NEW YORK —
ViewSonic entered the tablet PC market
this month, introducing two models that will ship in the
next few months for the consumer and business markets.
The company will begin shipping the Android 2.2-based
ViewPad 7 for consumers late in the fourth quarter and
follow it with the ViewPad 10 early in the first quarter of
2011, said Adam Hanin, ViewSonic’s marketing VP.
“We were hearing from customers a demand in both
areas,” Hanin said, adding that going into the tablet segment
allowed ViewSonic to leverage its display technology.
“We see a slate as a very portable display and ViewSonic’s
display heritage will help us with this,” he said.
The ViewPad introduction is part of a wider company
plan that will once again bring ViewSonic more fully into
the consumer electronics space, Hanin said. Other CE
items the company is working on are 3D displays and
home entertainment products. These introductions are
leading to ViewSonic making its first appearance in seven
years on the show floor at CES.
“We are starting to focus on CE again. We backed
away from CE due to the economy, but will head back in
with even more products next year,” Hanin said.
The $479 ViewPad 7 will feature a 7-inch display and
will have 3.5G data capability, a Qualcomm Snapdragon
processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It comes with Google
mobile services pre-installed and two webcams, one for
video chat and the other for still images. There is 512MB
of internal memory, expandable to 32GB via an SD card
The ViewPad 7 is carrier agnostic and at this time the
company has no ties to any cellular carrier, a fact that
Hanin believes will
be a big differentiator
for the ViewPads.
The $679 ViewPad
10 is targeted specifically
at the business
user and to better
support that market segment is dual bootable, giving the
user the choice of using Windows 7 or Android 1.6, Hanin
Both models have e-reader capability and the users can
purchase books via the online bookseller Kobo.
“The ViewPad 10 is intended for the business user to
take their desktop on the road and for the person who
does not want to take a netbook,” Hanin said.
The unit only has Wi-Fi capability. The decision to eschew
3G was to give the user access to Windows 7,
which could only be done by using an Intel Atom processor
and these are incapable of supporting a cellular connection,
Hanin said. To add a cellular capable processor
would have increased the size of the device and make it
less appealing to business users, he added.
“It is designed for office productivity, and we wanted a sleek
design that could not be done with the Atom,” Hanin said.
ViewSonic would not discuss distribution plans for either