Viewsonic unveils iPad rivals

The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 - a credible Android Froyo alternative to an iPad

Details for two new iPad competitors hit our desk this week, the dual-boot Android/Windows ViewSonic ViewPad 100 and the ViewPad 7.

Of the two the ViewPad’s the 100 is aimed firmly at the iPad market, where as the 7 could be a cut-down iPad competitor.

The ViewPad 7 is described by ViewSonic as the “world’s first” capacitive multi-touch 7-inch Android 2.2 (Froyo) tablet with phone functionality, multi-tasking capabilities and front and back-facing cameras, VGA and 3MP, resolutions respectively.

With full 3G and phone functionality, a full size SIM card slot and integrated Bluetooth connectivity the ViewPad 7 will support instant messaging, text/mms messaging, VOIP and standard voice calls all in a single device.

It features an easy to use familiar interface with a G-sensor that reorients the screen depending on how the device is held and access to the Google Android app store featuring over 100,000 applications.

Additional features includes a Micro SD slot for up to 32GB of storage; Wifi and 3G functionality for web browsing and USB connectivity. It also boasts advanced features including AGPS (Assisted GPS) and an Microsoft Office document reader, along with the capability for hand-written note taking. Additionally there is also an e-book reader.

The Viewpad 7 will be available in October and should be no more than £350 Inc Vat, which in our eyes makes it a real alternative to the iPad despite the smaller screen.

If you want a bigger screen but are prepared to sacrifice some of the ease of use of the iPad then there’s the ViewPad 100.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 100 - No 3G but more features and a dual boot Android Windows device

The ViewPad 100 has a 10” screen, and incorporates both a full version of Windows 7 Home Premium and Google Android 1.6 and users can choose to boot either OS on startup.

According to ViewSonic the combination of operating systems means that users “have the speed and portability of an Android-based OS without sacrificing the power and compatibility of a Windows powered system. Users can quickly check their emails or browse the internet with Android while still being able to rely on the traditional PC experience that a full Windows environment provides.”

The ViewPad 100 features a built-in 16GB SSD, and an energy-efficient Intel Atom N455 1.66Ghz processor with 1GB DDR3 RAM. Disappointingly no battery life has been given for the ViewPad as yet.

The display is a capacitive multi-touch display based on a 10” 1024 x 600 LED panel, there’s built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections and a G-sensor that reorients the screen depending on how the device is held. Additional features include a Micro SD slot for up to 32GB of storage, Assisted GPS for navigation, two USB 2.0 connections and a built in 1.3M webcam.

While unlike the iPad there’s no 3G included the availability of devices like the Mifi means this is no longer a big problem, however the simplicity of the iPad to work out of the box wherever you are is definitely a big part of the iPads appeal, especially to older users.

The ViewPad 100 will be available in October 2010 and should be no more than £549.