TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
ViewSonic has decided to jump in the growing tablet market and officially unveiled two devices that are headed to the U.S. market. Offering a cheaper alternative to that of the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the ViewPad 7 will be available sometime in November or December for $479 running stock Android 2.2 "Froyo". It has a 7-inch 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen, 600-MHz Qualcomm processor, a 3-megapixel camera in the back, a 0.3-megapixel camera in front, a mini-USB jack, and a mere 512MB built-in storage (expandable up to 32GB via MicroSD).
The device will be able to access the Android Market and can access the Internet over Wi-Fi (b/g) or 3G if you supply your own SIM - the company is talking to wireless carriers about distribution but no deals have been announced. Meanwhile, the ViewPad 10 ups the ante with a larger 10-inch, 1024 x 600 screen, a 1.6-GHz Atom processor, a 16GB SSD and 1GB of RAM. The tablet can dual-boot between Windows 7 Home Premium and the older Android 1.6, and will hit the market in January or February for $629. The ViewPad 10 only has Wi-Fi capabilities though.
By comparison, an unlocked version of the 7-inch Galaxy Tab with 3G costs $599, while the 9.7-inch iPad in its Wi-Fi only version ranges from $500 for 16GB of storage up to $700 for 64GB.