cnet news

Amid a tablet market crowded with pricey products, ViewSonic is offering more cost-conscious consumers an alternative with its new ViewBook 730.

Powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 1GHz processor and running Android 2.2, the ViewBook 730 will sell for just $250 when it makes its debut in late June. Though at that price, the tablet does skimp on a few features and specs found in more expensive models.

The 7-inch tablet provides an 800×480 LCD LED backlit touch screen with 8GB of memory and an extra 32GB of storage via a microSD card slot. ViewSonic includes a mini-USB port and a mini HDMI port, the later of which can pipe in 1080p video. A single VGA Webcam is built onto the front of the device.

As an Android tablet, the ViewBook 730 supports Flash, specifically version 10.1.

For connectivity, the ViewBook 730 comes with Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g. (Sorry, no Wireless-N.) The tablet offers ViewSonic’s AirSync technology, which lets it automatically receive over-the-air software updates and enhancements as they become available.

The unit’s battery can last from 8 to 10 hours on a single charge.




  1. Dallas says:

    Like Pedro, I prefer the ten inchers. I think 7″ tablets are too small. You may as well stay with a smartphone instead of these tweener sizes.

    I might come around if hey improve the bezel width but for now, the iPad is still king of tablets.

  2. ohieaux says:

    As a proud Viewsonic G-Tablet owner, I can say that the Viewsonic OS has been a crippled piece of crap. But given the active XDA community, it’s a decent tablet.

    The problem is that the masses will not take the time to flash custom ROM’s and fight configuration issues. It’s time to stop treating tablets as big cell phones and open them like computers. I blame Apple.

  3. Zybch says:

    So many of these gadgets are totally ruined by having a crappy resistive touch display. Is this one crippled in the same way or does it have a capacitive touch screen?
    Also, when the hell are we going to see super AMOLED displays on anything larger than cell phones? They’re just so much nicer than anything using ANY of the many LCD variants.

  4. NobodySpecial says:

    Playing with my nice new bought-straight-from-china $90 including shipping, Android 2.2 tablet with camera etc.

  5. aslightlycrankygeek says:

    What is going on here? Three tech related stories in one day? You would think JCD is a tech reporter instead of a conspiracy theory kook!

  6. msbpodcast says:

    Did anybody catch the WWDC earlier today?

    When ViewSonic can offer mail, photo, music, movie, document, calendar synching across a customer’s phone, a tablet and a PC, offer cloud storage for maintaining backups and track their app and media purchases, then I’ll consider it.

    The iPad is not just a device with some technical specs, its part of the Apple ecosystem which includes hardware, software, services and communications.

    If you don’t like it, you don’t have to use it, but its a very powerful inducement to having it and liking it.

  7. jescott418 says:

    The 7″ Netbooks soon died out. I think its too small for viewing regular web pages. Applications might be OK. But most web pages require too much scrolling with a 7″ sceen. But you get waht you pay for.

  8. sho time says:

    Just buy a Nook and root it.

  9. scandihoovian says:

    The day these things can actually replace my laptop in functional usage is the day I’ll stop calling them a gimmick. I’ll take a smartphone w/ rooted hotspot and a 14″ laptop over tablets any day of the week.

  10. Zybch says:

    msbpodcast, android can pretty much do that already but WITHOUT locking you into the ‘ecosystem’ so totally that its impossible to use anything but overpriced products from the one same company.
    You can also do it with MS products and services running on many devices too (hopefully when they buy nvidia we’ll have a MS based tablet device rather than the decidedly average windows 7 based ones).
    Pull your head out of your little apple world and you might be surprised that very little of what apple does is original or unique. They do a good job of wrapping it all up in a consumer/idiot friendly lump though. Well except for forcing the use of iTunes, that thing sucks balls!

  11. oldfart says:

    #6

    Looks like you got a major ID 10 T error going, time to reboot.

  12. Its a Start says:

    Its a matter of course now that non PCs will responsible for growth in the computer field will be non-conventional units
    Most people use their computers for little more than email,solitaire and some browsing
    Yet faced with an innovator competitors have offered me two products at similar pricing to the established brand name
    Are they clueless at the head offices with yes men – guess so
    This is not unlike what happened in the US auto industry with General Motors at the helm
    This product may not be the best but it makes a stab in the marketplace

  13. deowll says:

    I’m waiting to see what Amazon puts out. I’m thinking it is going to take a year or two before you can get a machine that would be badly obsolescent in a year or less.

  14. George says:

    I’ll have to wait for prices of decent ones to drop. I got a Ramos Miumiu W9 with Android 2.1 from China as a gift, and it is horrible. Before I installed some apps that seem to have crashed the system by hanging it in an infinite loop, I found the resistive touchscreen to be awful. The stability was poor, and the speed was atrocious even with a claimed 1GHz processor and 8MB just like this Viewsonic device. The wifi range is pathetic, as I could only get decent download speeds within 6 feet of my access point.

    The screen size is really not bad. I find it much easier to read and enjoy than even the retina display on my iPhone. This is mainly due to my old eyes needing reading glasses.

    If I could find a 7″ tablet that worked well, I would buy it.

  15. Zybch says:

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab would probably fit your needs, were it not for the stupid price.

  16. foobar says:

    The Galaxy Tab is more stable and usable than the others and the size has a nice portable feel and usability. The landscape orientation is weird though.

    The iPad aspect ratio 4:3 works better than the Galaxy Tab 10:6 ratio. Android still feels clunky on the tab as well which is surprising since some Phones aren’t all that smaller.

    What’s really surprising is one year after the iPad has debuted that the Android boys still don’t have a serious competitor.

  17. orangetiki says:

    It’s a nook without the charm hook.

    As for tablets, I use an ipod touch as my “tablet” portability is essential for what I do. Sure it’s tiny to type, but I get it to work.

  18. jcj7161 says:

    You have heard of the Coby Kyros….looks just like it/….I have the 8024 with an 8 inch screen..they have a 7 incher and 10 incher..the best book reader out there…Android 2.2…same tech specs…and a RESISTIVE screen that actually works….oh and I am not locked into the “all my money goes to the ApplePad world”.

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