Review: The ViewSonic ViewPad 10

  • price

    ₹38,000.00

  • tech2 rating

    3/5

  • user rating

    1.9/5

We’ve been following the tablet news all through the new year and into CES. As expected, a ton of tablets were announced at the CES 2011 convention this year. Each one of them will come with faster processors with multiple cores in them. We’ve received one of the recently launched 10-inch tablets from ViewSonic called the ViewPad 10. ViewSonic is a brand that’s known mainly for making displays and projectors. Let’s see how their latest offering fares as compared to the rest.

The all new Atom powered ViewPad 10

The all new Atom powered ViewPad 10

 

 

Features and Design
The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 is unique for a couple of reasons. Unlike most of the other tablets so far, the ViewPad 10 is a 10-inch tablet powered by Intel’s Atom N455 1.66 GHz processor, in place of the common ARM family processors. The tablet comes preinstalled with Android 1.6 and Windows 7 Home Premium operating systems. The product package isn’t fancy – it contains nothing more than the tablet itself, a charger and a software disc. The bundled power adapter is of the same size as any other netbook.

The ton of connectivity options available

The ton of connectivity options available

 

 

 

On the connectivity front, there’s a 3.5 mm audio output jack, a microSD card slot, a mini-VGA connector and two USB 2.0 ports, which should come handy when you want to connect external storage drives to it.

The first impression one gets of the ViewPad 10 is its size. It’s large and it’s heavy. Many complained that the iPad was heavy, and it was, but the ViewPad 10 might just be a tad bit heavier. In terms of looks, it’s pretty decent looking even thought it doesn’t have the same finish as the Apple iPad. The glossy screen attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges and that’s unavoidable. The bezel surround the screen is uneven. For example, the top bezel that houses the camera and the status indicators is thinner than the panel at the bottom.

Vents on the side of the ViewPad 10, designed to keep it cool

Vents on the side of the ViewPad 10, designed to keep it cool

 

In all, it’s not very aesthetically designed. The gaping vents on the sides of the tablet make it feel more like a netbook. This is something people don’t expect from a tablet or a phone. The use of a hotter Atom processor might be causing temperatures to rise, and therefore the need for the vents for more efficient heat loss.

The issues we’ve talked above might be us just nitpicking. The layout of the buttons is a more serious issue though. There are three buttons in place of the four that you normally find on a typical Android phone or tablet. In this case, the home button operates what would normally be the Back button. The Power button is just for powering on the device, or for rebooting it. The Back button acts as the Option/Menu button. Selecting the OS to boot becomes slightly confusing. There are no physical volume controls either, so one has to scamper to the volume control settings menu.

Build Quality
We aren’t entirely impressed by the build quality of the product either. For example, the back panel had some play in it and it’s clearly visible when you press the panels near the connectors on the sides. The camera isn’t snugly fit into its place either. It’s in details such as these that you remember the iPad. There are also some heating problems when the tablet charges. The left side of the tablet tends to get warm after a while. We also noticed that temperatures were slightly lower while running Android, and higher with Windows 7.
Software
One of the other disappointments is that the ViewPad 10 runs the outdated Android 1.6 OS. We were hoping that by now, every manufacturer would have updated their devices to Android 2.2 or, at the very least, 2.1 by now. The OS is the bare essential with very minor customizations done to it - some unnecessary ones. The Google Android Market for example isn’t present anymore. Instead, a third party app called AndAppStore is your only way to installing apps on the tablet. It does the job fairly well but it’s an unnecessary change in our opinion. There are no interesting bundled applications either.

Windows 7 Home runs fine, but the OS isn't as intuitive as Android on a tablet. If you depend on certain Windows applications everyday, then this feature will catch your eye.

Performance
The 10-inch, 1024x600 resolution screen is of decent quality and is excellent for watching movies and playing videos on it. The capacitive touchscreen works fine. Holding down the touchscreen as the right-click gesture doesn’t always work well. The gesture is understood as a move. We’ve seen worse though. We also faced some issues connecting to a Belkin WiFi router during our evaluation of the product. At long distances, it drops connection. Most phones work flawlessly at this distance.

