Nov 01 AT 11:27 PM Taylor Wimberly 28 Comments

Viewsonic’s Tegra 2 tablet on sale now at Sears for $379

Earlier today I was downplaying Viewsonic’s Viewpad offerings for their lack of processing power and outdated OS, but I failed to mention the display maker’s other new Android product – the Viewsonic 10″ G-Tablet. This device features the latest Android 2.2, a 10.1 inch TFT LCD (1024×600), NVIDIA’s dual-core 1 GHz Tegra 2 processor, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB of storage, a single USB host port, and a 1.3 megapixel web camera.

I read reports that might be selling the Viewsonic 10″ G-Tablet for $369 tomorrow, but their online listing was messed up and included the product description for the dual-boat (Windows 7, Android 1.6) Viewpad 10.

Thanks to a half dozen first-hand reports from YouTube, we can confirm that the Viewsonic G-Tablet is on sale right now at your local Sears for only $379. Original information out of Viewsonic said this device would cost over $500, but Sears is selling a WiFi-only version that lacks the sim-card slot of the more expensive model. Some overseas models were also reported to include 1 GB of RAM, but the Sears unit is shipping with 512 MB RAM.

The good news is that this tablet comes with Android 2.2, but that might be there the fun ends. This tablet was not certified by Google so it lacks all the Google Mobile Services including the official Android Market. Thankfully you can still sideload apps and alternative markets like SlideME.

It also sports a really custom skin called TapUI on top of Android 2.2. This can be replaced with a custom home app like ADW launcher, but it’s not really optimized for a 10-inch display.

Other negatives include the lack of Flash Player 10.1. I’m sure the device hardware could support it, but there is no telling on when a working version might be avialable.

Users with the device said the software doesn’t seem to perform up to the level of the hardware, but I haven’t seen many benchmarks yet. If my Sears has this thing in stock then look for some Galaxy Tab vs G-Tablet benchmarks soon.

Right now I would say pass on this device till we get some solid information on it or evidence that Viewsonic will provide software updates.

Check out one of the Sear’s unboxings below. Would you fork over $369 for a half-baked Android tablet? I think we can see why all the big tablet makers are waiting for Honeycomb before they release their products.

Viewsonic G-Tablet specs include:

  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual ARM cortex (1Ghz)
  • Capacitive Multi-Touch/Multi Tasking panel
  • 10.1” 1024 X 600 TFI LCD Screen
  • 512 MB RAM, Mass Memory 16 GB
  • Mini USB x 1; Full size USB x 1
  • 1.3MP Front —Facing Webcam
  • Earphone x 1
  • Micro SD card slot
  • 2 x 1 W speaker
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • G sensor/Light sensor
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 3500mAh/7.4V Li-polymer Battery Life 8-10 Hours
  • Slim design (267 x 173 x 14.3mm) Wt. 820 Grams
  • Buttons: Home/Back/Menu/Volume/Power
  • OS / Android 2.2
  • Headphone Jack
  • Built in Microphone

Source: Sears

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website linuxamp

    Why do so many device makers drop GPS on WiFi-only models? It’s not like GPS and 3G are on the same chip and GPS is still very useful without 3G especially if using a MiFi type device.

    • http://Website Bryan

      Actually, GPS and 3G are often on one chip, so it makes sense that GPS is not included. I’d like it to be added as well, but it’s one more thing to add to the price.

  • http://Website Gee

    The specs look promising but I’m passing on all Tablets until it’s time to compare the 2G iPad vs the onslaught of Honeycomb tablets, _maybe_ even through in the WebOS and RIM tablet.

  • http://Website Todd

    I watched this video earlier. I’m going to get my parents a ten inch tablet for in front of the TV, but I don’t think this is it. The radio/backlight widget is stretched to the entire length of the screen in one view.

  • http://Website Mark

    I’m so glad this site exists. In fact, you guys should be paid by some of these stupid manufacturers. If not for this blog, I would have never known this device was coming out today. No commercials or any form of marketing to push it out into the public.

  • http://Website kevin niven

    Wow seems slow and buggy

  • Gone

    Great specs, but this is awful im sorry…

  • http://Website miltk

    dunno man. buying at sears is like buying a colby player hanging next to the gillette razors from behind the counter at a drug store.

  • http://Website dezvous

    Wow, just based on specs and coupled with the price it almost made me want to go grab one right now. Am waiting for more info but that is seriously enticing.

  • matt

    I got mine last night and I’m returning it today. It is sooo disappointing. Such a great piece of hardware,crippled by a terrible UI. Tap UI is nothing like Sense or Motoblur, its such a break from the android look and feel you would have no idea this was an android device if it didn’t say it on the box. Anyone who buys this as there first android is going to think the android os is garbage. They tout the flash capability on the Sears blog but it doesn’t come loaded and when I side loaded it the tablet force closes everytime I do anything. I was able to side load launcherpro which helps a lot but its still buggy. Ill report back later, gotta run.

  • Daniel Honigman

    Judging by the responses on this blog post, it looks like some of you want an update.

    We posted this yesterday on the MySears blog: Hopefully it’ll clear up some of the confusion!

    (NOTE: I’m the social media manager for Sears Electronics.)

    • Matt

      Daniel, have you actually used this tablet? Your blog posting is very misleading.

      “”The G-Tablet utilizes the hottest and most recent operating system: Android 2.2. This system supports Flash which enhances the web experience. (This is something the iPad can’t do.)”

