ViewSonic ViewPad 10S review
Fast, feature-packed and reasonably priced, but the screen is poor and there’s no support for Android Market
Review Date: 9 Mar 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £233 (£280 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The speed at which manufacturers are churning out tablets is mind-boggling, yet aside from Apple, none has really convinced. ViewSonic hopes to change that with the ViewPad 10S, an update to the distinctly uninspiring, dual-booting Windows/Android tablet, the ViewPad 10.
From the outside, there’s nothing that particularly catches the eye. It sports a wide-aspect 10.1in screen with a resolution of 1,024 x 600. The chassis looks plain, it isn’t light at 750g, and its all-plastic construction can’t compete with even the first-generation iPad.
But then it isn’t intended to compete head-to-head with Apple’s finest: its main target is more along the lines of Creative’s 7in and 10in tablets, which are pitched at an audience keen to try a tablet, but unwilling to fork out more than £300.
With this in mind, the ViewPad 10S doesn’t look too bad a deal. The build quality isn’t luxurious, but neither is it cheap-feeling. The screen sports capacitive touch technology – one up on the Creative tablets that both have resistive displays – and it’s reasonably easy to use. There are no physical buttons on its front face: the back, menu and home controls are on a toolbar at the top of the screen – and that’s unsettling at first. You quickly get used to it, though, and for applications that occupy the whole of the screen there’s a back button on the top-right edge, next to the power button.
The rest of the specification is pretty decent. You get 802.11g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, HDMI output, 16GB of storage via a bundled microSD card, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. That full-sized HDMI output, incidentally, is theoretically capable of playing back Full HD video on your TV, and next to that port on a flap on the right-hand side is a USB host port for the attachment of USB thumb drives, a keyboard or a mouse. You can also buy a docking station, complete with HDMI output and USB sockets, for £30 inc VAT.
It’s when you look at the internals that the real interest begins, however, because at the heart of the 10S beats a monster of a mobile processing unit: the Nvidia Tegra 250. This couples a dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor with Nvidia’s own eight-core Ultra-Low-Power (ULP) GeForce graphics chip and 512MB of DDR2 RAM, for a tablet aimed not only at browsing the web, playing video and listening to music, but also enabling smooth playback of games.
I am curious whether Google's web version of their market works on devices that don't officially support the market app. It would probably require turning on external sources.
By windywoo on 9 Mar 2011
Where on earth is Android 3?
I've been hearing about it for the last 6 months?
I seriously think we hear about products far too early before they're are released.
Who in their right mind would spend £300 on this android 2.2 jobby when they could buy an iPad for another £50 or so?
By a_byrne22 on 9 Mar 2011
"Who in their right mind would spend £300 on this android 2.2 jobby when they could buy an iPad for another £50 or so?"
That would be anyone who wants specs comparable to an ipad2, at a price that's £50 less than a discounted last generation ipad.
By TerabitTerry on 9 Mar 2011
I'd be careful slagging off Apple products. Tom Arah's blog entry has just gone mysteriously after doing the same.
By Steve_Adey on 9 Mar 2011
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By llog1133 on 9 Mar 2011
This is another variant....
You have basically reviewed this already - Tim Danton reviewed the Advent Vega which is identical. I suspect the modaco customs ROMs (with Market and Google apps) will work on this just like they do on all the other variants of this Chinese hardware (the manufacturers name escapes me at the moment!)
By sipart on 9 Mar 2011
The Advent Vega is cheaper as well....
By sipart on 9 Mar 2011
Doesn't the Vega only have 4gb of memory instead of 16gb for the ViewPad 10s?
By Hoges on 10 Mar 2011
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By kraken1000 on 10 Mar 2011
Where is the GPS? Why do so many tablet manufacturers leave out something which makes their competition look better?
By SageDesign on 10 Mar 2011
@Hoges. Yes well spotted but it's just a supplied 16gb microSD card instead of the 4 you get with the Vega. 16gb microSd cards retail around £15 - so the Vegas still cheaper.
@sagedesign - most wifi only tablets don't have GPS (Apples as well). I have a Vega and have no desire to take it out the house or use it as a GPS connected device. But the option can be added using a portable bluetooth GPS - about £5 on ebay if you want to.
By sipart on 14 Mar 2011
The official Android market is really easy to install on the Viewsonic Viewpad 10S,
1. Download the file from here http://www.filedropper.com/marketupdate0
2. Save the file to MicroSD on your PC
3. Insert the Micro SD (Make sure it is of reasonable size) and go through settings to software update, and then browse to the zip file
4. Select the file and it will restart the device and you will have market installed
Works a treat for me, I don't need GPS, but if you want it the 3G version of the Viewpad 10S is going to have it?
By FroyoTablet on 15 Mar 2011
Correct link to Market Update..
By FroyoTablet on 15 Mar 2011
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