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ViewSonic ViewPad 4, hands-on

ViewSonic insists on calling it a tablet, but let's be real, the ViewSonic ViewPad 4 is an Android smartphone through and through.

Photo of the ViewSonic ViewPad 4.
The ViewSonic ViewPad 4. Donald Bell/CNET

LAS VEGAS--More products seem intent on blurring the line between smartphones and tablets. The 5-inch screen on the Dell Streak, for example, really threw us into a philosophical tailspin. It was awkwardly large to make calls with, but too small for tablet-style Web browsing and productivity.

In spite of ViewSonic's insistence on calling the ViewPad 4 a tablet, I have no qualms telling you that it's really a smartphone. As the name implies, the ViewPad 4 uses a 4.1-inch screen, putting it behind the 4.3-inch screen used on the Motorola Droid Bionic and other unabashed smartphones.

It makes voice calls, touting various models that can support all the common cellular modems. The OS is Android 2.2, with a user interface that flaunts a persistent call button right on the home screen. It's a phone, OK. I'm covering my ears now. La, la, la, la, la. Phone.

The good news is, it's a decently spec'd phone. You get an 5MP camera on the back, which can also record video in 1080p. There's 2GB of storage, 1GB or system RAM, mini HDMI video output, and a front-facing camera, as well.

The timing is June-ish, priced at around $550 unsubsidized. Personally, the timing, pricing and specs (not to mention the chunky design) have me shrugging my shoulders. It ain't sexy; it ain't cheap; and it isn't promising much in the way of new features.