We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Android tablets Reviews
15,669 Reviews

ViewSonic ViewPad 7 review

£399 inc VAT

Manufacturer: ViewSonic

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 is a 7in tablet in the mold of Samsung's smaller copy of the Apple iPad, the Galaxy Tab - and likewise equipped with Google's Android 2.2 mobile phone software.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 7 is a 7in tablet in the mold of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and also equipped with Google's mobile phone software Android 2.2.

The ViewSonic ViewPad is one of two new Android tablets from the company best known for its computer screens. The other, the ViewSonic ViewPad 10, is a 10in model that dual boots into Windows 7 too – it remains to be seen how well it pulls that off.

The ViewSonic ViewPad 7, however, is a largely successful and likable Android Froyo 2.2 tablet that is more like a Filofax than a tablet PC. Wrapped in a smart, slip-resistant folio case with a lid that’s secured by an elastic strap, we took the ViewSonic ViewPad 7 on several commutes without realising we had been lugging it around London. It weighs 375g without its jacket, but 517g with it.

Styling-wise, ViewSonic could be accused of creating an oversized Apple iPhone 4, only here with a fake metallic band around its circumference.

The ViewSonic company's blue parrot logo adorns the tablet’s screen too. We liked the fact that this is a widescreen tablet. At a 2:1 aspect ratio, it's wider than the 16:9 standard.

The ViewSonicViewPad 7’s resolution of just 800x400 pixels is less pleasing. The capacitive panel is fairly responsive, but not as accurate as on better touchscreen devices such as the iPhone/iPad, Sony Xperia or Samsung Galaxy S.

The ViewSonicViewPad 7’s default is to switch off the display after just 30 seconds of inactivity. With the awkward power switch partly hidden by a clasp for the case, you can’t reflexively knock it back into life.

A 3G module is included and there's also Wi-Fi to get you online. We would have hoped for wireless n connecitivity in a £399 device rather than being stuck on b and g though.

Bluetooth 2.1 is also supported and there’s a mini USB port for connecting to a computer or a separate keyboard. You'll need a little keyboard with a mini USB plug, such as the Storage Option SOKPAD.

The GPS sensor works well with Google Maps – we could see ourselves using the ViewSonicViewPad 7 as a large satnav device.

A G-Sensor allows automatic switching between landscape and portrait modes, although the home screen seemed to be stuck in portrait mode, making upright handheld use very difficult.

The ViewSonicViewPad 7 has a pair of embedded speakers, top and bottom in portrait mode. Storage only runs to 512MB of flash internally and must be supplemented via the microSD media card slot, up to a maximum 32GB.

The processor is a 600MHz chip that falls below our expectations. It adds to our feeling that you’re paying a lot for a solid but not ground-breaking device.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Expert Verdict »

ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Tablet Scores 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 reviews
Handheld tablet
7in (800 x 400) 2:1 capacitive touchscreen LCD
Google Android 2.2 OS
Qualcomm MSM 7227 600MHz ARM processor
512MB flash storage
microSD card slot
SIM slot
HSDPA modem
802.11b/g
Bluetotoh 2.1 + EDR
stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
mic
3MP back-facing and 0.3Mp forward-facing cameras
mini-USB 2.0
179 x 110 x 12mm
375g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Despite various issues, this user would be happy to call the ViewPad 7 our own and could see ourselves making use of its video and gaming features. A netbook/laptop trade-in for £100 off at Misco makes it a better deal right now – we’d hope to see the standard price drop by this amount by early 2011.

  • ViewSonic ViewPad 10e review

    ViewSonic ViewPad 10e

    The ViewSonic ViewPad 10e is an Android tablet for under £200 with a similar 9.7in screen to the original iPad.

  • ViewSonic ViewPad 10 review

    ViewSonic ViewPad 10

    The ViewSonic ViewPad 10 is a 10in tablet with two strings to its bow - using an Intel Atom processor, it can boot into either Windows 7 or Android 1.6.

  • ViewSonic VEB620 review

    ViewSonic VEB620

    The ViewSonic VEB620 is an ebook reader with 6in black-and-white e-paper screen and 2GB of onboard flash storage.

  • ViewSonic ViewBook 130 review

    ViewSonic ViewBook 130

    ViewSonic's ViewBook 130 is a half-price take on the MacBook Air – but will it have only half the style, performance and build quality?

  • BeBook Live review

    BeBook Live

    The BeBook Live Android tablet seeks to fill the gap between top-end premium devices and the more affordable mid-range market.


IDG UK Sites

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison: New iPad mini 3 isn't worth £80 more

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...