The Android operating is a lot faster than Windows 7, but Windows 7 is way more versatile with many more features. Linpack throws up a score of 15.6 Mflops, which makes it par with the other tablets of its kind.

The decently performing speaker on the rear of the ViewPad 10

The decently performing speaker on the rear of the ViewPad 10

 

Speakers are decent, and both the quality and power are sufficient for watching videos content on Youtube and movies from the memory card. There is no back facing camera, and the front facing camera’s image quality is average at best, and it’s good only for video conferencing. Frame rates are decent though.

Verdict
The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 is a decent device that requires a lot of tweaking and work on it before it can be taken seriously. Priced at Rs. 38,000, it goes head on against a similarly priced Apple iPad. It’s possible to get an 64GB Apple iPad in the grey market. The iPad in comparison is a much more refined product as a whole. The ViewPad 10 would be recommended if it were priced at a more wallet-friendly Rs. 25,000 for example. The glaring issues with the device could then be ignored.


Specifications

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 10.1inch; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth dual OS tablet supports both Windows and Android operating systems. It\'s your choice for the best mobile entertainment and productivity tools. ViewPad 10 is packed with rich features including capacitive multi-touch 1024x600 LCD screen, high performance Intel Pine Trail processor, integrated DDR3 2GB SDRAM and up to 32GB SSD storage capacity, 1.3 megapixel webcam and full connectivity including a mini VGA port and Micro SD slot. With compact and lighter design to carry than a laptop, ViewPad 10 is ideally designed to view Flash-based content and Office programs with Windows, and for the best mobile entertainment experience with Android. Then enjoy smart mobility, accessing social networking, entertainment and productivity tools through the Android OS. There are thousands of Android apps that make working, playing and connecting to the digital world fun and easy. A capacitive multi-touch screen makes surfing, gaming or getting directions so natural. Exclusive G-Sensor auto rotates the screen. From eBook reading to racing games, the ViewPad 10 offers an interface that truly is an extension of your movements. You\'ll experience the most intuitive control of computing, web browsing, and image and document editing you ever imagined. The ViewPad 10 features the latest generation of high quality touch screen with capacitive multi-touch control. The system is easily manipulated by the simple movements of your finger tips. Photo editing, webpage browsing, games and recreation are navigated in a most intuitive way. Handwriting input, zooming in/out of images, copying and moving documents are all much easier. Mobile devices are no longer limited by the size of their screens. The large 10.1\" screen with 1024 x 600 resolution creates a perfect environment for a mobile office. It provides larger and a clearer viewing area for websites, multimedia, and reading. ViewPad 10 multitasks just like you do. It is easy to work, play and share from anywhere your day takes you. Integrating dual operating systems of Android and Windows 7, ViewPad 10 is ready for anything. ViewPad 10 with Windows 7 includes Remote Desktop support to connect with your home and work computers, and even other operating systems. Access files on your Windows PC or Mac right from your ViewPad10 for anytime, anywhere connectivity.

Screen

Screen Size 10.1
Screen Resolution (pixels) 1024 x 600
Screen Type LCD Capacitive multi-touch screen with LED backlight

Memory

Internal Storage 16GB
External Memory Type microSD
Upgradeable Upto 32GB

Camera

Front facing camera 1.3MP
Integrated Flash Adobe Flash

Sound

Speaker Yes
Audio connector 3.5mm

Connectivity

3G Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth (Version) 2.1 + EDR
Wi-Fi Yes
WiFi (802.11b/g/n) 802.11 b/g/n
USB Yes, 2 x USB 2.0

Software

OS Android
Version 1.6

Hardware

Processor Intel Pine Trail N455
Speed 1.66GHz

Battery

Type Li-ion
Capacity 3200 mAH
Standby Time 4 hrs

Dimensions

Dimensions (H x W x D) 170 x 275 x 16.5 mm
Weight (g) 0.875 kg

Miscellaneous Features

Bundled Apps Documents-to-Go|#|eBooks|#|Video|#|Photos|#|Games|#|Built-in E-Reader
Other Features G-Sensor, Accelerometer

After Sales Service

Warranty 1

Price

Price No Information

Published Date: Jan 18, 2011 04:24 pm | Updated Date: Jan 18, 2011 04:24 pm