Viewsonic Viewpad 10e tablet
Android take on iPad aspect
Review ‘Budget tablet’ is a phrase that tends to crop up in reviews that only ever reach one conclusion: the product is pretty awful. But the new Viewsonic Viewpad 10e may be the exception that proves the rule, because this £200 Argos-exclusive ain’t half bad.
Viewsonic's Viewpad 10e adopts the iPad's 4 x 3 aspect ratio
To start with it’s smart, slim – only 9.1mm thick – and at 620g reasonably light. It’s well made too, with no physical rough edges and no flex to its body. The back is made of matt black plastic, but none the worse for that.
Up top and out of the way, you will find a power toggle, microSD, mini HDMI, micro USB and power sockets – alas no USB charging. There's also a 3.5mm combo mic/headphone jack. On the left side is a volume rocker and on the right, a reset button that I never had to use.
Budget price, but a bevy of features
What separates the 10e from the herd is its glass 9.7in, 768 x 1024 132dpi screen which makes the it the only Android tablet with an iPad-like aspect ratio. The LCD panel is also colourful and bright – to the tune of 400 nits, since you ask – while viewing angles are impressively robust.
Powering the show is a 1GHz single-core ARMv7 chip with 512MB of RAM which keeps everything moving along at a perfectly reasonable rate of knots and provides a smooth UI experience. Granted, it’s no Asus Transformer Prime but if anyone tells you it’s unusable or frustratingly slow, they are talking utter rubbish.
The 10e runs Android 2.3.1 but an Ice Cream Sandwich update is promised by ViewSonic any day now. To give a bespoke look to the UI you get a licenced version of SPB’s visually impressive Shell 3D launcher.
Next page: After market
> 'alas no USB charging'
> "Fair play to ViewSonic for being honest about the 2,700mAh power pack only offering around 5.5 hours "
> The combination of these two factors makes for a massive fail."
Massive fail ? Really ? From my own tablet use, and that of others I known with one, the normal usage tends to be
- stick tablet in dock/on charging slab
- watch tablet in dock OR take out and veg on sofa/where-ever for a few hours or so of surfing and video watching
- stick tablet back in dock
I really don't know anybody who relies on a tablet for all day usage away from power. I'm certainly not saying they don't exist - far from it, i've heard people who do - but I personally think there are enough people who *don't* need that to make calling this tablet a "massive fail" a bit short-sighted (to be generous to you).
Re: The saving
I disagree. To people who are actually short of cash 200 quid is a lot cheaper than 330 quid. If you don't think so then you're probably not the target market, but there are plenty of people in the UK today who'd find 330 quid out of the question but 200 just about doable.
Re: The saving
Just on the point of storage a few quid more will get you 32GB for this as it has an expansion slot.
£130 is also about two-thirds of the purchase price again so it's not a trivial price hike.
I agree though that this does show the difficulty rivals face in trying to compete with Apple tablets - it's difficult to beat their price to any significant extent without intolerable compromises being made.
This looks like one of the best attempts yet to me.
that depends on whether or not the saving of £400 (a mortgage payment right there) was important to me.
Re: The saving
But then you're up into territory where you could have bought a laptop, instead of a toy for browsing the web, which the cheap-o Android one will do a serviceable job of.