ViewSonic has introduced two tablets. The ViewPad 7 features a 7-inch display and Android 2.2 while the 10-inch ViewPad 10 runs both Android 1.6 and Windows 7.
At the launch event in Dubai, ViewSonic Country Manager, Middle East region, Junaid Gul said "by launching these products we're taking the consumers to the next generation of mobile computing."
ViewPad 7 is powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm processor which has 512MB of RAM to utilize to run Android 2.2 in addition to an included 16GB MicroSD card, which you can swap for a 32GB card to reach maximum storage space.
The 7-inch TFT capacitive multitouch display has 800×480 pixels. On the back we find a 3-megapixel camera and on the back there is a 640×480 camera for video calls.
In terms of communication there's a Mini USB port, support for a SIM Card for 3.5G HSDPA/HSUPA, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.
ViewPad 10 runs a single-core Intel Atom N455 1.66GHz with 1GB RAM. The 10.1-inch 1,024×500 pixel display is capacitive and offers multitouch. There's a 1.3-megapixel webcam, 16GB SSD and MicroSD card slot for storage expansion up to 32GB. For communications there 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, two USB 2.o ports and Bluetooth 2.1.
With a couple of simple button presses when booting, a user can select to boot into Windows 7 Home Premium or Android 1.6.
Both tablets will be available some time in Q1 2011, though pricing hasn't been confirmed. These tablets are coming into the market right after the Consumer Electronics Show, CES, took place in Las Vegas, where an estimated 80-100 tablets were on display.
Apple's iPad has still not been officially launched anywhere in the region but grey market iPads sell for around Dhs 2,500 and up, for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi model. Gul called the price of the ViewPad 7 "good news" at the press conference, adding that iPad is a "very basic machine," and that customers will get "everything" from ViewSonic.*
ViewSonic introduced a Tegra 2-based ViewPad with 10-inch display, much like the WindPad 10, in the US in early December 2010. It was later withdrawn from the market at the end of the year due to a reported "manufacturing defect."
Commenting on the reason why ViewSonic is going to market with the ViewPad 7 and 10 so soon before the expected arrival of the Tegra 2-based version, Gul said "we want to go to market with what's ready to sell right now."
Gul argued that it is because "performance and cost" that WindPad 10 launches with Android 1.6 when the latest Android version to be released is 2.3 "Gingerbread." We want to give consumers "a Windows experience and an Android experience, so primarily it's more of a functional machine." He added: "The features that are there in 2.2 we don't want to put in there because it's a functional business machine so Windows would suffice for that. The Android part is there for people who still want to use it for when they are doing activities outside the business environment."
At CES Motorola showed the 10-inch Xoom tablet, which is set to be released in March with Android 3.0 "Honeycomb," the first version of Android specifically developed for tablets.
*Editor’s note: ViewSonic wants to clarify Gul’s statement: “The point Junaid made was that the iPad model selling at AED 2,500, is the basic configuration with 16 GB and Wi-Fi enabled. He did not mean that the iPad is a basic machine.”