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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

ViewSonic viewpad 7e review

There's no question that ViewSonic has an uphill battle when it comes to tablets. For not that much more, you can find 10-inch tablets that look clearer and brighter. However, right at this moment in time, the ViewPad 7e is not a bad buy if you are in the market for a 7-inch model.

Neither the Amazon Kindle Fire nor the Barnes and Noble Nook Color are available in the UK yet, but in the US, they're priced about the same as the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e.

For US buyers, the ViewPad 7e isn't a good buy compared to its rivals, but in the UK it is worth considering for the price.

At £299, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 uses the Android 3.2 operating system meant for tablets, but is similar to the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e in terms of size, handling, processor and capabilities. As we mentioned before, the BlackBerry PlayBook is also an option for a similar discounted price.

We liked

More than any other spec, we liked the price on the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e. For just £150 you're getting an Android tablet (albeit one that runs older apps meant for smartphones) with built-in cameras, a slot for adding more memory and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections.

The screen rotated correctly when we turned the tablet to one side. Most gestures and swipes registered correctly, and apps generally ran smoothly without any pausing or stuttering. The processor ran fast enough for most apps, although we could only run Android 2.3 apps, not those made for tablets.

At 7-inches and 450 grams, the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e is small enough to slip into a laptop bag and hardly notice it's there. While the Samsung Galaxy Tab is thinner and lighter, the ViewPad 7e is also less expensive.

We disliked

The ViewSonic ViewPad 7e lacks decent built-in cameras. The front-facing camera runs in only 0.3 megapixels, and video chats looked dim and blurry. The rear camera, at 3 megapixels, also produced poor photo results.

Unlike the Amazon Kindle Fire, the interface enhancements on the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e aren't that appealing. You can choose between a generic Android home screen where you can place app icons or the ViewSonic viewer, where you can run widgets but not place app icons on home screens.

There isn't a custom interface to enable you to quickly and easily access books, or to switch quickly between recently used apps. The Amazon Kindle Fire does a much better job of improving the Android OS.

Final verdict

We're not about to rate the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e as a must-purchase, especially because we think the similarly priced Amazon Kindle Fire will make its way to the UK eventually.

But, for now, the ViewSonic ViewPad 7e is not a bad purchase compared to the much more expensive 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. You get all the basics of Android without actually running the Android 3.2 operating system.

Just be sure to note that you can't run Android 3 Honeycomb apps, including some of the latest Google apps.

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