A week with the ViewSonic ViewPad 10pro Windows/Android tablet

ViewSonic's new ViewPad 10pro tablet lets you easily switch between Android and Windows 7, but there's a price to pay.

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As opposed to Apple's minimalist approach to controls, the ViewPad 10pro has several buttons. Besides the power and volume controls, there's a Hold key that blanks the screen and will bring up the Windows Task Manager if held for five seconds.

To the side of the screen are the usual Android buttons for search, going back, accessing the Home page and accessing Android's menu. This last button also brings up ViewSonic's excellent Control Center when you're in Windows. The Control Center has six icons for accessing system info, battery info, thermal condition, display, environment and device controller.

Test results

Over the course of a week of intensive use, I used the ViewPad 10pro with a drawer full of peripherals. I found it to be a reliable tablet -- however, it won't set any speed records. While I normally had no problems with performance, there were times when it lagged for a few seconds.

It scored a sluggish 143.0 on PassMark's PerformanceTest 7.0 suite of benchmark tests, well off the pace set by another Windows 7 tablet, the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, which scored 196.9.

With its 5,000 mAh battery, the ViewPad 10pro was able to run for 4 hours and 26 minutes hours playing back high-definition videos non-stop from YouTube via a Wi-Fi connection. That's about half an hour longer than I got from the iPad 2 but short of the 4 hours and 59 minutes that the Fujitsu tablet achieved.

Conclusion

At $700, including Windows 7 Professional and 32GB of flash storage, the ViewPad 10pro that I looked at is expensive compared to a similarly equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab or iPad 2. ViewSonic also sells a $600 model with Windows 7 Home Premium and 16GB of flash storage as well as a custom configuration with Windows 7 Professional and 64GB of storage that costs $750.

It may not be the fastest, lightest or cheapest tablet around, but the ViewPad 10pro is an excellent tablet for professionals who need access to Windows applications while enjoying the app selection that comes with Android.

Brian Nadel is a frequent contributor to Computerworld and the former editor in chief of Mobile Computing & Communications magazine.

For more about the latest tablets, see Computerworld's tablets database.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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