ViewSonic ViewPad 7x hands-on

Yesterday, the Internet was awash with pictures of the ViewSonic ViewPad 7x, but as that specific model was a pre-production unit held together with sticky tape, Blu-tack and the tears of a baby unicorn. It seemed as if that was as good as it would get with the world's first Honeycomb 7-inch tablet.

However, it’s amazing how quickly things can change when you’re at a large trade show, and in Viewsonic's case it seems as if it had a full production version of the ViewPad 7x after all. And the company was more than happy to give Pocket-Lint some hands-on time. In fact, the unit we got to spend some time with belongs to ViewSonic’s Managing Director, Alan Chang.

That’s right – no messing around with booth babes and demo dudes here, we’ve gone straight to the top.

In reality, not much has changed from a version that we saw a couple of weeks ago. It’s mostly cosmetic changes from the units that have been pictured to date - although some of them make a huge difference.

You still get the 7-inch touch screen, Honeycomb 3.0, and the Nvidia Tegra 2 chip - dual-core of course. There's also two cameras for front and back recording action, HSPA+ and greater support on the connectivity front.

However, on a more peculiar note, it seems that ViewSonic has changed the power requirements from 5V to 12V, which seems a little bit odd, as it means you won’t be able to charge the ViewPad 7x via a USB port.

At the top you’ll find the power button, a volume rocker and a headset jack, while at the bottom you’ll find a micro HDMI port, a micro USB port, a memory card slot and the charger socket.

Thankfully, the production unit feels solid and well built, but so did the somewhat earlier prototype device as well, suggestion that ViewSonic isn’t being sloppy when making sample units either.

The company has slapped a customised version of SPB’s Shell 3D on the ViewPad 7x, sprucing up Honeycomb to make it look a bit more visually attractive, if nothing else. And we’re told by ViewSonic that the company is in the works of adding this to it’s dual-SIM Android phone as well as its ViewPad 4 as a side note.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting for retail availability, although that's likely to take a little while and ViewSonic currently doesn't want to give us an exact launch date.