In today's installment of The Tablet Report, Engadget has received word that ViewSonic's 10" G Tablet is now available at Office Depot for a cool $399. The slate doesn't appear to have hit Office Depot's online site just yet, but according to the official press release, the G Tablet should pop up in retail locations starting today.
So, what do you get for $100 less than the cheapest iPad configuration? Nvidia's Tegra 2 system-on-chip backed by 512MB of RAM, 16GB of solid-state storage, and version 2.2 of Google's Android OS. The screen resolution is limited to a netbook-like 1024x600, but an optional docking station promises an HDMI output capable of exploiting the Tegra 2 SoC's ability to play 1080p HD video. Flash acceleration is also on the menu thanks to the Nvidia silicon, although the necessary plug-in isn't scheduled to be released until December 19.
Back to the hardware, the G Tablet features a microSD slot, USB connectivity, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam, plus built-in Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi. ViewSonic manages to squeeze all that into a slate with similar dimensions to an iPad and at roughly the same weight. The G Tablet's 3650 mAh battery is said to deliver 8-10 hours of battery life, which tracks closely with the 9-10 hours of surfing potential Apple claims for the iPad.
If the G Tablet's battery life is really that good, ViewSonic could have a competent challenge to Apple's utter domination of the slate market. I'm not crazy about the relatively low screen resolution, but perks like the microSD slot and USB port go a long way, especially given the $399 asking price.
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