The viewing angle from side to side in landscape mode is very good. But the loss of definition when you go off-axis vertically reveals the downside of traditional LCD as compared with the AMOLED technology now beginning to be used in devices like the Samsung Wave - costly at this sort of size - or even the more modest IPS that Apple uses for the iPad screen. A limitation for a device you'll often have lying flat on the table in front of you, but not, in practise, a very big deal. The 800 x 480 resolution is more of a handicap, especially when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab's 1024 x 600 panel
Slip in a Sim for 3G connectivity
Speaking of Apple, the ViewPad's industrial design is very close to the solid aluminium-rimmed styling of Cupertino's latest phones and lightweight notebooks. Clearly, Johnny Ive has his admirers in Taiwan. Switched off or sleeping, the ViewPad looks like a black glass tile solidly framed in silver. The half-inch rim gives plenty of room at the top – in landscape mode – for a flap that conceals sockets for Sim and a Micro SD card. To the right of this, two flush buttons control the audio volume.
The left and right edges have small grilles for a pair of tiny but surprisingly listenable speakers. Above these are a pair of circular recesses evidently for the attachment of a case, although the tough canvas-like black case provided uses three stout clips to retain the device instead.
Immediately below the left-hand speaker is the power switch. A short press to awaken the machine or put it to sleep and a longer press when it's switched on to pull up a menu offering complete power down, sound muting or airplane mode.
Next page: Netbook nemesis?
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.