Keyboard / Case for Viewpad 10

Updated on 05 November 2010 by

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I’ve been sent this image of an interesting keyboard / case accessory that the Viewsonic people are an accessory manufacturer is working on and I guess feelings about this are going to be polarized. On one hand you’ll have the people that see it as a netbook and query the total price of the package. On the other you’ll have people interested in the modular and touch aspect of this setup.

Certainly a netbook would be cheaper but what about one that has touch, removable keyboard and auto-rotation and a case?

I hope this is a wired solution though. There’s nothing worse than running out of battery on a Bluetooth keyboard when you’re in the middle of something.

14 Comments For This Post

  1. UMPCPortal says:

    Keyboard / Case for Viewpad 10 http://www.umpcportal.com/?p=22699

  2. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    RT @umpcportal: Keyboard / Case for Viewpad 10 http://www.umpcportal.com/?p=22699

  3. aftermath says:

    I agree with your perspective on this. External keyboards should be wired. It’s ridiculous to have to worry about the battery life of a keyboard and a device, not to mention the hassle of having to manage a bluetooth radio just to use a keyboard (and then there’s the associated battery drain).

    Also, anybody who tried to compare a setup like this to the price and functionality of a regular clamshell is a fool. It’s like the difference between a car and a convertible car. Yes, it’s far simpler, cheaper, safer, easier, etc. to just buy a car with an integrated roof. The reason that you buy a convertible is because you’re going to drive without a roof. In fact, an auto-snob friend of mine once said that “a convertible is not a car with a roof that you can take off; it’s a car with a roof that you can put on.” I think that statement puts it into better perspective. You could just buy an open air coupe without a roof altogether if that’s the kind of driving that you want, but buying a convertible is even more practical because it allows you to drive around with a roof attached as well. In much the same way, if people are going to see this setup as a clamshell with a removable screen then they need to move on. This is a slate with a add-able keyboard, which gives you all of the joy of a slate and recovers some of the practicality of a keyboard.

    The biggest problem will be the operating system. I have an external keyboard dock for my j3500 which, thanks to Windows 7, turns a very good tablet into a very good notebook. That’s because Windows 7 was designed to work with a touchscreen and with a keyboard/mouse. In contrast, on something like iOS or Android an external keyboard is little more than an apology for the underwhelming user experience of the on-screen keyboard. It doesn’t change the fact that your embedded operating system was not designed with an external keyboard in mind and functions accordingly. In fact, for as much negative hype as Windows 7 gets for its touch experience, Windows 7 is far better at making use of a touch screen (you don’t even need a keyboard to make use of Windows 7, as I prove everyday) than Android or iOS make use of a keyboard (you still need your touchscreen or to add pointing device).

  4. C Pham says:

    I respectfully disagree that Windows 7 can be solely controlled using just a touchscreen. Case in point, if you launch a full-screen application, how will you bring up the on-screen keyboard? If the fullscreen application crashed, how will you bring up Ctrl + Alt + Del? When you would like to wipe the OS and reinstall everything from scratch, how will you go into BIOS Setup and do the rest of the configurations? How will you run a Virtual Machine setup when your mouse cursor is stuck within the Virtual Machine window and you can’t reach the on-screen keyboard to activate a hotkey combination?

    Those are just some scenarios where having only a pointing device may not be so optimal in Windows 7. Not to mention the on-screen keyboard in Windows 7 is far less responsive than the one found on iOS or Android.

    I mean no disrespect, but most of those who have claimed that the on-screen keyboard in iOS or Android is underwhelming, those like you, have never actually tried those devices out in person.

  5. KF@CN says:

    There are 3 keys. They have functions for the Bios setup. Also that Ctrl + Alt + Del. Also a controller is embedded to manage more than 3 keys.
    May be all these discussions will bring up a few or switches…to the touchscreen.
    Sure full size keyboard is better.
    When I look on the picture than I see it is USB connected.
    The two USB slots are fine for that.

  6. Realty says:

    It appears no mouse or touch pad. Having to remove your hands from the keyboard to stab at the screen does not sound fun? A product like this should solve both the keyboard and mouse problems in my opinion.

  7. George says:

    This keyboard/case combo is being sold under the Novatech brand (in the UK) as an accessory for the ‘Novatech nTablet’ – which is the same product as the TegaV2 and Viewpad 10 – but with a larger SSD (32GB rather than 16GB) and lower price.

    If you look at the larger images, the quality of the /case looks pretty dreadful:
    http://images.novatech.co.uk/ev-nov-ntablb1.jpg

    I came very close to buying one of these tablets – but there’s so much talk about Oak Trail arriving early next year that I might hold on instead. Supposedly Viewsonic have said that an Oak Trail version of this tablet will be arriving soon with much improved battery life – which is my biggest concern about the current nTablet/Viewpad/TegaV2 product.

    Of course, we’re also supposed to be seeing additional tablets like the Asus Eee Pad early next year as well – so there will soon be plenty of choices.

  8. Simon says:

    Hi George,

    Interesting you are advising of the Novatech model. The unit in the pictures is actually the Viewsonic Viewpad 10″ 3G – Exclusivly available at http://www.think4umpc.com

    Along with the Viewpad 10 and 7, Think4 will also be able to provide you with an broad range of other 7″ and 10″ based Win or Droid flavoured tablets.

  9. KF@CN says:

    10″ tablets like that are produced in China by CZC and Teso since September, to let the cat out of the sack.
    But wait longer and lots of others will jump on the train. But always consider: It is not the outside what is the real feature. Mainboards and the thermal design, the RAM source, SSD vendor, 3G device….workmanship

  10. George says:

    Thanks for your link Simon – but I was simply illustrating that there are many branded versions of an essentially identical product (as KF@CN has rightly pointed out). The Viewsonic-branded models are available from many retailers.

  11. Alltop Mobile says:

    Keyboard / Case for Viewpad 10 http://bit.ly/dbJq1o

  12. KF@CN says:

    Oaktrail will have much better battery life. But with first models still slower I expect.
    But Intel will continue and bring better performance CPU again few months later.

  13. Lucien says:

    I don’t see the point of this if you can buy a 10″ tablet PC? It’s just thicker since you can’t detach keyboard but that’s not a big deal I think (unless you only use it as a reader/PMP).

  14. Vakeros says:

    I think it is a good idea, but agree it could do more. It could have a battery pack, more memory, built in DVD player, mouse pointer etc.
    This would push the price up more, but would then be an even more complete solution.

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