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ViewSonic G tablet
The 10-inch ViewSonic G Tablet has strong
specs: a bright 1024 x 600 display, a front-facing
webcam, and a powerful dual-core Tegra 2 CPU.
It also features the unique Tap ‘n Tap UI layered
on top of Android 2.2 , which is designed to be
consumer-friendly. But do the unique features
and the reasonable $399 price tag add up to a
At10.5 x6.8 x0.5inches, theGTabletisn’t the
smallest slate on the block. It weighs as much as
the iPad (1.5 pounds), but is bulkier. The glossy
black plastic on the front and the matte black on
the back look and feel a bit cheap. Annoyingly,
you can’t charge the G Tablet via USB.
The 10.1-inch, 1024x 600 screen, which picked
up smudges easily, has sharp images but colors
seem muted. Unfortunately, there’s no kickstand to
prop up the device, and the built-in accelerometer
wasn’t very responsive.
We like the split virtual keyboard, which is cut
down the middle so you can type with your thumbs
and not have to stretch too far to target middle keys.
When in portrait mode, the keyboard doesn’t split,
but it does have nice, large keys. Too bad the G
Tablet does not support haptic feedback, though
it does offer multitouch gestures.
ViewSonic chose to replace the stock Android
2.2 interface with Tap ‘n Tap software. On the
home screen’s right side is an orange circle icon
number within it, which displays the number of
alerts programs have given you. There are also
icons for the battery meter and Wi-Fi connection
that are much larger than those you’ll find on the
There are three home screens, each with a series
of widgets you can’t remove or customize. One screen
contains a list of favorite contacts, a clock, and a small
headlines widget. Tapping on this widget launches
thenewsapp.Another homescreen containsa to-do
list widget, a list of events from your calendar, and
a widget that shows how many unread e-mails you
have. The third desktop contains a larger news widget,
a clock widget,
and a smaller
There’s no way
The slate doesn’t come with the official Android
Market. However, it does have a shortcut that links
to the Handango website, where you can download
several good apps. But Handango’s download process
is not intuitive. You must search for an app, click on
the download button, then choose the “Download
to PC” option on a list of choices. However, since
your tablet isn’t a PC and there are no instructions,
we can imagine users getting very confused.
Since there’s no YouTube app and no video or
music store, you’ll have to bring your own unprotected
media files to the device. Music sounded true but
monotone. The volume was so low that even at the
maximum setting voices were difficult to hear.
Although Gmail isn’t on board, the built-in Tap
‘n Tap client allows you to add all kinds of e-mail
accounts, from Gmail to POP3, IMAP, and Exchange.
There is no instant messaging or chat software
pre-loaded, and no obvious way to make use of
the front-facing camera for video chat.
The G Tablet’s web browser provided a reasonable
surfing experience, though like everything else on
the system, it was sometimes slow to register our
taps. Mobile Flash is not suppor ted so you can forget
about watching videos from CBS or Fox.com.
No matter what we did with the software or
interface, everything seemed slow, laggy, and
unstable. As we switched tasks, launched apps, or
just tapped links in the browser, the G Tablet had
trouble keeping up. Worse still, we constantly saw
error messages stating that the browser or the Tap ‘n
Tap app (which you cannot get ridof)had stopped
responding and needed to be force-closed.
The G Tablet lasted a whopping 11 hours and
17 minutes on our battery test. That’s the longest
endurance we’ve seen on any tablet, and there
was still 6 percent left in reserve.
As of press time, ViewSonic promised a software
update that would enhance performance and give
users the choice to use Tap ‘n Tap or the standard
Android interface. Flash support should also be
The ViewSonic G Tablet has a few things going
for it. We like the long battery life, access to
popular apps through Handango, and relatively
low price. However, it’s hard to recommend this
slate because of its sluggish performance. Go to
www.laptopmag.com/Gtablet to see if the software
update has changed our minds.
Good split touch keyboard
Very long battery life
Strong media playback
Good selection of apps through Handango
No Android Market access
Google’s apps not included
Downloading apps take too many steps
Can’t customize home screens
Bulky, unattractive design
The Tap ‘n Tap
News App on
Laptop | February 2011
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