ViewSonic Viewpad 10pro

ViewSonic has been showing off a 10 inch tablet with an Intel Atom Oak Trail processor and Windows and Android operating systems since early this year. Now the company is finally ready to start selling the ViewSonic Viewpad 10Pro in the US.

The tablet features a 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Z670 processor, a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive multitouch display, 2GB of memory, and up to 32GB of storage. It can play 1080p HD video, has HDMI output, supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, and can run for up to 8 hous on a charge.

The tablet comes in two versions. A $599 model runs Windows 7 Home Premium and Android 2.3 and has a 16GB solid state disk. There’s also a $699 model that has a 32GB SSD and runs Windows 7 Professional as well as Android 2.3.

One of the things that’s unusual about the ViewPad 10Pro is that while it runs both Windows and Android, it’s not strictly speaking a dual-boot tablet. That’s because you don’t have to reboot to switch operating systems. Instead Android runs on top of Windows, allowing you to open an Android environment and run Android apps without first shutting down the computer. ViewSonic uses BlueStacks software to accomplish this.

While Windows 7 includes support for touch-based gestures and a few other finger-friendly add-ons, the operating system and most software designed for it are largely designed for keyboard and mouse input. By allowing you to run Android apps on a Windows tablet, ViewSonic may be offering the best of both worlds: A tablet that can run full-blown desktop apps but which can also run apps designed to be used with your fingers. It’s an interesting concept.

I haven’t found any stores selling the tablets for the suggested retail prices yet, but Amazon and a few other retailers are taking pre-orders at slightly higher prices.

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