Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Android tablet
Tablet sceptics, prepare to be converted
Review Viewsonic came up through monitors and projectors, but has recently been branching out, sometimes tentatively, into other devices like the VMP74 network media player and slimline laptops. Now it's set its sights on the rapidly emerging Android tablet market with its new 7in touchscreen, the ViewPad 7.
Viewsonic's ViewPad 7: 'Pad beater?
Unlike the unfortunate Toshiba AC100 smartbook, the ViewPad 7 is a straight-down-the-line implementation of Android 2.2. The result is effectively a large phone just small enough to slip into a gent's inside jacket pocket, but of a weight that would make any fastidious Saville Row tailor shudder.
"I'm sure Sir would prefer a leather holster for that."
If, like me, you're more Marks and Sparks than Jermyn Street, the rather reassuring heft of the device is a minor consideration: this thing is portable. You won't hesitate at the front door wondering if you really need it today. Definitely one up on certain popular device from a fruit-named company.
Better than one up. More than just a blown up phone, the ViewPad 7 has some solidly-grounded pretensions to becoming a laptop replacement. There's no physical keyboard, of course, although Bluetooth and the mini USB socket suggest this possibility, but the rich set of virtual keyboards – a choice of full Qwerty, 12-key phone pad or some proprietary ingenuity called CooTek T+ – together with the option of Google voice recognition make it a very flexible and usable input device, as well as a viewer.
Case in point...
The capacitive multi-touch screen is nicely responsive, and flicking and two-finger squeezing and stretching quickly become instinctive means of navigation and zooming.
Next page: Johnny 7?
Why is everything microSD
When you have plenty of physical space for a standard SD card slot, why do manufacturers still stick with the lower sized/more expensive microSD. Heck, you could have a couple of standard SD card slots on these things.
Looks nice enough, but....
A few too many compromises for me. 800x480 resolution, no significant on-board storage, 600MHz processor. Acceptable at half the cost of the Galaxy Tab, perhaps, but not at £400.
Still, the more the merrier in the market, I reckon.
Stock Android features
It does annoy me when the reviewer reviews the stock features of the operating system. "Whoa! Android (tablet) comes with an on screen keyboard? Well shiver me timbers!" What I need to know is, is it More than just stock android, has it any "special" features etc. I need differentiation factors between this and any other Android tablet/phone.
Hardware is important,
button position - important,
the fact that holding the power button brings up the 'power menu' is STOCK!! All android devices do this.
CPU - important.
Battery - important;
Storage - important,
connectivity - important,
Resolution - important.
User experience due to combination of the above - important.
Wallpaper is interchangeable - STOCK
Music player - STOCK
Let me guess? It has google maps? Wow. That is a shock.
No GPS it seems...?
One of the most useful things for wandering around strange places with Notebook/smartphone for me is finding where I am going using built-in GPS on the move...
If this baby doesn't have maps/GPS capability then it won't make the short list, sorry.
The processor is surprisingly anaemic isn't it? I would have expected at least 1GHz, especially since it's big enough to be useful for watching video content via Flash. I'm surprised the reviewer didn't give any details on the performance of Flash and general web page rendering.