ViewSonic unveiled a series of new tablet models at CES 2012 this week, including a new 7-inch ViewPad that will start at $169.99.
The new ViewPad e70 comes with Android 4.0, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich, and features a light and thin form factor. The device is powered by a 1-GHz processor and 4 GB of storage, plus microSD expandable storage for up to 32 GB.
While the e70's display resolution is only 800x480, it comes with front and back cameras, mini-HDMI and mini-USB ports. The e70 is scheduled to launch at the end of the current quarter. At under $200, e70 looks to be a direct competitor to smaller, affordable tablets such as the Kindle Fire. ViewSonic also introduced two more 10-inch tablets: the ViewPad 10e and the ViewPad 10pi.
The ViewPad 10e is an ultra-thin tablet that measures just 9.1 mm and comes with Android 2.3. The device is powered by a 1-GHz Cortex A8 processor and features ViewSonic's ViewScene 3D interface for 3D video.The 10e model will start at $299 and launch in late January.
The ViewPad 10pi, meanwhile, is a dual OS device; it ships with Windows 7 Professional but users can also download and boot Android 2.3 as well. The ViewPad 10pi features a 1280x800 display, including a ViewScene interface, and is powered by Intel's Oak Trail z670 processor. The 10pi will start at $849 and will launch later this month. Michael Holstein, vice president of business development at Viewsonic, said his company's tablet products, included the original ViewPad 10 and ViewPad 7, have been well-received by the channel so far and that the devices have enabled ViewSonic and its partners to cross-sell other products such as displays and projectors.
Holstein also said he expects tablets to further penetrate the corporate environment in 2012. "The consumerization of IT is real, and tablets are big part of that," he said. Holstein also said that ViewSonic plans to bring Windows 8 tablets to market after the new OS launches. While the company has concentrated primarily on Android for its tablets, Holstein said that he expects Windows 8 will be in demand.
"It will depend on the user, of course, but some people are going to want Windows tablets because they have legacy systems in a Windows environment," he said. "Others are going to want Android because it's built for mobility and they feel that platform is the future."