Tablet Phone Seekers, Here’s Your ViewSonic ViewPad 7
When I asked you all for questions on Samsung's Galaxy Tab, I was surprised by how many people wanted to see a 7-inch tablet that doubles as a phone. Since the Galaxy Tab won't have voice service, tablet phone seekers may consider ViewSonic's ViewPad 7 instead.
ViewSonic announced U.S. pricing and launch details for the 7-inch tablet today. The ViewPad 7, running stock Android 2.2, will be available in November or December for $479. ViewSonic also announced the ViewPad 10, a 10-inch tablet that dual-boots Windows 7 and Android 1.6, coming in January or February for $629.
(See Related: ViewSonic Puts Windows 7, Android on 10-inch Tablet)
The 7-inch Android tablet has a SIM card slot for voice and data. Adam Hanin, ViewSonic's vice president of marketing, couldn't give me a firm answer on whether the ViewPad 7 will support voice and data on both AT&T and T-Mobile, but he personally has used the device for AT&T voice calls. The company is talking to wireless carriers about distribution, but Hanin couldn't provide specifics. Given that Samsung cited "discussion that we have with carriers" as a reason the Galaxy Tab won't support voice calling in the United States, I'm skeptical that ViewSonic will get much traction.
As for other details, the ViewPad 7 has an 800-by-480 capacitive touch screen, a 3-megapixel camera in the back, a 0.3-megapixel camera in front and a mini-USB jack. Built-in storage is a mere 512 MB, but there's a MicroSD card slot for up to 32 GB of expandable storage. ViewSonic claims that the tablet's battery lasts 10 hours on a charge. The Android Market is supported, which means the ViewPad 7 will subsist on blown-up smartphone apps, but unlike Samsung's Galaxy Tab, ViewSonic's tablet won't come with any first-party apps optimized for the larger screen.
The ViewPad 10 is more like netbook, with a 1.66 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 16 GB solid state drive (with MicroSD expansion) and a 1.3-megapixel webcam. The tablet comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, as opposed to the hobbled Starter edition. On the Android side, there's no Android Market support, so you'd have to rely on other sources, like GetJar.
I haven't laid hands on either tablet, but I hope to try the ViewPad 7 in a few weeks.
For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.