ViewSonic unveils $250 Android tablet

As an alternative to more expensive tablet offerings, ViewSonic's new ViewBook 730 Android tablet will sell for $250 when it rolls out to consumers in late June.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

ViewSonic's ViewPad 730 will sell for $250.
ViewSonic's ViewPad 730 will sell for $250. ViewSonic

Amid a tablet market crowded with pricey products, ViewSonic is offering more cost-conscious consumers an alternative with its new ViewBook 730.

Powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 1GHz processor and running Android 2.2, the ViewBook 730 will sell for just $250 when it makes its debut in late June. Though at that price, the tablet does skimp on a few features and specs found in more expensive models.

The 7-inch tablet provides an 800x480 LCD LED backlit touch screen with 8GB of memory and an extra 32GB of storage via a microSD card slot. ViewSonic includes a mini-USB port and a mini HDMI port, the later of which can pipe in 1080p video. A single VGA Webcam is built onto the front of the device.

As an Android tablet, the ViewBook 730 supports Flash, specifically version 10.1.

For connectivity, the ViewBook 730 comes with Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g. (Sorry, no Wireless-N.) The tablet offers ViewSonic's AirSync technology, which lets it automatically receive over-the-air software updates and enhancements as they become available.

The unit's battery can last from 8 to 10 hours on a single charge.

Beyond the usual specs, ViewSonic provides its RiteTouch feature, which enables owners to use an included stylus to write or draw directly on the screen. ViewSonic has also automatically installed certain apps from the get-go, including Amazon's Kindle e-reader, Amazon's MP3 music downloader, Twitter, YouTube, and Mediafly.

"We recognized a need for a tablet device that offers users an excellent multimedia experience with a very affordable value proposition," Michael Holstein, ViewSonic's vice president of business development, said in a statement. "From the pre-installed Amazon Kindle eReader to full Amazon app integration and Flash 10.1 support, our new ViewBook 730 enables consumers to do all the fun things that they want to do on a tablet without the added cost for features they don't need."

ViewSonic is launching another 7-inch tablet in late June, dubbed the ViewPad 7x. Powered by a dual-core Nvidia processor, this tablet will come with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, however, the company hasn't confirmed a price for it.

How does the price of the ViewPad 730 compare with that of some existing 7-inch Wi-Fi tablets?

The Wi-Fi-only version of Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab starts at $350. The Wi-Fi-only version of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook sells for $499. And Dell's Streak 7 sells for $449 without a contract.