It didn’t take long for no-name Chinese OEMs to jump on the Ice Cream Sandwich bandwagon with low-cost Android tablets, and now it looks like the trend is finally starting to trickle up. Case in point: ViewSonic’s upcoming ViewPad G70, which is currently without a specification sheet or even a press photo to its name. A listing at a small electronics retailer called CostCentral is the first we’ve heard of it. Based on the title we can conclude that it’s a 7-incher that uses a gigabyte of RAM, just 4GB of internal storage, some kind of 3G wireless radio, two cameras and – wait for it – Android 4.0.
Like this, but a la mode.
And now the other shoe drops: it’s listed at an MSRP of $349., with Cost Central’s price as $311.99. (That probably means a more well-distributed price of $299.) As nice as that is, it’s still not going to put a dent in sales from either end: those who want the cheapest tablets around will still head for the Nook and it’s competitors, while those who want “Real” tablet features will be willing to spend another $50-100 to get a full sized model from Acer, Asus or Samsung.
The presence of 3G is a little odd, though: if ViewSonic can introduce a truly unlocked mobile broadband tablet to the US, it’ll get points from niche users who want a cheap tablet without the burden of a new contract. But assuming that the G70 does indeed have 3G capability, it almost certainly won’t be unlocked – it’s more likely that this model is headed to a carrier, and that $349 price is for a subsidized model. Since the tablet is marked as “out of stock” (i.e., “we don’t have it yet”) it’ll be a while before we find out.