During our escapades in Taiwan for Computex 2011 we found ourselves a very unique tablet in the form of the Viewsonic ViewPad 10 Pro tablet PC. What makes this tablet so very interesting is due to the fact that it runs both Android and Windows 7. This is not your standard dual booting tablet. It has a simple application that within ten seconds goes to Android mode from Windows mode and vice versa.
The Viewsonic ViewPad 10 Pro is a 10.1 inch capactive touchscreen display running a resolution of 1024x 600 pixels. It is running the very latest Intel Oaktrail z670 1.5 GHZ internal processor and has 32 GB of Solid State memory. If this memory is not enough you can further increase it via the Micro SD card up to around 32 GB. It also comes with 2 GB of RAM and has an embedded Intel graphic chipset.
The new Viewsonic tablet has a USB 2.0 and HDMI port! This is solid because you can actually use a USB Flash drive to transfer data to and from your device. You can also use the HDMI port to stream full 1080p video to your television or computer. It also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack and built in microphone, you would mainly use the mic with your built in 2 MP webcam.
The big draw on this device is the fact that it can easily jump between Windows 7 and Android 2.2 at the launch of a small program. This app is called “instant switch” and when you jump to Android you can load in apps via alternative Android Markets such as Slideme or AndAppstore. When you want to jump back into Windows you can click on the Windows icon built into the Android menu and go back.
I really like this device although it only runs Froyo, and I can see this device really catching on if they get the price right for end users and be big for developers. The fact that you don’t physically have to boot the device into the other operating system is huge. I also dig that it is DLNA compliant so you can easily access data right off of your PC or media center.
Finally, Viewsonic is packing in a docking port for this tablet so you can have two additional USB ports, HDMI and an Ethernet port. The docking station was said to be around $80.00 and the ViewPad Pro will be around $300.00 and available July 2011.
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Asus has taken the laptop and the tablet to a new high in the form of the Taichi that it showcased at the ongoing Computex event. What makes the Taichi special is that it offers two displays, one on either side of the laptop lid. The Taichi is almost as thin and light as the company’s Zenbook line of ultrabooks, though the one distinguishing factor in favor of the Taichi is (of course) the extra display that is visible when the device is closed. This allows it to be used as a tablet running Windows 8. Once the lid is opened, the device transforms into a laptop with a full QWERTY backlid keypad and a scroll pad.
The Taichi offers two displays having two different dimensions, a 13.3 inch or a 11.6 inch display, both packing in 1920 x 1080 pixels. The rest of the specs include an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and SSD storage. The Taichi also include dual cameras, with a 5 megapixel shooter at the rear and a HD webcam at the front.
The other features of the Taichi include two USB 3.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, and a mini DisplayPort. Both the displays are capable of running independently and at the same time, which means friends can use the touchscreen on the outer display while the inner display is being used for some other task.
However, as with all other Asus products revealed at the Computex , price and availability is anybody’s guess right now. Other aspects that we are also keen to know about the Tachi is how good the device is in actual operation and what the battery life will be like, especially with two displays in operation.
In any case, the Taichi is an innovative device and offers a fresh perspective after having seen a lot of laptops and tablets. Also interestingly, Asus hasn’t provided the Transformer treatment to it, which means the display cannot be separated from the keypad. Otherwise, it could have been a standalone tablet device with the inner display remaining dormant when used as a tablet.
Viewsonic had a preview tablet at their booth behind glass that will be running on the Google Android Honeycomb operating system. It will be 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen with over 10-finger multi-touch support. It will be running a Nvidia Tegra 2 – 1 GHZ processor, so the speed should be very solid. It has dual cameras with the rear facing one having 5 MP and a LED flash, while the front facing one has 1.3 MP.
There are a fair number of ports on the device including Micro USB and Micro HDMI. Battery life was expected to be around 8 hours and it was DLNA compliant.
Asus today introduced a new line of Transformer device named the Transformer Book that not only sports better specs, but also bigger displays. To put it in another way, the Transformer Book is for those who’d like to have the goodness of both a tablet devices as well as a laptop or a notebook. The Transformer Book can also be termed as an ultrabook, the only difference being that with the display pulled off, it can transform into a tablet. Asus is describing the device as the “world’s first convertible notebook” and “is made for the seasoned user who enjoys the portability of a tablet for leisure but still prefers a more traditional Windows-based notebook when it comes to work.”
Screen size options for the Transformer Book include 11.6 inch, 13.3 inch, and 14 inch of 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS displays capable of accepting multi-touch inputs. Powering the device is the Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU with discrete graphics with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM to add some raw processing capabilities. Internal memory will be a combination of solid state and hard disk drives. The tablet also boasts of USB 3.0 support with the integration of ASUS SonicMaster audio speaker technology for better audio capabilities.
A 5 megapixel camera along the rear of the device with an HD webcam on the front pretty much round up the spec sheet.
However, as innovative as the Transformer Book surely is, a high price tag will be the last thing that consumers would like the device to be associated with. Further, battery life is another crucial aspect for the Transformer Book, for all the processing power that the tablet boasts of will surely have its toll on the battery. While the Transformer Book will still be better placed than its competitors from both the tablet and ultrabook segment with a battery unit each in the tablet and keypad section together providing the juice, anything around the 10-12 hours range can be considered quite acceptable. It will be really interesting to see how the Transformer Book, with bigger displays and faster processor fares on the battery aspect, and keep up with the usual Transformer Prime credential of good backup times.