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Far from the finished Android tablet that would appeal to the hardened tech fan, the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e does just about enough to appeal to its budgeting target audience, with its impressive £199/$399 price tag a redeeming factor for some but not all of its downfalls.
Thin, light and pleasant in the hand, the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e is, for the most part, a well styled tablet that ticks all of the boxes in terms of portability and first impressions aesthetics. Despite being poorly pieced together, the black plastic exterior even suits the device.
With a screen that offers extremely wide viewing angles while displaying crisp, vibrant images, the tablet is more than capable of being a personal entertainment hub, with its speakers providing impressive audio that far exceeded expectations.
What appeals most about this entry-level device, however, has to be its price tag. At just £199/$399, a £200/$100 saving over the lowest-specced iPad 2 will be too hard to overlook for many entering the tablet market for the first time. And for that money you could do a lot worse.
Having Google's fully-certified Android operating system installed on the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e as opposed to the rehashed copy that actually features would bring more credibility to the tablet and offer a much smoother, more functional and better-looking user experience.
Elsewhere, poor construction further highlights a number of design faults exaggerating their troubles. Top of this quite expansive pile is the device's power and unlock button. A seeming design oversight, the button is infuriating to use, bringing down the mood of excitement as soon as the tablet is out of the box and providing disappointment before it's even turned on.
Sputtering its way through standard task requests, a dated CPU and ill-implemented software ensure that a smooth, pleasant user experience is always just out of reach, with each redeeming quality quickly offset by an equally infuriating stumbling block.
By far one of, if not the best-looking budget Android tablets on the market, the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e has traded a sleek, ultra-thin form more reminiscent of its higher-end competitors for basic function. Having compromised on a number of key components, primarily the uncertified Android operating system, smooth user interaction is never quite on the cards.
While to achieve such a low price point we know some corners must be cut, such poor craftsmanship to the point where the screen is easily coming free from the frame is inexcusable, no matter how much money it saves.
That said, for just £199/$399 the ViewSonic ViewPad 10e is a well positioned entry-level tablet for those looking for the latest plaything and little else. While it might struggle with more taxing tasks, chances are that it'll come up against them on very few occasions.
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