Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the ViewSonic Tablets Work

        Tech | Tablet PCs

ViewSonic Tablet Features and Accessories
The ViewBook 730 is the least expensive of ViewSonic's tablet offerings.
The ViewBook 730 is the least expensive of ViewSonic's tablet offerings.
Image courtesy of ViewSonic.

ViewSonic tablets have access to the well-stocked Android Market and Amazon App Store. What operating systems will consumers be purchasing those apps for, you ask?

ViewSonic's gTablet, ViewBook 730 and ViewPad 7 all run on Google's Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system. Proponents like Froyo because it offers faster downloads, app functions and Web browsing than 2.1 (Eclair). In addition, Froyo supports Adobe Flash. (Apple users frustrated with the iPad's inability to access some interactive Web content know why this is a big deal.) Critics contend that even though Froyo offers several improvements over Eclair, it's still clunky to navigate and not fully integrated with useful apps. They say an upgrade to Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), which is optimized for tablets' memory-sucking screens and for multi-app use, might be a better OS choice -- which may be part of why the upcoming ViewPad 7x will run on Honeycomb [source: Buchanan, Orquia].

The ViewPad 10 and ViewPad 10pro's dual operating systems marry fun and function; Android is known for its gaming and social networking capabilities, while having Windows and other Microsoft software on a tablet could allow users to take their work places where even the slimmest laptop feels clunky. However, Windows 7 was designed to work with keyboards, not touchscreens, and some reviewers have said that Windows 7 is inferior to its competitors when it comes to virus protection because it requires the addition of antivirus software -- and when such a program is running in the background, it slows the performance and saps the battery life of a tablet [source: Chen].

The ViewSonic tablets feature various built-in sensors like accelerometers (devices that sense and measure movement and vibrations) and G-sensors, which change the screen from landscape to portrait as the tablet's orientation changes. These add an interactive layer to motion-sensitive games. When playing "Need for Speed: Shift," for example, the tablet can be turned like a steering wheel to control a car. If Kubrick and Clarke imagined that, too, they kept it to themselves.