Viewsonic Gtab Review by ap3c0

Discussion in 'Viewsonic gTablet' started by Insomnia, Nov 27, 2010.

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  1. Insomnia

    Insomnia Member

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    First Impressions

    My first impression of the G Tablet was not a good one. From the moment I took it out of the box and noticed the Giant bubbles in the screen protector to the first time I turned it on and it crashed, we were off to a bad start. It took 4 tries, but I got it to download and install the update which put a stop to the crashing and allowed me to test the device further. The tablet is solid and a bit heavy. The aspect of the device leaves it narrow and a bit long, which also leaves it short and a bit wide in landscape mode. This makes typing a bit difficult. In portrait mode the keyboard was narrow enough, but felt top heavy and required some resistance to keep it upright. In Landscape mode the keyboard was a bit wide despite Viewsonics efforts to mitigate it by splitting the keyboard to the left and right. I have fairly large hands and found myself struggling with it. My assitant who has much smaller hands had to hunt and peck.

    Hardware Reviewed
    The G tab features the Nvidia Tegra II, a dual 500mhz core cpu for a full 1ghz of multi tasking fun, currenlty the biggest baddest processor known to the tablet world. 512mb of Ram and 16gb of internal storage. There is also a micro SD Card Slot and full size USB port which can support Fat32 formatted Flash Drives. The LED backlit screen is 1024X600, a non standard aspect, also indicative of a slightly awkward Long and Narrow Ratio. The Screen is clear and bright, a pleasure to look at, but very prone to fingerpints and requires frequent cleaning. Tha battery life on the Gtab is smokin. It just seems to last forever. The only part of this tablet I found lacking in the hardware department was the camera. At 1.3mp it leaves a lot to be desired and should have been somewhere in the 3mp range like much of the competition.

    Tap & Tap & tap and tap and tap....

    The touchscreen on the G tablet uses something called Tap & Tap. Tap & Tap has received some awful reviews, to the point there's even talk about Viewsonic looking for a replacement for the technology. In the day or so that I've been testing this tablet, I wouldn't say it's quite as responsive as my iphone, but I won't say it's completely useless either. For the most part, it gets the job done, although gestures seem to require a bit more effort than they should.

    Who's home screen is this anyway?

    When you first turn on the device after a few flash screens and the Viewsonic Logo, you end up at a Home screen that reminds me of the early 90's when Yahoo was first starting out. On the left is a giant Weather Box giving you details of the weather in Massachusets. Fortunately the location can be easily changed, unfortunately this is really the only user cusomizable part of the home screen other than having the ability to switch out the 10 or so application icons at the bottom of the screen, but more about that later. In the upper right corner of the screen is an Analog Clock that has no numbers, just a blank face and an hour and minute hand, and under that is a news headlines box which is constantly changing from headline to headline, one at a time. Needless to say, the home screen on the G tab needs to be updated and much more user customizable. Perhaps those boxes should be replaced with interchangable widgets.

    Multimedia

    first let me point out that the Gtab currently doesn't have a fraction of the features it was billed to have. The multimedia capabilities are basic at best and useless at worst. The advertised specs included a bounty of codecs and flash, but in reality it has none. Barely capable of playing the most basic of video formats leaves the G Tablet impotent in the multimedia department. I managed to access my local network through the file explorer but was unable to stream any video. Although the tablet is capable of playing most mobile media formats like 3gp, I was unable to stream anything, instead it insisted on downloading the entire file before playing it. The same applies to audio files.

    Apps, what apps?

    The Gtab comes with a video player, web browser, photo viewer, calendar and a few other small apps but lacks anything of substance. I had to download a notepad off the app store just to be able to take basic notes. The Gtab comes with a web based 3rd party app market that gets installed with the latest update. Sideloading apps is quite simple, however it required the assistance of my PC as I have yet to be able to download a file off a filesharing site directly to the tablet. Its pretty much hit and miss when it comes to compatibility of apps I'm afraid, but that issue pretty much applies to all android devices at the moment. *after a few more tries, I was ultimately able to download apps from the net and install them directly from the Gtab.

    Lastly... Comaparison Ipad vs. Gtab

    Being that the ipad is currently the benchmark, and most people are familiar with the ipad specs, I've taken to using it as the comparison for all my upper tier tablet reviews. The Gtab outperforms the ipad in hardware in every category. It has a more powerful processor, more connectivity and a camera. Unfortunatly, currently the software limitation of the android operating system severly cripples the tablet to the point the ipad will run circles around it in functionality. The ipad has a better aspect ratio, making it much easier to handle and enter text. The ipad is lighter,thinner, and boasts a comparable battery life. This all comes at a price, however. Since the Gtab comes with 16gb of onboard storage and has additional ports like microsd and usb, it's difficult to pick an ipad version to make a price comparison as the ipad comes with 16-64gb onboard storage and offers no external expansion. The Gtab retails for $399. add a 16gb micro sd will cost you another $30 for a total of $430. Compared to the ipad 32gb wifi at $600. For $170 less than ipad you get a tablet that is visually exceptional albeit a bit awkward to handle, superior in hardware in every way but lacking in the software department.

