Verdict

Viewsonic viewpad 10s

Once again, a promising Android tablet crashes on the jagged rocks of poorly optimised UI and performance problems.

After the advent of the Motorola Xoom, we're left convinced that anything before Android 3.0 won't cut it on tablets without heavy customisation, so being served an Android 2.2 tablet with minimal tweaking, we're left unimpressed.

While we happily admit that the price is pretty compelling, there's currently a window to pick up the original iPad for less than £50 more, which undermines the value argument somewhat (even if it isn't permanent).

We liked:

The touchscreen is nice and responsive, which is always a good first step for tablets.

The price is pretty strong for the specs – an improvement on the very similar Hannspree Hannspad, though not quite matching the Advent Vega. We're also pleased to see Flash included.

The video playback is great (save for the screen's problems), and the HDMI mirroring was good, too. USB hosting is always a nice feature to see, as well.

It's got good build quality and design for a budget device, too.

We disliked:

16GB of included storage is fine, but we'd prefer it was built in, rather than on a microSD card, since it means you're limited to a maximum of 32GB (with a 16GB card left knocking about).

The modified UI of teh G Tablet has been scaled back so far as to be nearly pointless, which reveals the folly of tablets based on the phone version of Android (and that goes double for those without Android Market or other Google apps).

While it's generally fast, the frequent pauses are hugely annoying. They happen so often that it really does get in the way of the experience. The fact it won't connect to a PC over USB is also a major irritation.

The screen's poor viewing angles are also really disappointing, and the battery life just isn't up to scratch either.

Verdict

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10s doesn't come across as a tablet catastrophe, but decent internal specs simply can't match up to an experience with cut corners and a lack of optimised software.

It doesn't stand up as a budget machine against the likes of the Advent Vega just below it in price or original iPad just above it (while it lasts), and in terms of overall experience it's just not even fit to gaze upon the iPad 2 or Motorola Xoom.