ViewSonic's dual-OS ViewPad 10pro is a tablet for Windows power users

ViewSonic's Atom Z670-powered viewPad 10pro tablet offers the best of both worlds -- the apps and 1080p HD video quality of an Android Gingerbread device, as well as the familiarity of the Windows 7 environment. Are dual-OS tablets the way of the future?

Tablets just became more work-friendly than mere mobile entertainment machines with the introduction of ViewSonic's dual-OS, Intel Atom running 10.1-inch slate, the ViewPad 10pro. Available in either 16 GB or 32 GB running Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional, the ViewPad 10pro will be in stores later this month.

The ViewPad 10pro is one of the first to market with Intel's "Oak Trail" Atom Z670, a chip designed specifically for low-powered, fan-less devices like tablets that the chip-maker announced back in April. With most of the current crop of slates running Texas Instrument and Nvidia's Tegra CPUs, it was only a matter of time that Intel would crash the party bringing Windows 7 in tow.

Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. For business and Windows power users who have been reluctant to migrate to a tablet running a non-Windows OS, the ViewPad 10pro makes the transition less painful as they get the best of both worlds on one device. Want to play some Plants vs. Zombies? Tap on the Android icon on the home screen to load Gingerbread (Android 2.3) on top of Win 7. Need to get started on that presentation? Run full Excel and PowerPoint without wasting time looking for an app to mimic the programs. Plus, Windows 7 has some native multi-touch controls so it is possible to use the OS on a touch device. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to see just how well this dual-OS tablet really works in person, so I'll give its performance the benefit of the doubt.

On the hardware front, the ViewPad 10pro's Atom Z670 CPU clocks at 1.5 GHz, has Intel's GMA 600 integrated graphics according to Engadget, 2 GB RAM, offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR connectivity, a microSD card slot expandable up to 32 GB, and has a 1024x600 capacitive multi-touch display. But it is not all work and no play: the tablet supports HD 1080p playback and can be hooked up to a HDTV via its built-in HDMI port. The tablet comes equipped with a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for web conference calls but the press release does not mention a rear camera, which is a surprising omission for a tablet these days. Judging from the photo of the left side of the ViewPad 10pro, the device also includes a full-sized USB port, and a single headphone jack. ViewSonic claims the tablet will last up to eight hours between charges.

This hybrid Windows and Android tablet will be available in two capacities: the 16 GB comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and Android Gingerbread for $599, while the 32 GB is preloaded with Windows 7 Professional and Gingerbread for $699. A dock will be sold separately for $59. Knowing how some Atom-powered netbooks have trouble running Windows 7 quickly, I'm really curious how a tablet with no way to upgrade its RAM could handle two OSes. Assuming it works well, dual-OS tablets could very well be the way of the future with manufacturers eager to convert more Windows users into tablet customers. Watch out Apple, HP and Andriod!

[Source: MarketWire, Engadget]

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