TODO alt text

ViewSonic ViewPad 7e review

7-inch Android tablet fails to impress

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 800 x 600
  • Processor Core : Single-core (1 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Runs reasonably fast
  • Light and portable
  • Low price
  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Good bundled apps

Against

  • Screen looks dim
  • Poor cameras
  • No Android 3.2
  • Confusing UI add-ons
  • Some missing Google apps

At £150, the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e is a low-priced 7-inch Android 2.3 tablet that some might find appealing if only for the flexibility it affords.

Similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook in size, with a passing nod to the upcoming (but still not available in the UK) Amazon Kindle Fire, the ViewPad 7e is not nearly as user-friendly. Some apps, including those from Google, are noticeably not available.

At the same time, by offering only the basic smartphone version of Android without many extra frills, the basic mechanics of a tablet are all here: touchscreen display, Android apps, movie playback and ebooks. The ViewSonic ViewPad 7e is certainly better than the clunky, confusing ViewPad 10Pro.

ViewSonic viewpad 7e review

Available only in white, the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e is comfortable to hold in one hand. At 450g, it's stockier and heavier than the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, which weighs 384g.

There's a confusing array of buttons below the screen, with four buttons for Home, Menu, Back and Search. The Home button works in an unexpected way: it doesn't take you to a home screen, but prompts you to pick from the "launcher" or the ViewScene 3D mode.

The launcher is the traditional Android home screen where you can place icons and widgets. ViewScene 3D is essentially a widget screen that shows six panels for weather, calendar, or Flickr picts but no app icons.

ViewSonic viewpad 7e review

On the upper right-hand side, there's a small power button (it's way too small to find in the dark) and a volume up and down knob that is easy to mistake as a power button.

ViewSonic viewpad 7e review

On the top, there's a mini USB port, to be used with the provided USB charger and USB cable, which is odd since every other modern tablet and phone uses a micro USB port. You'll also find a micro HDMI port for connecting the device to an HD TV.

Below the screen, you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack - hard to find, but ideally placed for the dangling cord.

ViewSonic viewpad 7e review

To the left of the device, there's a microSD slot for adding cards up to 32GB each.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 7e uses an ARM A8 1GHz processor, has 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and supports Wi-Fi (including 802.11n) and Bluetooth 2.1. The front-facing webcam is only 0.3MP and the rear camera is only MP - both far below the specs of most recent tablets.

Because the 7-inch tablet is so small, measuring 192 x 131 x 14.1mm, there isn't much space for the 3300mAh battery, which lasts only five hours. Still, the Samsung Galaxy Tab lasts for seven hours.

The LCD touchscreen has a 500:1 contrast ratio, which looked dim and even hard to see in bright light compared to the much brighter screens used on other tablets. It's not ideal for watching movies.

ViewSonic viewpad 7e review

But did we mention the £150 price tag? That's the one redeeming feature. Unfortunately, when the Kindle Fire arrives in the UK, it will be priced similarly. And, the BlackBerry PlayBook has a similar holiday price point for now. There's also the nagging sense that a 10-inch tablet isn't that much more expensive.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity4 GB
Processor ManufacturerSamsung
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time5 Hour
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyViewPad 7e
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Processor ModelS5PV210
ColourPearl White
Operating SystemAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Brand NameViewsonic
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Screen Size17.8 cm (7")
Screen Resolution800 x 600
Standard Memory512 MB
Weight (Approximate)450 g
Cache512 KB
Processor CoreSingle-core (1 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height131 mm
Width192 mm
Depth14.1 mm
Screen ModeSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product Series7e
ManufacturerViewsonic Corporation
Product NameViewPad 7e Tablet Computer
Product LineViewPad
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberV7E_1WNA1EP1_01
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.viewsoniceurope.com/uk/
Marketing InformationYour Digital Library

Store all of your media files and e-books with a generous 4GB of internal storage. MicroSD card support offers expandable storage up to 32GB for all your favorite music, movies, photos and more. Built-in apps with cloud storage features give you even more space and anywhere access to your favorite files.

Connect in More Ways

Stay connected with a primary 3MP auto-focus camera for photography and 0.3MP camera for videoconferencing/ video chatting, HDMI output for sending 1080p video to an external display, and 802.11 g/b/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

Package Contents
  • ViewPad 7e Tablet Computer
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty2 Year