ViewSonic’s Android tablets to hit Australia January


ViewSonic will start selling its 7″ and 10″ ViewPad tablet devices in Australia in January 2011, the company revealed this morning, although the US display giant has not yet secured any distribution arrangements with local telcos.

The company’s two tablets will sell for a recommended retail price of $699 and $799 respectively, placing them at a similar price as comparable devices such as the Apple iPad and the Dell Streak — but substantially cheaper than Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Tab at $999.

The ViewPad 7″ is based on a Qualcomm MS 7227 CPU running at 600MHz, and has 512MB of internal memory, as well as a 512MB flash drive for storage and a microSD card slot that supports add-on cards up to 32GB.

Unlike many of the smartphones and tablets currently on the market, it will ship with the latest version 2.2 (Froyo) of the Android platform. The device boasts a 7″ TFT capacitive screen — a key point of difference between higher priced tablets and cheaper options such as Telstra’s T-Touch Tab and Optus’ MyTab, which have resistive touchscreens.

The ViewPad’s screen runs at a resolution of 800×480, and it supports all the common mobile network frequencies, including Telstra’s 850Mhz Next G network, as well as the 802.11b/g Wi-Fi standards and Bluetooth. The device has a 3 megapixel camera on the back and a VGA camera for video calling on the front. At 375g, the device is much lighter than the iPad, but comparable to other 7″ Android tablets on the market.

The ViewPad 10 model is substantially different from the 7″ model.

The device is based on Intel’s Pine Trail-M N455 CPU, which has been noted online to run at 1.83GHz. With 1GB of DDR3 memory, expandable up to 2GB, and with a 16GB SSD drive for storage, the ViewPad 10 is more comparable to a traditional laptop in terms of its specifications.

It runs a 10.1″ WLED capacitive multi-touch screen at a resolution of 1024×600, comes with a microSD card reader and supports the 802.11b, g and n standards, as well as featuring a number of ports for audio out, USB (times two) and mini-VGA. Its camera is rated at 1.3 megapixels.

The ViewPad 10 also has more operating system options than the 7″ model, offering the ability to run both the Android and Windows 7 platforms. However, its version of Android is outdated compared with the ViewPad 7 — 1.6 compared with the latest 2.2 edition.

And the ViewPad 10 is also substantially heavier than the ViewPad 7 — weighing in at 875g. Also, it’s purely a Wi-Fi device and cannot connect to mobile phone networks.

Image credit: ViewSonic