ViewSonic ViewPad 10e review

An ultra-cheap tablet for those who won't buy an iPad

ViewSonic ViewPad 10e
The ViewSonic ViewPad 10e retails at only £199 in the UK and $399 in the US

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ViewSonic viewpad 10e review

Headed by an oversized address bar, ViewSonic has used the navigational space of the ViewPad 10e's browser poorly, with an awkwardly positioned and unnecessarily small back button the only navigational tool on offer.

With no ability to skip forward to a recently viewed page or even refresh the one you're currently on, the need to download a replacement browser will no doubt be top of many users' to-do lists.

While the browser loads pages in a respectable time, just marginally slower than the iPad's Safari browser and the offering found on the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition, the ViewPad struggled to render images quickly when zooming in on content, creating stuttering.

ViewSonic viewpad 10e review

A major bugbear of the ViewPad's browser is its keyboard. An unpleasant affair that's poorly scaled, the on-screen QWERTY lacks a number of essential shortcuts such as a dedicated '.com' button - a simple yet affective feature that saves the tiresome repetition of entering the most-used URL suffix. This poor keyboard means another trip to the device's app store is required, to download a replacement.

ViewSonic viewpad 10e review

With the lack of Android certification meaning no access to the official Android Market, app downloading responsibilities fall to the Android-aping 1Mobile Market, a simple but effective alternative that offers the majority of applications most users would require.

Although the 1Mobile Market might not be as sleekly laid out as the official Android offering, its insistence on offering only free to download content makes it a perfect addition to a device that's key selling point is clearly its sub-£200/$400 price tag.

ViewSonic viewpad 10e review

Featuring fewer bells and whistles than the official Android Market, the 1Mobile Market is not without merit. A designated 'AppLinks' tab on the app outlet's homepage offers well catalogued app groupings based not on the usual genres (this feature is available elsewhere in the store) but by a selection of current events and popular topics.

ViewSonic viewpad 10e review

Covering a wide variety of personal tastes and potential search options, AppLinks hosts selections of apps ranging from the "Loosen Up!" group - a host of strange, silly app-based games - to the "Amazing Asia" collection - a collaboration of the best apps for Asian-inspired wallpapers.

ViewSonic viewpad 10e review

Another area the 1Mobile Market excels in is its expansive offering of games. While the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e's ageing 1GHz processor does at times struggle to open app-based games in a prompt and timely manner, once open the tablet has little issue handling the large-scale programs. Graphics render well to ensure fluid images with little motion blur or stuttering.

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