you're looking for.

It's a relief to find that further specs are more robust. There's 512MB of memory, and the paltry 512MB of integrated flash storage can be augmented with MicroSD cards of up to 32GB. It has a G-sensor for detecting orientation, an E-compass (in case you feel like taking a voyage of discovery to unknown continents) and even an ambient light sensor to dynamically control the screen's brightness. For wireless connectivity we have Wi-Fi G, Bluetooth 2.1, A-GPS, quad GSM bands and tri-band UMTS (3G). Video calling is also on the can-do list, with a front-facing VGA camera and a three megapixel model at the back.

Connectivity is decent enough, with all ports and slots integrated into the silver strip surrounding the tablet. Along the top are two well-spaced, flush volume controls and slots for both the MicroSD memory card and a SIM. Both of these are protected by a single semi-flexible, hinged cover.

Along the bottom you'll find a pin-hole reset button and microphone, as well as a headphone jack and mini-USB port for charging and data. Though this doesn't comply with the now almost universal micro-USB standard found on most phones, it's easy to find cables for and is a sight better than the proprietary connector used by Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

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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