Viewsonic ViewPad 10 review

Is this dual-booting Windows 7 and Android 1.6 tablet any good?

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viewpad 10 review

The hardware performance of the ViewPad 10 isn't really the issue with this tablet. The real problem, as ever, is the performance of the operating system.

It seems an almost cowardly move opting for a dual-boot solution, giving the user the optimal experience in neither. Viewsonic hasn't had faith enough in its product, or more likely simply wasn't able, to optimise it for either OS.

That was something Apple got, and continues to get, right.

The iPad isn't incredible hardware, the OS is just tailor-made for the best end-user experience. The ViewPad 10 however delivers a flaky, semi-functional and often frustrating experience. That might have been good enough for the geeks of old, but we expect to be better treated by our devices these days.

The fact the Atom is still tied to Android 1.6, and the restrictions on the Android Market for devices that aren't smartphones, makes that OS an incredibly off-putting experience. There are likely to be few times you'll deliberately boot into Android once you've used it a couple of times.

Of course you may accidentally start it up having failed to hit the correct bizarre combination of button presses necessary to coax the Linux Grub loader into doing your bidding.

Seriously, my ageing HTC Magic, forever tethered to Android 1.6, has more functionality than the weighty tea-tray the ViewPad 10 becomes in its open source OS.

I can count on the elbows of one arm how many times I've had to reset my phone because the OS froze, though that kept happening for the days I was fortunate enough to spend in the company of the ViewPad.

The AndAppStore, the faux Market catering for the ViewPad 10, has a number of programs on there to choose from, though it's a nightmare searching through when many lack any form of description whatsoever.

And somewhat disappointingly, the seeming wealth of porn-related apps failed to work on the ViewSonic either...

Though I doubt that's because of any clever filtering as half the apps I tried to install failed to respond or scale to the non-phoney screen anyway.

Aspects of Loathing

When the iPad was first announced there was a certain amount of consternation and criticism about the size, but more importantly the aspect ration of it's screen.

viewpad 10 keyboard

With the world going Cuckoo's Nest crazy over 16:9 widescreen the fact it went for a more squared-off ratio turned some heads. Viewsonic (or whoever actually designed and manufactured the ViewPad) obviously thought shrinking the screen was the way to solve such a supposed issue.

In Windows 7 the 1,024x600 resolution is simply too-tight when used in landscape mode and far too narrow in portrait. And when the otherwise responsive on-screen keyboard comes up there's little screen left when the device is held horizontally.

viewpad 10

I don't care that there's no black bars on the widescreen movies you're playing back, the chugging playback from the Intel graphics kinda precludes me from even wanting to hit the play button, let alone measure the movie-framing of the iPad.

A real killer for the ViewPad though is the battery-life.

At five and a gnat's hair hours on Window's battery-saving profile, and with minimal brightness, it's far from ideal. That combination of 3-cell battery, Windows OS and the Intel Atom CPU which robs it of any long-term performance also mean that it chugs through power even when it's in standby mode.

So a fresh boot is called for unless you're into haemorrhaging power.

This is not a device you're going to leave under the sofa and be able to flick it on in an instant. Unless you've got a powered dock under there anyways.


Tech Specs

Product TypeNet-tablet PC
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Solid State Drive Capacity16 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows, Android
Processor ModelN455
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium & Android 1.6 Donut
Brand NameViewsonic
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.66 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size25.4 cm (10")
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)880 g
Cache512 KB
Processor CoreSingle-core (1 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height14.5 mm
Width275 mm
Depth170 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerViewsonic Corporation
Product ModelViewPad 10
Product NameViewPad 10 Net-tablet PC
Aspect Ratio128:75
Manufacturer Part NumberVPAD10_AHEU_02
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 10.1" Wi-Fi, Bluetooth dual boot tablet supports both Windows and Android operating systems. It's your choice for the best mobile entertainment and productivity tools. ViewPad 10 is packed with rich features including capacitive multi-touch 1024x600 LCD screen, high performance Intel Pine Trail processor, integrated DDR3 1GB SDRAM and 16GB SSD storage capacity, 1.3 megapixel webcam and full connectivity including a mini VGA port and Micro SD slot. With compact and lighter design to carry than a laptop, ViewPad 10 is ideally designed to view Flash-based content and Office programs with Windows, and for the best mobile entertainment experience with Android.

Package Contents
  • ViewPad 10 Net-tablet PC
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty2 Year