ViewSonic's new ViewPad 10Pro tablet is exciting for one key reason: it dual boots Windows 7 and Android without having to reboot to switch between them.
That's what ViewSonic's last ViewPad 10 tablet did – a beleaguered switching process makes the ability to dualboot OSes nigh on pointless.
We went hands on with the new ViewPad 10Pro at Mobile World Congress, so this should keep you ticking over until our full ViewPad 10Pro review hits the stands.
It's not a bad looking tablet, but it does owe quite a bit in aesthetics to Apple's iPad designers - the below image is alongside a keyboard periphery, it doesn't have a physical QWERTY. The front panel is bereft of buttons save for a round home button (sounds familiar, no?).
The back is in a matt black finish with a discreet grille on either side.
Alongside the power connector, there's a 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI port, USB connector and SIM card slot.
An array of buttons sit on another edge of the panel – these can be used to lock the screen and for some functions like volume control.
There's also a front-facing camera for video conferencing, although it wasn't working on the product sample we used.
The new ViewPad 10Pro virtualises Android so it actually runs above Windows 7 when you tap the Android icon. Switching back to the Windows OS is as simple as hitting the Windows button on an ever-present menu bar.
Well, the painless one-touch switching process is the theory; the sample we used at Mobile World Congress, which is not a final production model so we can cut them some slack, struggled to switch, with crashes an all too frequent occurrence.
When we say it was not a final version product that we spent hands on time with, we mean it was quite far off being finished; the back button wasn't yet enabled and the home key, one of few buttons available on the device, didn't work either. It certainly made getting out of applications quiet challenging.
Using applications like Paint in the Windows 7 portion of the tablet worked fine, with the touchscreen proving mostly responsive enough for our liking.
Occasionally we'd hit a bit of an OS-based snafu, for example pulling the Windows Start menu up over the Android skin – but when virtualising an OS things like this are bound to happen occasionally.
What sounds like a great product on paper isn't quite there yet in the ViewPad 10Pro; if ViewSonic can get the kinks ironed out of the tablet and knock the dual-boot switching up a gear, the tablet could have some good potential. If not, it's just going to cause users frustration.
We'll bring you our true verdict in our full ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro review in the coming months.
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