After much delay finally the ViewPad 10 finally makes it to the lucrative American market. Just to recap: it’s a 10” tablet that can dual boot Windows 7 Starter and Android 1.6. It’s slightly heavier, than the iPad or iPad 2 and comes in a 16GB Flash RAM Wi-Fi only model.
Let’s not forget that Apple just outsold all of the Windows tablets that have come before in the preceding 10 years or more in less than 9 months with one product: the iPad. Hence we can conclude the draw of Windows on a tablet is not much of a drawing card. Android 1.6 “Donut” is now 17 months old and the latest release that is actually intended for tablet usage is Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”. In September last year Hugo Barra commented regarding Android 2.2 “Froyo” and it’s suitability for use on tablets: “…Froyo is not optimised for use on tablets.” This also implies that neither were previous releases of Android hence nor is Donut.
I have no doubt that ViewSonic have been tinkering on this tablet for quite some time but with Windows 7 running on a tablet a well known non-selling point the hope for Android is dashed by using a horribly outdated version of the Android OS.
If this product is to have any chance it needs to update to Honeycomb ASAP and drop their price to something noticeably below the entry-level iPad 2 price or it will never sell in volume.