ViewSonic is ready to roll out its Android-based, 7-inch mini-tablet multitouch device, called the ViewPad, at the IFA 2010 show in Berlin, which begins Sept. 3. This tablet is expected to compete against better-known offerings from Apple and Samsung.
In addition to using Android 2.2, the ViewSonic ViewPad also offers a front-facing camera for video calls and a 3-megapixel camera in the back for snapping pictures. Using the dual cameras and 3G connectivity for on-the-go video calling is a key feature of the ViewPad 7.
"The ViewPad 7 is aimed at users who require the 'always-on' connectivity they are used to from a mobile phone with a more agreeable screen size for longer-term use," Derek Wright, a ViewSonic product marketing manager, said in a statement.
Although ViewSonic markets the ViewPad as a tablet with phone functionality, initial reports conflict as to whether the unit will have a built-in earpiece and microphone. However, a user can make calls via the 3.5-mm headset jack. Additional details should become available as the IFA 2010 show kicks off.
The Android 2.2 (Froyo) device reportedly has the same makeup as the Olive Pad VT100 introduced in India in July.
The ViewPad also includes a full-size SIM card slot, a GPS and integrated Bluetooth connectivity. The unit's G-sensor accelerometer tilts the screen depending on how it's held. In addition, the ViewPad has a built-in e-book reader, taking aim at the Amazon Kindle.
With a 7-inch 800-by-480 screen and 32GB of storage capability (via microSD), the ViewPad is priced similarly to the 5-inch Dell Streak tablet, which began presales on Aug. 13, but slightly more than the 9.7-inch iPad, which starts at $499 for the 16GB model. (A 32GB iPad costs $729 for Wi-Fi and 3G.)
The ViewPad is expected to launch in October.