ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Review
The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 ships with a relatively untouched version of Android 2.2 onboard. This means that despite the 600MHz processor, it stands the best chance of offering a stable and smooth UI experience. In turn, the biggest wow factor of the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 is the fact you have such a stock Android on such a large screen.
Once you get over the wow factor of the size, we're guessing like us, you'll find that the ViewPad 7 doesn't excite as much as it perhaps could. Swiping across stock Android isn't as intuitive on the 7 inch screen as on a 3.7 inch screen, and thanks to no custom UI everything feels clumsy from the over-sized keyboard through to the haptic feedback being a bit too aggressive making the large device rumble unpleasantly.
The homesreen is for the most part a stock Froyo experience and is locked in landscape orientation. there are three icons always present: dialer, menu and web. These make sense given the ViewSonic ViewPad 7's strength being web (something we'll come onto later). With 5 homescreens, there is place for all your favourite apps and widgets, with them being displayed at a good size. Personalization is all predictably Android, with static and live wallpapers, widgets and shortcuts. Everything ticks along smoothly for the most part, however, going through menus and multi-tasking many apps reveals the limitations of the on-board 600MHz processor. With no added Facebook or Twitter integration (a blessing when considering MOTOBLUR), the Android tab will allow you to customize your social experience as you see fit.
Contacts, Messaging and Organizer:
Once again, with no noteworthy changes to the stock Android phonebook (other than the bigger screen that is), the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 provides a rather clunky, scaled up experience. Nevertheless, the phone, organizer tools and calendar all work as expected and the calendar actually benefits from the larger size of the display.
Naturally, Android makes setting up contacts a breeze especially if you use a Google Mail account and Google Contacts.
As mentioned, the on screen QWERTY does an okay job, however, it is a bit large in landscape for thumb-pad entry, with the edges being too angular, making the experience awkward. In portrait view, the keys are a comfortable size, however the weighting is all off and the edges are still too angular.
Naturally therefore, at 7", despite phone functionality on-board (through the loud speaker), the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 isn't going to offer a phone replacement like, say, the 5" Dell Streak might.
1. cellstudent (Posts: 10; Member since: 21 Feb 2009)
This actually looks like something a relative of mine might like. A few questions if you don't mind.
Android Market: I saw it on there but you didn't use it. Is the market loaded by default or did you have to hack it on there? I know it's not supported on all tablets. Also, I would be getting it to use as wi-fi only tablet with no cellular package at all. Will this device support that usage?
How would it do as an e-book reader? I've got someone on my Christmas list that wants an e-book reader, but doesn't have great vision, so I've been looking for a low-price Android that doesn't just suck. This seems like it would be a great option since video and gaming won't be a priority to this user..
I didn't see any other power port structures on the device. Is the device charged through the micro-USB like standard handsets or is there another port there I didn't notice?
2. tuminatr (Posts: 693; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)
why a review of this, why not the Viewsonic G tablet
Tegra 2 1ghz dual core 10.1" screen
$379.99 at a few places
3. tinkoh (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Mar 2011)
It maybe too late to give a respond to above question
But right now viewsonic G tablet is not available in Singapore or many other places.
I purchase viewpad 7 as a compromise
but I hope to help to promote on viewpad 7
Viewpad 7 has Market, Aldiko, Maps build in
Frankly, if you just able to bear with Wifi then Archos may be another option
I got far-sight or presbyopia that viewpad 7 does help a lot as a phone.
Viewpad only got one micor-USB and use it for charge and connectivity.
There is software inside the "CD drive" when connect to a PC
That is the USB ADB driver need to work with MyPhoneExplorer
There is a reset hole that most will not notice but so far after two weeks
I did not make use of it and hope will not forever