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.