Do you like your tablet screens at 7 inches or 10.1? How about your tablet OS—Windows or Android? And what about the CPU—Intel Atom or a trusty, ARM-based system-on-chip? Within the next few months, ViewSonic will be offering two new tablets bearing various combinations of hardware specs that check all of the boxes above.
Let’s start with the smaller ViewPad 7, which should be shipping late Q4 this year at a street price of $479. The ViewPad 7 will have a 7-inch, 800x480 touch screen, and run Android 2.2 on top of a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. There’s 512MB of onboard memory, and a microSD slot grants up to 32GB of additional storage space. A rear-facing camera will clock in at 3MP, and a front-facing chat cam will be a wee 0.3MP.
For connectivity, The ViewPad 7 will boast WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G. ViewSonic’s Adam Hanin, Vice President of Marketing, told us this tablet is “carrier independent,” explaining that 3G data connectivity is “ready to go, but not linked to a specific carrier. It’s something that will come after launch in all likelihood.”
While the 7-incher is positioned as more of a “mobile lifestyle” gadget, the ViewPad 10—which should arrive in early Q1 2011 at a street price of $629—is much more of a business/productivity device. First off, it’s got a 10.1-inch, 1024x600, LED-backlit touch screen. Second, it includes a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of integrated memory, a 16GB SSD for storage, and a microSD slot for further expansion. There’s no rear-camera (do you really want to shoot vacation pics with a 10-inch tablet?), but it does have a 1.3MP front-facing webcam.
When you see Intel in a tablet device, you know Windows can’t be far behind, and indeed, the ViewPad 10 comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, meaning it boasts full support for Windows applications, including Adobe Flash and Office. But, alas, this device will also dual-boot into Android! Granted, it will be Android 1.6—ViewSonic decided to go retro to leverage 1.6’s smaller footprint. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to use whatever Android games and apps that are supported by the aging OS version.
3G, you ask? Nada. The ViewPad 10 will be WiFi-only. You should be using it in board rooms, hotel suites, and home offices. If you take it to the park or beach, kiss telecom data services goodbye.
So that’s what we know about ViewSonic’s upcoming tablets. Stay tuned for more info as we hector and harangue ViewSonic for a hands-on demo.