07
May
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Update: It's up for sale yet again today, Saturday, May 7th.

Woot.com, Internet's favorite a-deal-a-day site that I personally religiously check daily, is offering up an Android tablet deal today that may be hard to pass up for those looking for a beefy, yet budget, Android tablet.

The very hackable ViewSonic gTablet, which sports a speedy dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 CPU, a 10.1" 1024x600 TFT display, a front-facing camera, 512MB RAM, 16GB ROM, and USB host capabilities, is sitting there for the next 12 hours (or until it's sold out) for the very low price of $279.99 + $5 shipping.

Considering the gTablet is currently listed on Amazon for $381.57, and the best deal we've seen to date was Sears at $350, the Woot deal is quite a steal. Add the fact that gTablet is one of the easiest tablets to root and customize with a variety of available ROMs, you've got yourself a very decent Android tablet with hardware specs that fly and a price that doesn't bite.

Oh, and read the product description - it's hilarious, as always (I'm saving it here because it'll disappear when the deal expires):

OF COURSE YOU CAN TRUST A CORPORATION

Lots of people have tried to compare the ViewSonic gTablet with an iPad. We want in on that too.

There are already plenty of side by side comparisons to help you decide between a ViewSonic gTablet and an iPad. But why should you have to go to some other site? We’re selling it today, aren’t we? Of course we’re going to be totally biased the most completely objective and fair. So, in the interest of making you spend money, here’s our highly informative point-by-point break down that we researched without any sort of bias whatsoever.

Checkpoint One: Style

It’s well known that the iPad makes you look cooler, as long as you already look cool when you take it out. But did you know that the ViewSonic gTablet saves you serious money, which lets you invest more in the science of looking cool? But then again, trying to be cool is so uncool… isn’t it? Aw, this question's too hard, let’s call it even.

Winner: Draw unless you actually work at an Apple store. They probably don’t want you hanging around with a ViewSonic gTablet.

Checkpoint Two: Media

Like a six year old who won’t eat meat that’s touched the peas, the iPad very specifically supports Apple files and doesn’t care that the files you find tend to use .avi most of the time. You can buy it from them or get to steppin’. On the other side of the spectrum, this ViewSonic gTablet supports DivX, H.264, WMVnatively, as well as WMA, MP4 and MP3, MPEG and AAC. There’s also a front camera and about ten hours of battery life. And is that a faint smell of lemon each time you click the play button?

Winner: ViewSonic gTablet unless you also prefer Betamax and HD-DVD. It takes all kinds…

Checkpoint Three: Connectivity

Thanks to the amazing strength of irritating corporate leadership, the iPad uses a network that can often annoy you by not finding the cellular data network for long stretches of time. The big empty spaces can really make you wonder why you’re actually paying for their service in the first place. So the ViewSonic gTablet bypasses all that and only supports Wi-Fi to begin with. It doesn’t even pretend it’ll find a cellular data network! Even better, there’s no mandated monthly connection fee, except maybe the coffee you’ll have to buy in order to keep the table while you surf.

Winner: ViewSonic gTablet unless you don’t live near a ahem nameless coffee shop. And these days, how is that even possible? They own more land than Queen Elizabeth.

Checkpoint Four: Bluetooth

iPad: has Bluetooth.
ViewSonic gTablet: also has Bluetooth, but doesn’t wear it as well.

Winner: iPad unless you think Bluetooth is a standard or something.

Checkpoint Four: Finding Magnetic North

Want to stand on a street corner trying to hold your tablet steady while people stare at you like you’re some sort of idiot? Only the iPad offers a built-in digital compass! Alternatively, you could also just buy a teeny analog compass and put it on your keychain.

Winner: iPad unless, you know, you don’t take a tablet computer when you go for a hike.

Checkpoint Five: Expandability

Much like their lovely one-piece iPhones, Apple’s iPad is built around one simple premise. If you ever run out of room, you can buy a new iPad any time you want. How simple! How easy! That’s nothing like the crude design of the ViewSonic gTablet, which for some stupid reason includes a Micro SD slot, a Mini USB port, and a standard USB port, all combining to let you add and subtract data at any time like a sucker.

Winner: ViewSonic gTablet unless you use “I have to go home and sync tonight” as an excuse to get out of a terrible date.

Checkpoint Six: Apps

Connect to the iTunes store to download new games over that cellular data network that may not actually work! That’s the iPad’s method, and it’s what’s made the iTunes store so profitable for them. Of course, the ViewSonic gTablet can’t use that exclusive technological boutique. That’s why it comes with Angry Birds preinstalled. Also, there’s Pandora, the Kindle app, Color Note, and you can connect to the G-market if you ever need more.

Winner: ViewSonic gTablet unless you only want a tablet forsnicker productivity.

