back to article ViewSonic tablet defies death by Steve Jobs

ViewSonic made it official on Monday: their seven-inch ViewPad tablet will arrive in the US before the end of the year — despite the fact that Steve Jobs says seven-inchers are "dead on arrival." "I think in this case he may be a little afraid of this category," ViewSonic marketing honcho Adam Hanin told Laptop, "And he's …


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  1. JaitcH

    Viewsonic bests Jobs: One thing he would NEVER do!

    That is to have a dual OS system.

    The Viewsonic interconnectivity specs are somewhat better than the original Chinese pads that hit the market there almost a year ago, months before the Apple copycat hit the streets.

    The support/service network, along with better plastics finish, is what the Chinese originals lack and which will benefit Viewsonic sales. I personally find the 7" format to be very practicable, small enough to fit an inner suit pocket or almost any pocket of an outdoors style jacket.

    Our company has already supplied 7" format pads to 3 customers loaded with service diagrams/data for their products - it is hard to imagine a technician servicing a hydraulic control panel armed with a 10" Apple pad whereas the 7" is light enough to wear around a users neck or to magnetically support on the control panel door during servicing.

    Jobs might yet again live to regret his pontifications on 7" but he will be able to add Viewsonic to his list of companies who 'stole' his gestures software which, in turn, he stole from others. Should be quite a party!

  2. M Gale


    What the hell?

    Why are there so many businesses wanting to punt an ancient version of an open source OS when they can have the latest edition instead? Are you sure Windows 7 also comes with it, or is it 3.11 for Workgroups?

    1. DuncanL

      RE: 1.6?

      For the same reason XP keeps on going - it's a known baseline with well known and understood issues. Picking a newer version just because it has a bigger number is not a valid business decision. This way they (presumably) hope to keep support costs down etc; plus I'd guess that their own custom stuff on top of Android was written for the older version and it's simply cheaper not to update it when it's already working.

      Ultimately most end users won't give a stuff what version of the operating system they are using (or even know what an "operating system" is) - these devices are increasingly aimed at armchair surfers who don't want or need a PC to use Facebook and send emails to the family etc.

      People who read The Reg are self-selecting tech nerds so are not representative of the public at large! :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Install 2.3... and downgrade to v1.6 instead.

        Why not put v2.3 (or v3.0) on the device... and if people like you want to DOWNGRADE all the way down to v1.6... you can. (But I bet you won't)

      2. M Gale


        Nice reasoning, but Joe Public will certainly know the very visible difference between the 1.x home screen and the 2.x home screen. Plus, with the rapidly shrinking market share of 1.x, I'm pretty sure it won't be too long before developers stop bothering to support 1.x in favour of the new API toys in 2.x.

        1.x has dropped about a percent in the last couple of weeks... and falling steadily. This is not like the Beast That Refuses To Die, also known as XP. I'll say again, why the hell does anybody make a new product with Android 1.x these days?

  3. MacRat

    The good ol days

    Remember when ViewSonic used to be a brand people recognized for quality computer displays?

    Now it is just another generic PC vendor.

    1. JaitcH

      Viewsonic builds many products you never see with other peoples names on them

      Viewsonic standards remain high. They build to a customers specification so Viewsonic do just as they are required to do.

      Their range of products is very wide and some of their Professional lines are well regarded by people qualified to make such determinations.

  4. Sean Baggaley 1


    ... I already *HAVE* a f*cking phone in my pocket! Why the hell do I need another device with front and rear cameras, 3G, etc.?

    Also: Android 2.2 (or even 1.6) on a *tablet* form-factor device? Epic Fail 2, starring Mel Gibson.

    1. Tim Bates

      Skype/MSN/Jabber video sessions?

      Just because you have a phone that does it doesn't mean the 300KP camera is useless. Internet based video calls is one reason to do it.

      And besides... What does a 300K camera chip cost these days? I'd guess somewhere around the 50c mark at manufacture as a top price. Why not add one at that price?

      1. firu toddo
        Jobs Halo


        But you need to be able to up-spec the Gen 2 device. In Apple Land iPad2 will have a camera. (And a price hike).

        And will be new and improved ;o)

    2. M Gale

      oh i dunno.

      As a toy os like the i-somethings, android 2.x would probably work well on a toy tablet. It may be almost insultingly simple, but at least it's not insultingly patronising like the entire Apple i-ecosystem!

      1. Tim Parker

        Saucer of milk, table two.

        Blimey. Took a long time for the trolls to turn up....

        1. Tim Parker

          Re : Saucer of milk

          Correction : That would be directed at the post by M Gale, not Sean Baggaley 1, the 'Reply to this post' button seemed to lump it under the OP.

          1. M Gale

            I have a ZTE Racer

            You know, Android 2.1?

            Oh well, I guess I must be a "hater" because I call them toyphones.

            Troll, because anybody with an opinion is one, apparently.

  5. WonkoTheSane


    Jobs is just annoyed because he was planning to release the 7-inch "iPad Nano" next year?

    1. FARfetched

      I dunno

      Anything that won't fit in your pocket gets put in a bag or left at home. So I'm not sure a 7" slab has any portability advantages over a 10" slab (which fits nicely in a cheap netbook bag). I could be wrong; I've stuck a Kindle 2 a cargo pocket. It fit, but I couldn't get the flap to close over it. That concerned me, as it could have fallen out without my knowledge.

      I'm glad ViewSonic is putting a 7-incher on the shelves though, it's the best way to see if there's a market for them.

  6. Karl 14

    Advent Vega?

    Why hasn't el Reg mentioned the Advent Vega soon to be sold by Dixons etc?

    1. Horridbloke

      @karl 14

      They have:

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Adam Hanin - Viewsonic 10

    Good luck getting flash to work on Android 1.6 then!

  8. Marcus Aurelius


    Sounds a bit like looking through a letterbox. Except for movie viewing, I think Ye Olde 4:3 ratio is much better for general purpose working....

  9. LPF

    I'm confused..

    I thought tablets were a fad and that apple would be left on its ass, while the rest of the industry laughed ?

    Also who the hell here has done a video call using 3G? seriously who??

  10. 20legend

    @Sean Baggaley 1

    What you bitchin' about man?

    So what if you've already got frikkin cameras and 3G on your phone, having them on a tablet as well isn't going to exactly add much weight or cause much inconvenience is it?

    If it would be such a hardship for you then don't use them - simple.

    I've already got several digital cameras, but fuck me, I don't complain about my phone having 2 more, or my netbook having yet another.

    Does your phone have a 7" or 10" screen, or run Windows 7? - No, didn't think so. Surely they are more likely to be the features that you would actually buy this device for, rather than those that you are crying about already having.

    Who gives a monkey's what version of Android it comes with - if any, after all it's just a freebie phone OS - so a (very little) bit of a bonus rather than a cut-down, paid-for feature.

    Get a grip sunshine.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      More camera

      After all the more oppotunities big brother has to watch you the safer you can be.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why are they taking so long to reach the US

    The company I work for in the UK has both types in stock now.

  12. BorkedAgain


    Any ideas of a likely price point? This looks like something we could USE... :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    v1.6 in March 2011? No thanks.

    > in the first quarter of 2011 — but it'll have an

    > earlier operating system: Android 1.6,

    Why in the world would any company be releasing "new" hardware in March 2011... and stick v1.6 in it????

    Wow. Avoid.

  14. Al Jones

    $479? Pass.....

    Seriously? $479 for a 7" device pad?

    Thanks, but no thanks.

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