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Summary:

On the surface, the iiView VPad Tablet looks like a great deal at $499. Is it the sub-$500 UMPC we’ve dreamt of for years? Two glaring deficiencies say the answer is “probably not” but it might meet the needs of some.

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I had high hopes for the iiView Vpad Tablet when I first saw it over at Notebooks.com. And why not? On the surface it looks like the UMPC we always wanted: a 10″ slate running Windows and weighing in at under two pounds for $499. The devil’s in the details, as they say, and the details show at least two major limitations. For starters, the Vpad runs Microsoft’s Starter Edition of Windows 7, which doesn’t include ink support. While not everyone desires that feature,  a more modern CPU isn’t something to pass up. The Vpad unfortunately sports a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU. Hey iiView: 2008 called and they want their N270 back!

Joking aside, there’s no reason that iiView couldn’t, or shouldn’t, offer a CPU refresh in the Vpad. The newer Atoms offer a wee bit of performance boost, but more importantly, offer longer run-times on a single battery charge. That $499 price tag is for the lowest end model, which includes a 160G GB hard drive and a single GB of memory. Bumping the storage, memory and adding integrated 3G marks up the price to $699, which still isn’t bad. If the guts were more up to date, I could see the Vpad competing well with the upcoming slate from HP, although there’s still ongoing discussion about the pricing for that device.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Web Tablet Survey: Apple’s iPad Hits the Right Notes

  1. Yep, N450 minimum. Although a Broadcom HD chip wouldn’t go astray either. Too bad the touch display is limited to 1024×600.

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  2. Single purpose device, just picked up Motion LE1700 for about the same price. Atom by any name is still underpowered, no matter what you do, the limitations make it a device not suited for anything I need to do.

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  3. Nice article, did I miss the article on the HP slate? If so please redirect me. If not come on tell us more Please. Andy

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  4. Jonathan Cohen Friday, February 19, 2010

    I emailed them about the screen; unlike some of the mentions I’ve seen elsewhere, they said it’s resistive.

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  5. Why are slates always shown in landscape orientation, wouldn’t most people be using it in portrait orientation (like a clipboard)? That’s how I always use mine – unless a very badly designed site forced me to rotate to avoid side-scrolling.

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