ViewSonic tablet defies death by Steve Jobs
Seven inches can't satisfy Apple boss
ViewSonic made it official on Monday: their seven-inch ViewPad tablet will arrive in the US before the end of the year — despite the fact that Steve Jobs says seven-inchers are "dead on arrival."
"I think in this case he may be a little afraid of this category," ViewSonic marketing honcho Adam Hanin told Laptop, "And he's finding whatever he can to attack because he sees [7-inch tablets] as a challenge to the dominance of the iPad."
Steve Jobs says seven inches isn't enough, but we think it looks comfy
ViewSonic is hedging its seven-inch bet with a 10-incher, as well — and in addition to their size differences, there are other aspects of the ViewPad 7 and ViewPad 10 that make them dissimilar animals.
Their operating systemes, for example — the $479 ViewPad 7 will appear in the waning days of this year running Android 2.2, aka Froyo. The $629 ViewPad 10 will arive in the US later than the seven-incher — in the first quarter of 2011 — but it'll have an earlier operating system: Android 1.6, aka Donut.
But here's the kicker: as we told you back in September, the ViewPad 10 will be a dual-boot machine, with the alternate operating system being Windows 7 Home Premium. Or is Android the alternate OS? Whatever...
In addition to its Microsoftian OS, the ViewPad 10 has other netbooky attributes, such as a 1.66GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD that's supplemented by a microSD card slot.
In a microDig at the iPad, ViewSonic's announcement notes that the ViewPad 10 "is ideally designed to view Flash-based content and Office programs with Windows," adding also that it's just peachy "for an optimized mobile entertainment experience with Android."
The 10-incher's capacitive multi-touch screen has a resolution of 1024 by 600 (the iPad's display is 1024 by 768), and the device includes a 1.3-megapixel camera (the iPad's camera is ... oh, right — the iPad doesn't have a camera).
The ViewPad 7 — the one who's death was predictably predicted by Jobs — comes with 3G support (ViewSonic calls it 3.5G, but we're not going to play that game), plus Bluetooth and Wi-Fi — which, by the way doesn't have 802.11n chops, just b/g.
Like the iPhone and BlackBerry PlayBook, the ViewPad 7 has both front- and rear-facing cameras — though the PlayBooks 3-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear cameras handily out-spec the ViewPad 7's 0.3 and 3-megapixel sensors.
ViewSonic is positioning the ViewPad 7 as "the ultimate device for connected fun and multitasking — in a compact size easier to carry than a netbook and with better media performance than a smartphone." Whether it can stretch out from that middle position to touch both markets, or simply fall into the abyss between them, we'll find out later this year. ®
Jobs is just annoyed because he was planning to release the 7-inch "iPad Nano" next year?
What the hell?
Why are there so many businesses wanting to punt an ancient version of an open source OS when they can have the latest edition instead? Are you sure Windows 7 also comes with it, or is it 3.11 for Workgroups?
@Sean Baggaley 1
What you bitchin' about man?
So what if you've already got frikkin cameras and 3G on your phone, having them on a tablet as well isn't going to exactly add much weight or cause much inconvenience is it?
If it would be such a hardship for you then don't use them - simple.
I've already got several digital cameras, but fuck me, I don't complain about my phone having 2 more, or my netbook having yet another.
Does your phone have a 7" or 10" screen, or run Windows 7? - No, didn't think so. Surely they are more likely to be the features that you would actually buy this device for, rather than those that you are crying about already having.
Who gives a monkey's what version of Android it comes with - if any, after all it's just a freebie phone OS - so a (very little) bit of a bonus rather than a cut-down, paid-for feature.
Get a grip sunshine.
I thought tablets were a fad and that apple would be left on its ass, while the rest of the industry laughed ?
Also who the hell here has done a video call using 3G? seriously who??
Viewsonic bests Jobs: One thing he would NEVER do!
That is to have a dual OS system.
The Viewsonic interconnectivity specs are somewhat better than the original Chinese pads that hit the market there almost a year ago, months before the Apple copycat hit the streets.
The support/service network, along with better plastics finish, is what the Chinese originals lack and which will benefit Viewsonic sales. I personally find the 7" format to be very practicable, small enough to fit an inner suit pocket or almost any pocket of an outdoors style jacket.
Our company has already supplied 7" format pads to 3 customers loaded with service diagrams/data for their products - it is hard to imagine a technician servicing a hydraulic control panel armed with a 10" Apple pad whereas the 7" is light enough to wear around a users neck or to magnetically support on the control panel door during servicing.
Jobs might yet again live to regret his pontifications on 7" but he will be able to add Viewsonic to his list of companies who 'stole' his gestures software which, in turn, he stole from others. Should be quite a party!