Checkpoint Seven: Flash

iPad users know from experience what that little brick icon means. Thankfully, the feud between Apple and Adobe seems to be cooling, because you can at last download and install some additional app to give you access to the Internet you’ve been missing, as long as you don’t mind viewing it through that app exclusively. Isn’t that good design? On the other hand, we’ve got the ViewSonic gTablet and… Oh, look at that! Nothing to install, it just works! How simple!

Winner: ViewSonic gTablet unless you’re convinced that everyone will be using HTML 5 by summer.

Checkpoint Eight: The Guts

Want an iPad? Be ready to use OS X and iTunes, or Windows XP, Vista or 7 with iTunes, or possibly some future operating system and iTunes. Sort of like when your best friend got married to that horrible person you can’t stand, iTunes is going to be there always. Every. Single. Time. Whereas the ViewSonic gTablet doesn’t judge your choice of MP3 players. You can even use it with Linux if you really wanna. It’s cool. Do what you feel.

Winner: ViewSonic gTablet unless you’re a marketing VP. “Brand lifestyle” is so much easier to sell.

Adding it up, we see that… oh! What a surprise! The ViewSonic gTablet is today’s clear winner! Heads up, all you people who have no interest in iPads, because we’re arbitrarily scientifically confirming your bias. Why not take a victory lap by buying a ViewSonic gTablet today? Think of it as a chance to say “Sorry, iPad fans. Today you just don’t measure up.”

… but check back later, iPad fans, because eventually we’ll have iPads again. And when that day comes, we’ll have 100% factual data proving you correct! Um, completely unbiased data, of course. No agenda here.

So, who is picking one up?

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Source: Woot - thanks, Jonathan and Mike

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • John J

    If only it had a better screen..

    • http://www.androidpolice.com Jakub Glodek

      That would be a good argument if you were paying over $500 for the device. But at $280? I bought it at the Sears when they had their $350 deal and I do not regret buying it. Although I am impressed with the Xoom's screen, I think for the price, this is a great product. Everything but the screen works great! Once Honeycomb hits it, it will be the best bargain Tablet for sometime.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

        That's the problem. By the time Honeycomb actually hits it, the price may go down to $280 anyway.

        Right now, I am happy with my HC powered Nook Color (returned by Xoom already.) I will consider it again when Honeycomb AOSP releases.

  • B

    In for one, thanks for the heads up. I was eyeing the wifi xoom but can't justify $600 versus the G-Tablet at $285 shipped.

    • Jon Garrett

      why bother with the Xoom at all if the $600 price bothers you? have you not seen the sexy as hell Samsung Galaxy 8.9 & 10.1?

      the 8.9 starts at $469 !!

  • Dan

    Yeah, I bought one trying to sell it, but at this rate it might be worth keeping, despite the lack of HDMI out, and waiting for a honeycomb AOSP

  • Jonathan

    Root it. Great options from xda. It can hold its own (rooted) against a Xoom for 95% of the things you will use a tablet for.

    http://www.fututech.net/tablet-pcs/viewsonic-g-tablet-holds-its-own-against-motorola-xoom-in-benchmark-tests.html

  • mike I

    so will it play those new dual core games that are advertised for the Xoom?

    • Artem

      If they only require Tegra 2, then yeah, but if they need Honeycomb, then not until it gets it.

  • Josh

    Can't this device be rooted to install a version of Honeycomb now just like with the Nook Color? I've been in the market for a tablet for a while and can't justify paying over $600 right now for the Xoom but at this price I'm tempted....

    • Jonathan

      Yes. Read the comments on the woot site. The awful OS is a blessing in disguise; it has awesome root support. Dont buy it unless you want to root.

  • rudejamaican

    The lack of a built in GPS killed the deal for me :(. Come on Viewsonic what were you thinking :(

    • http://stuarthalliday.com Stuart Halliday

      You are so right.

  • Inspektor Gadget

    Josh....yes it can be rooted and for the rest of you there is a custom Honeycomb rom available on xda as well. For the price this is a good deal.

  • Marc

    Nah, its a privacy screen that protects you from strangers lol

  • Steve

    Ordered one yesterday, and I'm pumped! I'm looking at the various ROM's right now to see what I want to flash first...

  • http://don'treallyhaveoneunlessyouwanttoshopwww.marketamerica.com/stagedooryougetcashbackeverytimeyoubuythroughthesite&wehave3500+storesinfactyourfavoritestorecouldbeoneofthem.freetosignupju Cathy

    Tried to edit the above but it keeps being marked as spam. Sorry it took me too long to edit.

    I'm confused about what these tablets can do. Warning I know enough about computers to really mess one up. Only heard about rooting here but even though I've never done it before, I would follow the instructions and hoped it worked. That is if I can read the instructions and understand what the heck you were telling me to do; so don't know how simple rooting instructions are if I don't know all the tech terms. My point... I'd try and if something went terribly wrong I'd try to figure it out probably only to screw it up even more.

