New Gear: The Viewsonic gTablet

viewsonic-gtablet-300Last week Woot.com offered the 10.1” Viewsonic gTablet for the very attractive price of $279. Being enamored of my Android 2.2 powered G2 phone I found the offer too good to pass up. I ordered one for myself.

I’ve ordered a few things from Woot.com previously, based upon that experience I didn’t expect the goods to arrive too quickly. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it arrive Saturday afternoon.

From a perspective of pure hardware specifications the gTablet is amongst the first of a new generation of Tegra2-based Android tablets. The 1 GHz dual-core processor certainly feels peppy. The gTablet’s multi-media capabilities seem impressive. It plays movies, even 1080p HD movies, quite well.

However, running Android 2.2 it’s going to be a short-lived product given that Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets are now shipping. It’s been widely reported that Honeycomb is the first version of the OS that was designed with tablets in mind.

Since the gTablet does not support Google’s Android Marketplace one is forced to “side-load” applications. Google’s current position is that anything with a display larger than 7” does not get access to the Android Marketplace. All of this suggests that the gTablet is destined to be rooted and loaded with aftermarket ROM in order to enhance its utility.

I will refrain from further comment about the gTablet until I have some greater experience of its use. I’ll be taking it with me on my travels the next few weeks. I’m especially curious to see to what extent it might possibly replace my netbook.

  • The optional docking station is a nice accessory. What’s preventing tablets from having a built-in HDMI port?

    • I don’t suppose that anything is stopping them. Don’t one or two newer phones have HDMI outputs?

      That said, the inclusion of HDMI in the dock makes sense. Operationally you’re likely to want to dock the device if you’re watching something longer on a larger screen. You’re may want it powered for the duration as well.

      If I start making considerable use of the gTablet I may need to order the dock.

  • Will be interesting to see if the limited screen viewing angle drives you as crazy as it did me. I thought it was a nice ‘droid tablet for the money. But ended up returning it due to the screen.

    • Tim,

      Yes, that was/is troublesome. For me the bigger issue has been the web browser. It crashes a lot, on everyday routine kind of sites. I’ve loaded Dolphin HD for now, which seems like an improvement.

      Honestly, I’m not using the tablet for much as yet. In part it was an experiment just to see where it would fit into my routine.