First 7-Inch Android Honeycomb Tablet Expected from ViewSonic

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Big screen Android tablets with Honeycomb 3.0 were all the rage, while smaller tablets were stuck with older smartphone versions of the OS--until now. The first 7-inch tablet featuring Honeycomb is set to arrive later this month from ViewSonic, and it will be dubbed the ViewPad 7x, according to a Pocket-Lint report.

Because Google rushed Android 3.0 to the market to counter the popularity of the Apple iPad, the company was unable to optimize the OS for different-sized tablets fast enough. This meant that you could get Android 3.0 Honeycomb on 10-inch tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, but not on 7-inch tablets such as the HTC Flyer.

Now it seems that ViewSonic will be the first to get on the market a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet at the end of May, if Pocket-Lint's sources are accurate. The tablet will be called the ViewPad 7x, and will reportedly be sold alongside the ViewPad 7 (not as a replacement). Pricing and exact availability are unknown for the ViewPad 7x.

While the details on the ViewPad 7x are sketchy, we do know a bit more about the version without the X in the tail, which runs Android 2.2. It runs on a 600MHz processor and has 512MB of RAM and 512MB of on-board storage (expandable to 32GB via microSD card). The 7-inch screen has 800 by 480 pixel resolution, and the tablet also features 3G antennas along Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Our PCWorld reviewer was not very impressed with the original ViewPad 7, citing a mediocre display, sluggishness, poor battery life, and bulky design as its main flaws. The original ViewPad 7 sells for around $400.

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