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ViewSonic ViewPad 7
The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 is a cut above the
company’s G Tablet. This device not only looks
attractive, it has full access to the Android Market,
runs Gmail and other Google apps, and can even
be used to make calls—when you plug in a SIM
card. However, compared to Samsung’s slate, you’ll
have to make some sacrifices.
Like the iPhone 4, both the front and back of
the ViewPad 7 are glossy black, and the edges are
bordered in a silvery plastic. It picks up and shows
fingerprints fairly easily. The 7.1 x 4.3 x 0.45-inch
ViewPad 7 is about the same size and weight (13.2
ounces) as the Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
While the ViewPad 7 has a 7-inch screen, its
smart phone-like resolution (800 x 480) is sig-
nificantly lower than the display on the Samsung
Galaxy Tabs. However, that means Android apps
designed for smart phones look good on the
device. The capacitive touchscreen was quick
and responsive, and we were able to execute
pinch-to-zoom gestures with ease.
The two speakers served up strong sound for a
tablet. They were plenty loud when watching movies.
There are four home screens, and we like the 3D
scrolling of installed apps. It’s a simple matter to
place a shortcut or widget.
The ViewPad 7 gives you three keyboards to
choose from: a standard QWERTY, a modified
QWERTY (two letters per key), and a dial pad-style
keyboard; you can swipe to change between them.
It was easiest to type using the standard keyboard,
although your thumbs have to reach for the middle
keys in landscape mode. You can activate haptics.
Don’t bother turning on the keyboard sound; it’s
laughably loud. In the web browser’s keyboard is
a “www.*.com” button in place of the space bar,
which inserts the standard beginning and end of
a web page address.
The ViewPad 7 has a 600-MHz Qualcomm
MSM7227 processor under the hood, compared
to a 1-GHz Hummingbird CPU for the Galaxy Tabs.
Nevertheless, this slate performed pretty well.
When watching videos using the YouTube app,
we found that action was smooth for the most
part, but we noticed some hitching with the HD
trailer of Tron: Legacy.
The ViewPad 7 is one of the few early Android
tablets available that can access the Android
Market. ViewSonic also pre-loads the ViewPad 7
with Aldiko, Documents to Go, Google Latitude,
News and Weather, and a file browser.
The ViewPad 7 has both 802.11b/g
connectivity and a SIM card slot
capable of accepting T-
Mobile and AT&T
the settings menu, you can choose between
GSM and WCDMA networks, or have the tablet
We could make phone calls with an AT&T SIM
card (using the speakerphone or a Bluetooth
headset), but we weren’t able to browse the web.
Using a T-Mobile SIM card, we were only able to
get an EDGE data signal. ViewSonic says some of
the issues we encountered may be due to the fact
that we tested an early unit. You can also use the
ViewPad 7 as a wireless hotspot for free.
The ViewPad 7 has a 3-megapixel camera on its
rear and a VGA camera on its front. Unfortunately,
we couldn’t get Fring, Qik, or Tango to work with
the front-facing camera for video chats. Quality
from the rear camera was fairly decent, but the
front camera images were quite grainy.
On the LAPTOP Battery test, the ViewPad lasted
a good 7 hours and 26 minutes over Wi-Fi.
The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 is worth considering
for those who crave an Android tablet that’s easy
to tote, and doesn’t require a two-year contract. But
among Android Tablets, we prefer the Galaxy Tab
because of its crisper, higher-resolution screen, faster
processor, and Samsung’s customized software.
Access to Android Marketplace
Can use with AT&T or T-Mobile SIM card for
phone calls and data
Good battery life
Carrying case included
Picks up fingerprints easily
Slower processor and lower-res screen than the
Front-facing camera wouldn’t work with Qik and
Trouble with 3G data
Laptop | February 2011
The ViewPad 7
comes with a car-
rying case and SIM
card slot so you can
add your own 3G
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