ViewSonic ViewPad E70 pictures and hands-on

A £129 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet sounds too good to be true, but that's exactly what ViewSonic has proposed at MWC 2012 with the ViewSonic ViewPad E70. Heading down to the stand in Barcelona, we can definitely comfirm that this device exists - what we're not entirely sure about is whether you'd actually want to own one.

Unfortunately, as with many of ViewSonics new tablets at the moment, the version of the software loaded on to the E70 is only a beta version and, if we hadn't been told that, then Pocket-lint would be reporting back that this tablet is a terrible waste of time.

The first two bites of any tablet are with the eye and with the finger and, in its current state, the ViewPad E70 impressed with neither. Its definitely a chunky thing, the look and feel of which isn't helped any by the 7-inch screen size and the ridges on the side. And the beta software meant it was pretty dead to the touch in that classic budget tablet way.

That said, those put off by the mobile phone quality 800 x 480 resolution display needn't be. It's not something that sticks out as terribly bad at all, even when magnified on this far larger device. At the same time, the pocket-friendly 4GB storage space is no major loss either with a microSD slot hidden under a flap on the side.

Likewise, the lack of 3G is no major loss and the 1GHz processor seems perfectly respectable. In fact, the only other place that you really notice the difference on first inspection between the more premium G70 and the E70 is the missing rear-facing camera, which has been cleverly turned into a touch-sensitive on and off switch. Those looking to take part in video calls need not fear. A front-facer is included.

We'll have to wait for a final version of the ViewSonic ViewPad E70 to know whether it'll do you proud as an Android ICS tablet or not. The dimensions, we can forgive, so, if the company can make that touchscreen sing then the £129 price tag will be an absolute steal. If they can't, then, frankly, even if it were £50, it would be a total waste of money.

The end of June is when we'll all get to find out.