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12/14/2010
01:17 PM
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ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Tablet Shipping In U.S.

The Android 2.2-powered, 7-inch media device offers Google Mobile Services, VoIP, and access to more than 100,000 apps, games, and social networks.

ViewSonic ViewPad 7
(click image for larger view)
ViewSonic ViewPad 7
After launching last month in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, the Android-based ViewPad 7 tablet from ViewSonic is now shipping in the United States.

The 7-inch device comes with Android 2.2 Froyo. It is one of the only 7-inch tablet devices with Android Google Mobile Services (GMS) and can handle 3.5G of data, according to ViewSonic. It has 512 MB of RAM, 512 MB of flash memory, and an 800 x 480 pixel capacitive screen for viewing more than 100,000 apps and games. It also provides access to Gmail, YouTube, and other social networking apps, as well as Google Marketplace.

The device provides instant messaging, voice over IP (VoIP), web browsing, and USB with its 3G and wireless 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth connectivity features. It also comes with two cameras -- a 3 megapixel, autofocus camera in the rear, and a 0.3 megapixel VGA camera in front. The ViewPad 7 offers up to 32 GB of additional storage capacity via a micro SD card slot, in addition to the 32 GB of onboard storage. It has a battery life of up to 10 hours.

The ViewPad 7 is powered by a 600-MHz ARM 11 Qualcomm MSM7227 processor. It also features a built-in G-sensor, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor.

Early reviews have been somewhat favorable, with CNET calling the device "a solid platform for Android 2.2, but it comes off as an oversize, overpriced smartphone -- not a netbook alternative." While it is not in the same league as the Apple iPad, CNET concluded, "its accessible SIM and memory card make it one of the most flexible high-end Android tablets available." Other reviews noted it is much less expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Tab but has the same features.

The ViewPad 7 retails for $429 on Amazon, however the Web site says the device is temporarily out of stock. It is also out of stock on ViewSonic's Web site, which lists the tablet for $599.

The tablet and its 10-inch dual-boot version were announced in November as digital social media and entertainment devices. ViewSonic, which is known mainly for its monitors, also rolled out an all-in-one PC and monitor earlier this month.

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