ViewSonic made good on a rumor from earlier this month and debuted its ViewPad 7x tablet running Google Honeycomb at Computex in Taipei. The 7-inch slate is powered by Android 3.0.1, the same version I used on Acer’s 10.1 tablet for my review. The company hasn’t yet announced a price point or launch date for the small tablet, but at least it has proven that Google’s tablet platform can officially run on smaller-screened devices.
The ViewPad 7x ought to be far easier to carry than larger Honeycomb tablets, as it weighs in at a scant 380 grams (0.83 pounds). The tablet runs on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor, includes HSPA+ integration for mobile broadband connectivity, a pair of cameras, support for 10 multi-touch points on the display and HDMI output. Essentially, the device offers nearly everything found in its larger peers, but in a more portable package.
Of course, that now includes Google’s tablet system, which Acer is reportedly having problems with for its A100, another 7-inch tablet that is expected to run Honeycomb. Last week, DigiTimes reported that Acer found software compatibility problems with Honeycomb on the smaller display of the A100. ViewSonic hasn’t mentioned any such issues, although a video from Engadget shows Viewsonic opted to use a third-party user interface for the ViewPad 7x.
Unfortunately, the ViewSonic product manager in the video demo didn’t delve too deeply into the ViewPad’s software, so it’s difficult to predict what the Honeycomb experience will be like on the device. However, even before the fourth quarter availability of Ice Cream Sandwich – the version of Android that will unify tablets and smartphones — Google has included ways for Honeycomb to handle different screen sizes. The Fragments API will allow an application to dynamically adjust how it displays information and windows based on a device screen size or resolution, for example.
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