The 7-inch Android Tablet from Viewsonic – Viewpad 7

Unlike the Microsoft’s and Apple’s products, Google had hit the target right by having the operating system that could run both on the tiniest mobile devices, and even on the larger devices like the netbooks. To take the advantage of this, Viewsonic has recently launched a tablet device, smart enough to be called a Smartbook. Just after the Toshiba AC100 Smartbook, keeping the pricing apart, everything else in the Viewsonic Viewpad 7 can be considered better than the former. But that’s not where you end the comparison, as the Viewpad has a few things that can hit the iPad hard.


Ok, we can’t call this a tablet like the Apple iPad, the reason being that it has the option to be made into a netbook with the outputs for connecting an external keyboard when needed. But the 7-inch screen is good enough for the web browsing, thanks to the Android 2.2 operating system in which Google has implemented a beautiful web browser. And not just the output through mini USB socket, but there is bluetooth too for the connection to wireless keyboard and mouse. Google hasn’t failed to place the Google Voice recognition to make it far better.


Talking about the screen, it has got a capacitive touch-screen with the multi-touch with a great response, helpful in flicking through the multiple pages, galleries etc. and the two-finger squeezing for zooming abilities. The clarity and definition of the display reduces once you shift sidewards, reason being the LCD screen which traditionally is beaten by the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the Android variety of tablets, which has the AMOLED screen. The screen resolution again is lesser than the Tab, at 800 x 480 pixels, but that’s what is expected from the 7″ smartbook. When idle, the black screen looks glossy and beautiful over the silver bottom lining and body.


The side rim is a half-inch thick, and has multiple options to plug-in, insert SIM card, microSD card, and a 3.5mm headset jack. To the right side on the rim, there are two buttons for volume control. The speakers are not limited to any one side, but the left and right edges have small grilled speakers producing a good enough sound intensity. A single button to wake up or sleep the device, and the long pressing can enhance the function to bring out options for switching off the device, activating flight and silent modes. The side rim also has a mini-USB socket for connecting the device to the computer as a mass storage device.


The 600MHz Qualcomm processor makes it fast enough, ensuring the same for the memory that can be expanded to 32GB from the initially provided 512MB flash memory. One of the outstanding and helpful features is the capability to connect to the network through the 3G SIM, and apart from that it has the Wi-Fi connectivity options. Taking the advantage of the speed of connectivity, the front VGA camera can be used for video conferencing (yes there is a case available to make the tablet stand inclined with support), and to capture images there is a 3-megapixel camera on the rear side.


Final words – The Viewpad 7 Android device from Viewsonic is a bit pricey, but if you compare the same with the devices of the competitive major brands like Apple and Samsung, it isn’t. Android has recently come into many tablet devices, but Viewsonic couldn’t make a major shift as the screen still is the TFT LCD touchscreen. At £400, the device is an affordable one, for those running their business and carry everything on-the-go. Still, the price isn’t fixed at £400 as you may need to spend more on the memory card, no one can settle at the given 512MB.