      Android 2.2 may support Flash, but this tablet doesn’t. Not to mention, the posting should point out that you’d never know that it’s running Android 2.2 because it’s crippled and hidden by Viewsonic’s ill-conceived TapUI.

      “Its front-facing camera allows users to use applications such as Skype. “

      Great. How? Every app I side load force closes.

      “”The G-Tablet has its own app store full of thousands of apps for you to choose from.”

      You failed to mention that there is no app store pre-loaded on it and the app store that Viewsonic claims to be “Their” app store ( doesn’t seem to recognize the device.

      I hope you know something that I don’t know and can enlighten me on how to get this things to function as something other than a large expensive clock that can’t seem to remember my time zone.

      Sears doesn’t seem to offer any support on this and the phone number on the Viewsonic website for g-tablet support says it’s disconnected. I was able to find a number for support: 972-360-4556. They were really nice but had no answers. They told me they’d look into the problems I reported and said they’d call me back in about a week!?

      I haven’t bought any electronics at Sears for a long time and this experience is really souring me to the possibility of going back. I realize it isn’t Sears’s fault that Viewsonic released a buggy product, but it would be nice if you guys had at least tried the thing before subjecting your customers to this type of frustration. Also, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have some accurate communications from Sears. To Sears’s credit, I’ve always associated them with “Reliability,” however, everyone is coming up short on this release.

  • http://Website MC

    I’m guessing nVidia has no control over who gets to introduce the first Tegras to the market? What a shame! I’m fine waiting to see this chip in a REAL-WORLD application !

  • http://Website counsel

    What flash version is listed on the box? If it is not 10.1, everyine who whines about 10.1 not working seems…idiotic. If a car states it. Has brakes, do yiu assume the brand/quality before buying? If not, who is to blane?

    hell, the iphone didn’t stream quicktime for a long time after it was released.

    • Matt

      It doesn’t list a specific version of Flash, it just has the Flash logo, which is misleading because it doesn’t have ANY version of Flash or Flash Lite installed.

      I guess I am to “blane” for not assuming that Viewsonic was going to misrepresent their product. I should learn to be more cynical.

  • http://Website Darkseider

    Wow… Hardware wise this thing is just plain awesome. Then I watched a few vids of it in action and I wanted to cry. What the hell did they do to Android to make it suck that bad? A nice custom compiled Vanilla Froyo with Google Apps and the market and it would be all good. Instead they butchered what should have been an absolutely stellar tablet. If anyone from Viewsonic is reading this just release the source so the dev community can make it right.

    • Dana

      It’s interesting how so many people here complain about the Android 2.2 being watered down and not the real thing when Google themselves said they do the support any Android 2.2 on a Tablet because it’s hasn’t been fully tested. You guys probably missed that part.

      I’ve seen this tablet play Flash before, but the question you have to ask yourself is, which Flash did you try to play. Did you try to play an f4v which requires 10.1 or did you try to play an flv the older non high def version which doesn’t require 10.1.

      Can’t people just install Android Market in order to get new apps? I see videos plastered all over youtube explaining how to do this.

      GPS isn’t that important to me, I have 2 phones that has built in GPS, though in the future that could be of interest if you plan to ditch your phone.

      But I’m more mad at Sears then I am at Viewsonic, or whoever they outsourced the making of this product to, for only stocking 3 to 5 tablets per store. By the time I had my order in, during that time there was 3 tablets available, and received the email, the store that I was going to pick up this tablet ran out. It’s a shame Sears is the only store that carried this product.

      People need to understand, this is not an Apple Ipad where all your decisions are made for you in what you can and can’t do on your tablet regardless of if you like it or not. Since this has just come out, I’m sure there are bugs, but that’s what updates are for. Just be glad you were able to get your tablet, because I wasn’t…

      • http://Website Darkseider

        OK the excuse that 2.2 on a tablet is not supported or fully tested is horse hockey. Samsung Tab anyone? Not to mention that most of the new superphones will be running similar hardware, tegra 2 250 w/ 512 Meg to 1 Gig RAM. All in all this is Viewsonic screwing up a perfectly good opportunity with some Class A hardware and a rushed and botched UI and OS compile. I have seen how well a Tegra 2 250 works running Android AND Ubuntu because I have a Toshiba AC 100. Let me assure you that this falls far short of what it SHOULD be.

  • Gomez

    All the tablets have sucked… They have no support from google market, the only one they have supported is the samsung tablet wich makes all these other tablets look like p.o.s. I think google is doing this purposely by not supporting the rest. Agata up with the Archos tab, and the walgreens one has anyone got it?

  • Y10

    it’s really cool articles.thanks for it

  • http://Website george

    I’ll give it about a month for devs to “spruce” this up. People have to realize that if JIT is enabled that it requires a couple of app starts to break into full speed. Throw cyanogenmod on this and I’m sure it will fly after a kernel tegra 2 recompile. The big downside I see is lack of GPS, not A-GPS, but a real hardware gps module. Hopefully it will support third party usb gps modules, but as far as usb hardware support in android is concerned: it’s non-existent. Part wise it’s well worth the money, as a tegra 2 dev board is ~$150, 10.1″ screen w/ capacitive multi-touch panel & controller board ~$100, lithium battery and board ~$40, case + misc ~$30, ~$10 in labor, so ~$320 total and ~$60 in profit for sears, I realize that sears is buying them from a distributor who is having them built for 1/2 that, but if I wanted to build this myself I could barely squeak by the $400 mark for this hardware.

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