    Special Note

    I don't usually comment on resellers in product reviews, but I thought to make an exception on this one. Sears is currently the primarly source for the G tablet. I got mine at Sears. When I ordered my tablet I carefully read the return policy in addition to signing up for a "ShipVantage" trial. "ShipVantage" is a pay service which allows you to get discounted or free express shipping on your orders. I took advantage of the trial on this order in order to get my unit faster. After putting the tablet through its paces and meticulously scrutinizing the device, I chose to return mine and cancel my ShipVantage Trial. Cancelling my trial was a hassle. You can't simply do it online with a few mouse clicks, you have to actually call them to do it. The first time I called, I was told thier systems were down and I would have to call back in an hour. The Second time I called, the next day, I was told the same thing. Finally I got through the 3rd time and was able to make the cancellation. In order to return an item to Sears, you either have to bring it to the store, or ship it back at your expense. I chose to bring mine back to the store where I was met with a very cold reception. First I was drilled as to what was wrong with the tablet and why I was returning it. Then I was hit up for a restocking fee depite it being clearly printed on my invoice that a restocking fee would only be charged if the item were missing parts or packaging. After fighting my way through that, I was forced to wait for a manager who drilled me further and ultimately refunded my money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  2. crager2k

    crager2k Member

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    Great Review...
    I recently picked up a Gtab at Sears for my parents. My first impression was WOW and after the update, I was able to get to the GMarket. But my WOW, started to turn into OOO, when I started to use the apps on the tablet and kept seeing the "Force Close" error pops. My impression is the hardware is solid, but the software is buggy. I'm going to give it a few more days and try to see if the bugs can be cleared up; but I wouldn't give it to non-techie as a gift without reservations.
     
  3. xaueious

    xaueious Administrator Staff Member

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    The software will get better. I think the main concern is the quality of the LCD screen for me, and also the price.

    Thanks for the info
     
  4. popezaphod

    popezaphod Member

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    The G Tablet is usable if you are a geek and are willing to replace the stock ROM with one made by the XDA G Tablet community. Out of the box it is a horrible experience.

    -=Sent from my ViewSonic G Tablet (Zpad 2.2) using Tapatalk=-
     
  5. KushyMansbridge

    KushyMansbridge Member

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    Just wondering if you could point me to a site with more info on changing the ram yourself. Thank you, cus I can definitely tell the crashes are happening from the ram memory. The android system state app works well on the gtablet and I'm at least able to end programs now.
     
  6. harpua1980

    harpua1980 Member

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    My Gtab with all the bells and whistles

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  7. StirCwazy

    StirCwazy Member

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    What live wallpaper is that?
     
  8. KCKitsune

    KCKitsune Member

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    StirCwazy... I think that he replaced the standard ROM with what popezaphod suggested.

    @popezaphod & harpua1980: How hard was it to replace the ROM?
     
  9. StirCwazy

    StirCwazy Member

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    Yea I know he replaced the rom, but I kind of doubt the rom has the live wallpaper built into it. Even if it does, I'm still curious what live wallpaper it is.
     
  10. Nusarpy

    Nusarpy Member

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    That wallpaper is "Snowfall". Looks like the paid version that changes with the time of day. It's on the Market. I'm using the free version on my Droid Incredible right now.

    Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk
     
  11. brejcha

    brejcha Member

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    Was it very hard or technical to modify your Gtab? I might pick one up if not. I can do pretty technical things since I run Linux on my main.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  12. tcrews

    tcrews Member

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    They are very easy to Mod and replacing the stock ROM with something better is easy as well. XDA-Developers has an entire section on installing ClockworkMod Recovery, Root, apps, editing the build.prop, gaining Market access and of course installation threads on Zpad, TnT-lite, VEGAn (alpha stage) and CyanogenMod 6.1 (beta stage) ROMs that do all of the above just by installing the ROMs.
     
  13. naysses

    naysses Member

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    At tcrews,

    Could you post a link to it?
    Thanks.
     
  14. tcrews

    tcrews Member

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    Viewsonic G Tablet - xda-developers

    Sections on general talk, accessories, development and apps. Development will have the threads on rooting, hacking, modding, rom installing.

     
  15. viewG

    viewG Member

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    Just purchased a G Tablet. It recognizes the 16GB SD card, but does not read the files. I formatted the card using the G tablet's formatting software. I had to take the card out to load video and .jpg files onto it. Loaded back into the G tablet. The tablet saw the card and size. Could not see the files loaded onto the card. What gives? How can I get the G tablet to see the files on the micro SD card?
     
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