    WITH THAT SAID.... when I travel I need something light-weight that I can surf the INTERNET, use with my INTERNET business for the shopping page I own as well as the webcenter I own but I just build examples and show people what can be designed for them and my tech guys take over from there but its best viewed using Firefox. Also take pics with my digital camera and upload to a site where I make calendars for my other business which is dog walking and of course I'm a singer too so I would need my music on there (I edit my own singing tracks with a program I have but I doubt a tablet could handle a lot of extra programs due to memory limits) OH and when I'm out of town I need to remotely connect to my desktop to help my hubby run the dog walking side of things when I'm not there. I do the schedules and billing for him so all he has to do is print it and go.

    NOW can these tablets do that? I thought they were very limited to what they can do. Can you type on a virtual keyboard on them or do you have to plug one into that one usb plug? Also I have Photoshop Elements (just for pics) can I run that on there and work on my pics? Or is there not much memory on them? Can you check your email? Or does is come with an email program that can download your email?
    These probably sound like stupid questions but this is all new to me.

    My laptop fell off the bed and now won't recognize the charger and I didn't have enough of a charge to backup my pics (my mom is dying of cancer and I can't afford to lose even one pic of her or my sisters wedding last week.) I'm playing with the cord now because sometimes it'll recognize it and work and hopefully I'll be able to get those pics on the external backup drive a friend loaned me because I'm out of town. Best Buy said they'd do it for me for $150! But if I can't charge the battery or get electricity to it how will they, oh and I'm not paying $150 for them to do that anyway, the rest is still under warranty.

    Also just to pick your brains does anyone have any ideas how I could get power to this thing its a Gateway MC78 Series Notebook duel core running Vista Ultimate and if I could get one more day with it working I could make sure everything was backed up safely. Best Buy warned me after they send it out to be fixed it could come back wiped of everything! Or not... can't take the chance.

    Because IF these tablets can do what I asked above I'd just buy one now and return my friends laptop and still be able to do business while the other is away in Kentucky somewhere getting fixed and I would never have to carry such a huge, heavy, piece of 'cough' equipment around when I travel ever again, its a nightmare! It was on sale for was under a thousand when I got it, (huge deal couldn't pass up) but didn't think about the weight until I packed it the first time for travel and knew it was going to throw my back out so I had to put it on wheels instead.

    Any help with any of this is HUGELY appreciated, I'm really in a spot, totally stressing out. Also after reading over this I realized I just threw up all my problems here, sorry.

    Also can you delete the above this one is the edited one, it just took me too long to edit the above.

    Sorry I can't delete my first post can someone do that? And this one as well, I took too long to edit the first one. I'm really not a complete idiot just get like this when I'm stressed.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Done, deleted the other ones.

    • Nikos

      Cathy, the viewsonic is a very good tablet but you need to hack it! Even then it won't run photoshop and I'm not sure it will run whatever application you have to edit music. You can surf the Internet, listen to your music, or read email just fine though!
      If you cannot backup your photos then your best option is to leave them in the card and just buy another one so you will have plenty of space and won't need to empty it until you go home.
      You are better off with a laptop or possibly a small netbook. Good luck to your mom.

      • Cathy

        Thank you Nikos! You are so right! When I dropped off my laptop for repair yesterday I checked out everything. There was a very light Toshiba with 4 gs of ram and plenty of memory on the duel drives. Don't know if it was a netbook or a notebook I was looking at LOL but at a little over $700, it will be awhile before I can swing it. By then they'll be lighter with probably at least 2T and maybe 6gs of ram and I'll be buying the old one ;) !
        I did by the way find the pics on backup drive FINALLY, so it was easier to let my laptop go to be fixed. Not so stressed now.
        Thanks for your info, help and your time it took to respond to my question. I truely appreciate your kind words as well, thank you!
        Cathy

  • http://don'treallyhaveoneunlessyouwanttoshopwww.marketamerica.com/stagedooryougetcashbackeverytimeyoubuythroughthesite&wehave3500+storesinfactyourfavoritestorecouldbeoneofthem.freetosignupjustneed Cathy

    Thank you Artem. Hopefully I don't look like a complete idiot.

  • Jim

    Pay a little more and get the Asus eee Transformer for 399.99.

    Better screen, RAM, and a docking keyboard that adds 2 usb ports, an SD slot, and an additional 8hrs of battery life.

    • Cathy

      Will it do everything I posted above that I need it to do? I know these are limited but I don't know what the limitations are.

      • John J

        Yeah.. the only problem is that the Transformer is currently on back order, probably won't be any available until June.

  • Jbonics

    No gps or hdmi out, I was allmost sold. I need a tablet to do more than my 1.42ghz dinosaur droid 2