ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro review

Dual-boot Android 2.2 and Windows 7 on a slate tablet sounds clever, but does it work?

ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro
This 10.1-inch tablet runs an Android OS designed for smartphones

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ViewSonic viewpad 10pro

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro is a puzzling slate tablet right from the start. When you turn it on, if you're holding it in portrait mode, you'll see an elongated ViewSonic logo stretch on half the screen, along with the familiar Windows login button.

Once you log in, you'll see the familiar Windows start button, a few app icons (which you have to double-tap with your finger) and the taskbar.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro is also confusing because it doesn't really act like a tablet at all.

ViewSonic viewpad 10pro

Like a Tablet PC (and that's really what this is), the apps are all designed for a computer with a keyboard and mouse. The touchscreen is quite poor – you'll find yourself pressing several times to minimise a window. You can press and drag a window, but good luck making that process work reliably.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro has a 1.3MP front-facing webchat camera, but there are no built-in camera apps or any way to capture video – not in Windows, and not in the Android virtual app.

The backlit 10.1-inch LCD screen looks like something from a few years ago. It's not that bright compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the contrast ratio of just 500:1 means movies look washed out.

The 1024 x 600 resolution is just not clear enough for the modern age of touchscreen tabs.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro has a few typical tablet features: 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3G on the premium 3G version (in Europe), Bluetooth 2.1, a sensor for auto-tilt and ambient lighting, but no GPS for navigation or mapping.

ViewSonic viewpad 10pro

The tablet is 14.8mm thick, which is just not going to work for most uses – it feels too much like a notebook computer.

There's also one full-size USB port, one mini HDMI port (we wish it was the more common micro HDMI), and a Micro SD slot. To use the HDMI-out, you need a mini-to-full HDMI cable. When we connected the tablet to a 20-inch LCD screen, the second display had a poor refresh rate and odd sizing.

You can use SD cards up to 32GB, and you'll need them: the 16 or 32GB of internal memory fills up fast with Windows itself, the junk apps you won't ever use and the Android data.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 10Pro also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, two speakers on the back and a two-cell 5000mAh battery.

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.