ViewSonic Offers Intel Atom Based Android Windows Tablet
ViewSonic’s latest tablet, the ViewPad 10pro, comes with a twist. It’s not running Android or Windows — it’s running Android and Windows. Thanks to an Intel Atom CPU, Windows and Android can co-exist side by side, providing users with the best of both worlds when it comes to tablet computing. But will users want this, will this be a hit in the channel, and, more importantly, do we need this?
Intel is promoting the new ViewSonic tablet because the ViewPad 10pro is running on Intel’s flagship Atom Z670 CPU, which clocks in at a nice 1.5GHz. Additionally, ViewSonic worked closely with Intel to help implement the dual-OS design. Inside the 10-inch panel is 2GB of shared RAM, along with 16GB or 32GB of SSD storage.
So how does a user switch between the two operating systems? It sounds simple: While running Windows, a user can load up the “Android application,” which puts the user in control of the Android OS for “ultimate entertainment.” ViewSonic calls it “Android-in-Windows technology,” but Android OS is simply layered on top of Windows.
As far as I’m concerned, if Windows is required for a user to run Android, then it’s not an Android-Windows tablet, it’s just a neat trick. That means scenarios such as, “Say, Windows is kinda bogging me down, I’m going to check my GMail real quick on the Android side,” can never ever happen. Rather, when Windows is FUBAR, so is your Android instance. Worse, if you lose your Windows install, you’ll likely lose access to recovering your Android data. And let’s not forget all the issues that come along with installing full-blown Windows on a tablet …
The standard tablet specifications are there, with a 1024×600 screen, 1080p playback, SD card slot, eight hours of battery and a front-facing camera for video chatting. ViewSonic also plans to offer a docking station, and it’s all slated to be available in late August 2011 in “limited numbers.” Curious. It looks as though ViewSonic is hedging its bets on the “do people need/want it?” question and whether the Android-in-Windows technology is received as a useful option.
My verdict? If you’re already buying the tablet because you want a Windows tablet, then the added Android OS layer will be a nice bonus if you want to run an Android app or two that would be more friendly then interacting with Windows. But as an on-the-go always-on speedy Android tablet? Do yourself a favor and buy a Honeycomb-based Android tablet. At the price tag of $699 with Windows 7 Professional and 32GB of space, or $599 for Windows 7 Home Premium and 16GB of space, I’d be cautious about running out to buy one without a few solid reviews.