ViewSonic on Aug. 15 unveiled the ViewPad 10pro, a WiFi tablet with a 10.1-inch touch screen that runs Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 7 with Google's Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" atop it, providing something of a gimmicky new slate.
Gingerbread runs as an application atop Windows 7, using application virtualization technology from Bluestacks. Users can tap an Android icon to switch between the business end of Windows or the entertainment side of Android. Bluestacks demonstrates how its technology works in this video.
At a time when rival 10-inch tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Acer Iconia Tab A500 run Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core chip, the ViewPad 10pro is juiced by Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) Atom processor Z670, providing 1.5GHz performance.
This Atom chip, created specifically for tablets, minimizes power consumption.
Unlike the Tab 10.1 and Iconia, which feature crisp 1280-by-800 resolution displays, the ViewPad 10pro employs a 1024-by-600 screen. This disparity spurred GigaOm's Kevin Tofel to criticize ViewSonic for skimping on the all-too-important screen clarity.
The tablet is also super heavy -- 1.97 pounds, which won't sit well for many users looking for something closer to the 1.2 pounds offered by the Tab 10.1 or iPad 2.
The slate also uses a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera, provides HD 1080p video playback, and 2GB of integrated memory. The device includes a USB port, mini HDMI, and microSD card slot expandable to 32GB.
The ViewPad pro10 comes in two flavors. Consumers may purchase a 16GB model running Windows 7 Home Professional for $599. ViewSonic will charge $699 for a 32GBB model running Windows 7 Professional.
In a quirky departure from the usual available now, or at a later date method of product launches, ViewSonic said "both tablet configurations will be widely available in late August, with limited numbers currently available." In other words, get them while they're available from ViewSonic and its retail partners.
This isn't the first dual OS machine ViewSonic has marketed. The company launched the ViewPad 10 running Windows Home 7 Premium and Android 2.2 "Froyo" earlier this year.