The first casualty of the tablet wars.
I received the ViewPad 7 from ViewSonic a couple of weeks back. Although the tablet has been available for a few months around the world, it was recently launched in Dubai. With the iPad 2 and a bunch of honeycomb based tablets just around the corner, lets find out if the Viewpad 7 can manage to grab any attention.
Packaged nicely in a small red and white box, the ViewPad 7 comes with a USB charger cable, a headset and a quickstart guide- things you generally find in a Smartphone box. The similarities to a Smartphone don’t necessarily end there as you will read a bit later. Also included is a folder-type of case that comes in very handy.
The ViewPad 7 is very much similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy Tab that we had looked at a couple of months earlier. Measuring 179x110x11.5mm, the ViewPad 7 is a bit thicker than what you’d expect although fairly light at 375g. ViewSonic has done a good job with the construction quality and the ViewPad feels good in your hands. I also like the fact that ViewSonic has kept the bezel thin thus giving the screen the maximum space on the tablet. On the front, you have four touch keys on the right which are the standard android keys along with a front facing VGA camera on the left.
ViewSonic has designed the ViewPad 7 so that it is used more in a landscape mode than a portrait mode. When held in a landscape mode with the touch buttons on the right, you have two pretty loud speakers on either side of the unit along with the power/lock button on the left. The top side has volume buttons as well as the door that allows access to the SIM card and microSD slot. On the opposite end or the bottom of the device, you have a built-in microphone, a 3.5mm audio output jack as well as the USB connector that can be used to charge the device or connect it to a computer. Last and certainly not the least, you have a 3MP camera on the back.
Specifications-wise, the ViewPad 7 is based on the Qualcomm MSM7227 CPU running at 600MHz along with 512MB RAM. There is just 512MB of internal storage and thus the ViewPad relies on a MicroSD card for storing your files and media. The microSD slot is capable of supporting cards upto 32GB iand although nothing was bundled with our review sample, expect a 16GB MicoSD card in the retail packaging.
On the connectivity side, the ViewPad 7 comes equipped with all the radios found in higher-end Smartphones such as UMTS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11b/g Wireless Networking. The 3G on the device can be used to make or receive calls as well however, using the Viewpad 7 primarily as your mobile device is a bit silly. That is the same complain we had with the Galaxy Tab as well. GPS is also present on the device making it a useful navigation tool.