While Android “Honeycomb” had fairly strict hardware restrictions that kept most low-end tablets from ever getting past Android 2.x, this isn’t the case with Android 4.0 ICS. With lower restrictions, we are starting to see new entry-level tablets arrive on scene that take advantage of ICS.
One of these is the ViewSonic ViewPad e70. At $169, you get Android 4.0, a low-res 800×480 display, and an unidentified ARM-based 1GHz single core processor. Still, the device is said to be fairly responsive for such lower-end specs and manages to have a capacitive touchscreen over the cheaper ‘resistive’ variety.
The e70 also has a Micro-SD card slot for expansion, micro-HDMI, and 4G of storage. Honestly, I feel like 4GB is rather paltry for a tablet, but keep in mind this is an entry-level model.
The bad news? No official Google Android Market, instead we have the Amazon Appstore and Amazon Kindle app pre-installed.
While the Ainol Novo 7 still manages to retain the record for lowest-priced ICS tablet, at least Viewsonic’s offering is from a little more recognized and trusted brand who knows how to make decent displays.
Additionally, the Viewsonic uses an ARM processor, which means better compatibility than the MIPS-based Novo 7.
ViewSonic is expected to ship the E70 sometime during the first quarter of 2012.