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$200 Android tablet offers dual cameras, micro-HDMI

Oct 24, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

ViewSonic has begun selling a $200, seven-inch tablet that runs Android 2.3. The ViewPad 7e is equipped with a 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor, 4GB internal storage, 800 x 600 pixel screen resolution, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, dual cameras, and a micro-HDMI port, says the company.

The ViewPad 7e was announced at the end of August with minimal detail, along with ViewSonic's more powerful ViewPad 7x tablet, which runs Android 3.2 on a dual-core Cortex-A9-based Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. (The 7x is expected to arrive any day now at a price of $379.)

ViewPad 7e

(Click to enlarge)

The ViewPad 7e is equipped with a 1GHz, single-core Cortex-A8 processor, according to ViewSonic. A mid-September quickie hands-on evaluation by Engadget says it's a Samsung processor, which would likely make it the Hummingbird.'s 7e page erroneously lists it as an Intel Atom, which had us going for a minute, considering the fact that ViewSonic also sells an Atom-based ViewPad 10Pro. (The 10Pro runs Android within Windows 7 on a 1.5GHz Atom Z670 processor using a BlueStacks emulation layer.)

The ViewPad 7e joins a rush of seven- and eight-inch Android tablets going on sale for about $200, before Amazon's Kindle Fire comes along in November at the same price. Like most of these, the Viewpad 7e can't match the Kindle Fire in its processor, storage, or the resolution of its screen. It does, however offer dual cameras instead of the Kindle Fire's zero, among other added features.

Like the eight-inch, Android 3.2 Velocity Cruz T408 tablet, also available for $200, the ViewPad 7e ships with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. A microSD slot lets users add another 32GB of storage, provided they supply their own data card.

Also like the Cruz T408, the ViewPad 7e offers a seven-inch, 800 x 600 display, but ViewSonic does not say whether it shares the T408's capacitive screen technology. When we read in Engadget that the screen "was not always particularly responsive — it took three swipes to unlock the first time," we guessed it used resistive technology. However, ViewSonic refers to the backlit screen as being "multitouch," so it's likely capacitive after all.

The display incorporates ViewSonic's RiteTouch technology, which "makes it easy to swipe across content, zoom in and out, and scroll through emails using either a fingertip or a stylus," claims the company. The Swype keyboard shortcut app is also said to be available

7e from an angle

Whereas the T408 offers only a single 1.3-megapixel webcam, the Viewpad 7e supplies both a front-facing 0.3 megapixel cam and a rear-facing three-megapixel camera. The 7e also has the edge on features, offering Bluetooth 2.1 in addition to 802.11 b/g/n.

In addition, the 7e provides a micro-HDMI jack, along with a 3.5mm audio jack and a micro-USB connector. The tablet is said to support Flash 10.3, as well as 1080p video playback via the micro-HDMI port.

7e from the side, showing 0.6-inch profile

TheViewpad 7e measures 7.6 x 5.16 x 0.6 inches (192 x 131 x 14.1mm), and weighs a pound (0.45 k), says ViewSonic. The 3300mAh battery is said to last a modest five hours. Speakers and a microphone are also said to be available.

The Android 2.3-based Viewpad 7e ships with ViewSonic's AirSync technology for over-the-air (OTA) updates, although it's unclear whether this mid-range tablet is destined to move up to Android 3.2 or Android 4.0. In the meantime, there's a ViewScene 3D interface, said to deliver "an intuitive home screen layout with holographic visual effects," says the company.

Other pre-installed software includes Amazon Services for Android, Amazon Kindle for Android, Twitter, and TuneIn Radio, says ViewSonic. The ViewPad 7e also includes WildTangent games, billed as a service for browsing, downloading, and purchasing online and social games.


The ViewPad 7e will be available in North America at the end of October for an ESP of $200. Latin America will follow with product availability in November. More information may be found on ViewSonic's ViewPad 7e product page, as well as this Amazon 7e page where the device is on sale now.

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