Tablets certainly seem to be all the rage this year and it's likely that the holiday buying season will be rife with offerings from some of the major players. Folks just can't seem to get enough tablets these days, though the design concept has been around for years. And why not, somebody has to bring competition for the iPad. Now that the proper technology is available (capacitive touch screens, more capable low power CPUs, and OS user interface features) to enable a satisfying tablet experience, tablets are becoming "the real deal," or so to speak. In that vein, though we showed you the unveiling of NVIDIA's Tegra 2 low power processor last January at CES2010, only now are tablets built on the chip reaching the market.
At Pepcom's Holiday Spectacular show in New York last night, we were treated to a rare viewing of ViewSonic's yet-to-be-released G Tablet. This is an NVIDIA Tegra 2-based 10-inch (1024X600) tablet running Android 2.2 aka "Froyo" (short for frozen yogurt). The device also has 1GB of system memory, 16GB of Flash storage (expandable to 32GB), a 1.3MP webcam, USB port, Mini HDMI, 802.11n Wireless and Bluetooth 2.1. ViewSonic's Adam Hanin took us for a quick test drive here...
Word is the device can manage up to 8hrs of battery life running full 1080p HD video content, up to 10 hrs for 720p and 10 - 12 hours for general purpose work or fun.
The G Pad is pretty darn thin and light (1lb even) too, with a solid combination of features and performance. Also, though there are no specific cellular service carriers for the device currently, there is a standard SIM card slot available on the G Pad, for future roll-outs perhaps. $529 and coming to a retailer near you around the end of October. Scuttlebutt says street prices could trend lower too. We like. We're hoping to get one in on the test bench here in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned.
ViewSonic also had an assortment of their other gadgets on hand as well, including a digital picture frame with on-board camera, capable of converting your old paper photos to digital media, along with a combination pocket camcorder and projector all-in-one device.
The picture frame was a novel sort of device that, though simple in concept, is the kind of thing you wish you thought of yourself. The ProjectorDV would make R2 proud; It's able to record videos of Obi-Wan live on Jedi location and then re-project that video immediately at 720p via DLP technology. The force definitely seems to be with team ViewSonic lately. Even a Wookie would find something to appreciate from ViewSonic's Q4 offering this year.