VIEWSONIC IS YET again branching out into unknown territory with its first Android tablet. It’s not ViewSonic’s first foray into the handheld market, but it’s the first time the company has done so with a non-Microsoft OS. The new ViewPad 7 doesn’t look that different from every other tablet we’ve seen so far, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve.
The main selling point appears to be the built in 3G connectivity, although it’s not clear if this includes HSPA support or not, nor does the press release mention which frequencies are supported. Other features include a rear 3Megapixel camera, a front facing VGA camera for video calls, a 600MHz ARM processor, Wi-Fi (again no mention of what type), Bluetooth, a massive 32GB of built in storage memory, a micro SD card slot, A-GPS and USB connectivity. As the name suggests, the ViewPad 7 has an LED backlit 7-inch screen which is expected to feature 800×480 resolution and it features capacitive multi-touch support.
Furthermore, ViewSonic has also kitted out the ViewPad 7 with a built in accelerometer, a full-size SIM card slot and hand writing recognition support. On the software side of things we’re looking at Android 2.2 and ViewSonic has added support for Google’s app store which is good news. Other features include built in VoIP support, an office document reader (most likely Quickoffice) and an eBook reader app. The ViewPad 7 will also allow you to send SMS and MMS messages and make standard voice calls over the cellular network.
The ViewPad 7 will be on display at IFA which kicks off on Friday this week and it will be available in Europe sometime in October for £350 ($537) contract free. This might seem a bit on the steep side, but it’s actually cheaper than Dell’s Stream which retails for $549.99 without a contract tie-in. Bear in mind that the ViewPad 7 features a larger screen, more memory and the latest version of the Android OS and it seems like a pretty good deal. In all fairness to the Streak, the ViewPad 7 doesn’t have quite as fast a processor, but in this case we’d be willing to make the trade-off for the extra 30GB of built in storage memory.S|A
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