In a world where Windows tablets aren’t exactly a precious commodity, we’ve certainly seen a slow down of new models in anticipation of the more touch-optimized Windows 8. One of the few exceptions so far has been the recent Kupa X11.
Despite being an unknown brand, the Kupa did have a few interesting features that set it apart from the other Windows tablets out there.
Now, yet another new Windows 7 tablet has arrived, and this time from a much more reputable brand: ViewSonic.
So does the semi-new comer, the ViewPad 10Pro, bring anything new and worthwhile to the table? Let’s find out, but first, let’s take a look at the system specs:
- 10.1” LCD Capacitive multi-touch screen with LED backlight
- 1024×600 resolution
- Intel Pine Trail N455 1.66GHz Chipset Mobile NM10 Express
- 802.11bgn wireless
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- 1.3MP Camera
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- 32GB SSD
- 4 hours of approximate battery life
- 2 USB 2.0 ports
- mini-VGA port
- Micro-SD card slot
- Windows 7 Home Premium and Android 2.2
- Weight: 1.93 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.8×6.7x.057-inches
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started.
Look And Feel
There is nothing too spectacular about the overall design of the ViewPad 10Pro. It is little more than a 10.1 screen with a very thin bezel and a few buttons along the edges. Still, it isn’t a bad looking device, just nothing that particularly eye-catching.
The cool parts of the look and feel revolve around the light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen, and when turning it on its side it reveals a FULL HDMI port, instead of just a mini (this is nice, at least for convenience’s sake).
At just a little under 2 pounds, this is certainly a lighter Windows tablet that many of its competitors out there. It is the right size for e-reading (though maybe a little on the heavy side), and pretty much any basic-use task you could throw at it.
The ViewPad 10PRO itself is constructed of aluminum and a glass screen, not at all a bad build as far as quality is concerned. Holding the device feels pretty natural as well, with a decent amount of gripping room.
A big negative here though is that the device isn’t well vented for heat-escape, so it can actually get really hot on the hands, which for extended use can prove quite uncomfortable.
Not a whole lot to say, at 4 hours we have seen a lot better. Of course, we’ve also seen many Windows tablets that actually get only 2-3 hours of use, so there are worse out there. If you really need long-sessions of mobility without being tethered to a cord, this could actually be a deal-breaker for some users.
Windows 8 – Potential?
Here at Windows8Update, our primary concern for Windows tablets is whether or not they will play nice with a Windows 8 upgrade. For the ViewPad 10 Pro the result is mixed….
It will work, and run just fine. Unfortunately, ViewSonic went a little cheap with its 10PRO and only gave it a 1024×600 resolution.
The minimum for Metro UI, the main reason you’d want Windows 8 on a tablet, is 1024×768. Luckily, there is a simple registry hack that works around this issue. The hack will allow your tablet to think that your device is switched to 1024×768 resolution but it will really still just be running 1024×600.
This does work with Metro, but there might be some minor problems like stretching or slight screen distortion. The difference is generally minor and only really noticeable to more discerning eyes.
Best of Both Worlds?
This is a Windows tablet that also runs Android 2.2, but unlike the other tablets that attempt this feat, the Pro decided to handle things a bit differently. Instead of dual-booting in the traditional sense, Android 2.2 is ran as an emulation over Windows 7.
This means you can use your Android 2.2 apps and everything right instead of Windows. This sounds wonderful, but in reality it is slow and buggy.
While you will find at least some good apps work, don’t purchase the ViewSonic just because you wanted Android and Windows capabilities. If you do go with this model, just consider this a semi-working freebie.
A Look At The Touch Display
I won’t say much here other than: 1024×600 resolution. This is somewhat disappointing for a newer Window tablet. ViewSonic must have already knew about the Windows 8 minimum requirements, why not fork over a little more cash on development and go with a 1024×768 display?
Also as a word of caution: there have been complaints about the responsiveness of the touch screen itself. It works but not always exactly how you want it to, and this is certainly not something you want from a touch device.
Is this alone a deal-breaker? I’d say, yes, but for those with more patience, maybe not.
For sake of summing up this review without turning it into a novel, I won’t dive as deeply into the hardware side of the review as I usually do. Let’s just say: Its an Atom Z670 at 1.5GHz, so don’t expect much beyond basic-use.
No gaming, no heavy video/photo editing, etc..
Keep to basic browsing, gaming, and whatnot with this model and you’ll be fine.
Summing It All Up..
I’d like to praise ViewSonic for attempting at a tablet that appeals to Android and Windows users both… I’d like to but I can’t.
Because they failed so badly thanks to an unresponsive touch screen, going cheap with the resolution, and not giving the system enough power to run the virtualized Android 2.2 all that well.
This isn’t an awful piece of hardware, but I personally wouldn’t pay the $699.99 that ViewSonic is asking for.
Maybe if I found one for under $400 used, I might think about it?
If you are interested, check it out at NewEgg.