I am a fan of more choices, especially when it comes to my computing devices. The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 aims to give users a choice of operating systems: Windows 7 or Android 1.6. However, the way in which ViewSonic put this device together suggests a company with a lot to learn about what it takes to make a great tablet PC.
- Company: ViewSonic
- Product: ViewPad 10
- Dimensions: 10.8" x 6.7" x 0.57" (WxHxD), 1.93 pounds
- Display: 10.1 LCD Capacitive multitouch screen with LED backlight 1024x600
- Networking: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Camera: 1.3 megapixel camera (front facing)
- CPU: Intel Pine Trail N455 1.66GHz, Mobile NM10 Express chipset
- Memory: 2GB, 16GB SSD
- Battery: Lithium Ion lasts about four hours of typical use
- Dual-Boot Operating Systems: Windows 7 Home Premium with Android 1.6 (upgradable to 2.2)
- Connections: Two USB ports, an HDMI port, and Bluetooth
- Cost: $580 on Amazon
- Get additional information
Who is it for?
The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 is designed for the tablet user looking to have the best of both worlds: Windows 7 and Android.
What problem does it solve?
Because the ViewSonic ViewPad 10 offers a dual-boot configuration, users can choose which operating system and ecosystem they want to use. That choice gives them access to Android apps as well as productivity applications common to Windows 7 users.
- Dual boot: The obvious feature that distinguishes the ViewPad 10 is that it is a dual-boot device. The ability to choose your operating system is intriguing.
- Style: The ViewPad 10 looks good, with a glossy finish and crisp display. There are an appropriate number of USB connections and an HDMI out. The inclusion of Bluetooth could come in handy for connecting a keyboard and mouse.
- Display: The LED backlight screen looks great and seemed fairly responsive, and this is probably the best feature of the ViewPad 10.
What is wrong?
- No physical volume button: There is now a physical volume button that makes adjusting the volume very awkward, especially in Windows 7.
- Android 1.6: The ViewPad 10 ships with Android version 1.6, which is almost useless. Users can upgrade to Android 2.2, which is better, but that version is still behind the curve.
- CPU: The device is hampered by the low-powered CPU it contains. The older Intel Atom processor chosen for the ViewPad 10 makes everything sluggish.
- Value: At almost $600, the ViewPad is way over-priced. In fact, at that price I can't see the device making much of an impact on the market at all.
- Apple iPad
- BlackBerry PlayBook
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
- Motorola Xoom
- HP TouchPad
Bottom line for business
The ViewPad 10 is an interesting idea waiting for someone to properly execute it in a practical manner. I think there is a place for dual-booting devices, and I would like to see some manufacturer really put some thought and engineering muscle behind the concept. But the ViewPad 10 as it currently ships is just an over-priced device looking for a market.
By compromising the CPU and the Android version, ViewSonic has practically doomed this device to footnote status when it comes to tablet history. Avoid it -- there are much better tablets with more value on the market.Note: I was surprised at how well Windows worked with a touchscreen after hearing several horror stories. But, while it is obvious that the GUI is designed for the precision of a mouse, with tweaking, I can see potential for Windows 8 to be a viable touchscreen OS. I am looking forward to seeing what Microsoft has up its sleeve in this regard.
Have you encountered or used the ViewSonic ViewPad 10? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.