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ViewSonic formally launches Oak Trail, dual-OS tablet

by Scott Bicheno on 17 August 2011, 14:29

Tags: ViewSonic

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Best of both worlds?

ViewSonic soft-launched the ViewPad 10pro a few months ago, and visited the HEXUS studios to show it off in front of the TV cameras, but it only appeared on the market this week.

There are several novel features to this tablet. It runs Intel's Oak Trail platform, featuring the Z670 Atom processor, which in turn contains integrated Imagination Technologies graphics. This enables its other main distinguishing feature: dual OSs - in this case Windows 7 and Android 2.3.

While Wintel tablets haven't really caught on - certainly when compared to the iPad - there are still a lot of people who would like the greater productivity features of Windows, but in a tablet format. Also, unlike previous versions that have been dual-boot - requiring you to restart in order to switch OSs - this one lets you switch immediately.

"Our Intel platform supports multiple operating systems, and this tablet shows how consumers can move between Windows and Android experiences in a way that offers rich graphics, high-definition audio, easy Internet browsing and longer battery life in a slick form factor," said Bill Kircos, GM of marketing for Intel's netbook and tablet Group.

"We listened to our customers. We made the ViewPad 10pro dual OS interface as quick and intuitive as possible, while partnering with industry CPU leader Intel to deliver the latest in design and innovation across all fronts," said Michael Holstein, VP of business development for ViewSonic.

So far we've only seen the US press release, so we're not sure what the pricing and availability is over here. But a version with 16GB storage and Windows 7 Home Premium will set you back $600 over there, and an extra hundred bucks doubles your storage and upgrades you to Windows 7 Professional.

We'd be interested to know if any readers can see the utility of a dual-OS tablet, or do you think it has the potential to be the worst of both worlds?



UPDATE - 15:20, 17 August 2011 - We just heard back from ViewSonic and they told us that they'll be waiting until mid September for general availability of the ViewPad 10pro in Europe in order optimise Android 2.3 on Atom. For price guidance Misco seems to already be listing it at £539.99 for the Wi-Fi version and £599.99 for the 3G one.


HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Instant? I bet it's not, surely it has to hibernate one and wake the other, it can't be keeping both running at the same time, that would be awful for battery life even if it's possible I would think?!
I would prefer a windows7 based tablet but they are over priced, under powered and the battery life sucks..

As for a tablet that switches between the two, I dont see the point..
Trig;2112316']I would prefer a windows7 based tablet but they are over priced, under powered and the battery life sucks..

As for a tablet that switches between the two, I dont see the point..

you pretty much answered your own question

sounds good, but too expensive. start by knocking it down under the £400 mark for a start, £350 or better still £300 and they might be on to something
They could have ‘instant’ switch if they suspended Android in the background (would be feasible) and switched immediately, then suspended windows in the background. And vice versa. Naturally, Windows suspend isn't perfect and would use more power than nothing (or Android suspended), but it would be pretty damn good. Wonder about the battery life though..
It's a nice idea - and the right concept..but neither the hardware or software is there yet.

Hardware wise it needs something like the Asus transformer's docking keyboard if its actually going to be useful for productivity, and also a stellar battery life (in the region of 8 hours+). I also really don't think that an Atom is going to cut it - surely a ULV real x86 CPU would be a better choice. Strongly related to battery life though I guess.

Software wise, the android + win7 combo again doesn't cut it. Windows 7 is not touch friendly unless you have a stylus..end of. Android is touch friendly but its designed for phones, not tablets..and anyway I don't like it myself so its just not for me. Maybe if HTC did something like this they woudl include sense which transforms things considerably, but still..

I have huge hopes for Windows 8 in this area, having seen previews of their touch/tablet interface, and read about the instant UI switching capabilities..there won't be any need for running 2 OS's then - you just run windows 8. Undock it and you can use it in tablet mode - still has all the power of the full/real OS so you can run office, counter strike, WoW etc natively..but the windows UI is touch based and designed for tablets. Dock it and you get the full Windows UI designed for keyboard/mouse with some touch friendly options.

This would be the perfect/dream tablet, and I am 100% confident it's what we'll see in 1-2 years. For now though, if you want productivity, get a laptop. If you want a toy, get an iPad or Android tablet (depending on what apps you want)..but if you can - wait for the Windows 8 ones to come along, it'l be worth it ;)