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ViewSonic ViewPad 7x Honeycomb tablet atones for sins of its fathers

ViewSonic's new 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablet features a dual-core Tegra 2 processor and multimedia features, making it infinitely superior to its dismal predecessors.

ViewSonic's new ViewPad 7x Android tablet sports Honeycomb, a 7-inch display with an impressive 1,024x600-pixel resolution and a muscular dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. Engadget got to play with it at this year's Computex exhibition in Taiwan.

The 7x weighs in at 380g, which is about the same as the unimpressive ViewPad 7. ViewSonic might think this isn't much, but we found it reasonably chunky, although not quite as bulky as the BlackBerry PlayBook or Asus Eee Pad MeMo.

Other 7x features are what you'd expect on a decent tablet, including front and back cameras (specification unknown). The company is keen to push "video conferencing on the go, which has to be seen to believed", though we struggle to get all that excited about video calling.

The 10-point multi-touch screen offers plenty of creative possibilities for apps, while the HDMI output lets you hook up to a larger display or projector. Rounding off its multimedia credentials, it features the SRS TruMedia system, which is designed to improve audio quality on portable devices.

The 7x is also HSPA+ ready, which means it will take advantage of faster mobile networks where available. That needn't worry Brits too much at present as our telcos are rather slow on the uptake of post-3G systems.

We weren't over-enamoured with ViewSonic's ViewPad 7. Although not as bad as the execrable ViewPad 10s, which we gave a dismal one-star review, we thought the 7 acted more like a big smart phone than a tablet, feeling clunky, suffering from a low screen resolution and unable to run Flash. The initial 7x specs seem to indicate ViewSonic has rectified many of these issues.

The resolution is the same as the Galaxy Tab. The dual-core processor should be more than capable of running Flash, and the tablet-friendly Honeycomb is on board. We'll have to wait until we get our hands on it to really know how much things have improved.

ViewSonic reckons it's the "world's first" 7-inch Honeycomb slate, but lamentably failed to give a launch date to back that up. Hopefully we'll get full specifications, pricing and a release date soon.