We saw the ViewSonic ViewPad 10pro visit the FCC recently
, and now the official announcement is a fact. What sets apart this 10-incher with the otherwise bland 1024x600 pixels of resolution, is the combination of software and silicon that powers it.
It sports the 1.5GHz Atom Z670 chipset, which of course reveals that it is running Windows 7, but also has an Android 2.3
Gingerbread mode, which is evoked with a simple icon from within the Windows environment
. As far as we know, ViewSonic uses the BlueStacks emulator
to achieve this, but the promised 8 hours of battery life in Windows 7 mode should be extended when switching to Android, as it is not nearly as resource-intensive.
Other goodies include an HDMI-out port, 1.3MP webcam, Full HD 1080p video playback, microSD slot and, of course, all the legacy Windows software and hardware compatibility you throw at it. The ViewSonic ViewPad 10pro weighs 1.85 pounds, which is not bad at all, comes at 0.58" thickness and with the unpleasant $699 price tag for the Windows 7 Professional edition version with 32GB of internal memory. Downsizing to Windows 7 Home Premium and 16GB takes $100 off that price tag.
It should make a nice stopgap tablet for Microsoft devotees before Windows 8 slates hit en masse next year