Viliv X70 Tablet PC Review

1. Introduction

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I am commuting to work by train and bus more than an hour and a half each way, every day. So I won’t get crazy listening to various meaningless discussions around me, or at people yelling their personal issues on their phones, I usually read or blog. For the reading part, sometimes I carry paper books with me, but I like to have more than one book at the time, depending of my mood: The answer to that is of course an eBook reader. Now, Amazon did a really good job with their Kindle and that would have been my first choice, however I want to surf on the Internet as well, so I looked around for a small Tablet PC that can do both tasks, and even some occasional movie watching.

I spent a couple of months watching various forums and I stumbled on some products from Viliv. For the best reading experience, I didn’t want a display that is too small (as my iPhone display is for example) so I figured it out that, for me the optimal size is around 7″. The tablet that for me best fit the bill is Viliv X70, so let’s get into a bit of more details.

2. Tech Specs

Processor: Intel Atom 1.3GHz  – as tested, also available are models sporting Intel Atom 1.2GHz (Z515)

Memory: DDR2 1.0GB

Display: 7″ WSVGA (1024 x 600) with Touch Screen
Storage: 32GB SSD as tested, available 16GB and 128GB SSD

Integrated ports: Audio, USB, USB Link (Built in Data Transfer function), Built in MIC and 1.3M Web CAM. SDHC Memory Slot
Communication: WLAN 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, GPS Sirf Star3 standard, Built in HSPA modem (optional) *
* Internal 3G (Huawei EM770W:
HSPA/UMTS 850/900/1900/2100MHz,
HSUPA: 5.76Mbps (UL) / HSDPA: 7.2Mbps (DL))

The officially stated battery life is 5.5 hours movie play back, 150 hours of standby time using a
29 Wh, Lithium Polymer battery

Operating System: a choice between English Windows XP Home, English Windows Vista Home Premium, English Windows 7 Starter Edition, English Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. The tested configuration has Windows XP installed which I prefer for such a small device.

Dimensions:

210(W) x 117(H) x 22.5(T) mm (8.2 x 4.6 x 0.8 inches)
660g (1.45 pounds) with battery

3. Details and Screen shots

Speed: Viliv X70 is more than fast enough in my experience for internet surfing and eBook reading. The video chip is Intel GMA500 which recently got hardware flash acceleration in the last Flash beta version. It is able before to play 720p h264 encoded videos using about 40% from the CPU while using the GPU acceleration.

Camera: I tested Skype video using the internal 1.3MP camera and it worked flawlessly. I would prefer though that the camera position would have been in the top center, not on the side.

eBook Reader: Tested Adobe PDF Reader, MobiPocket Reader, Microsoft Reader (MS Reader for Origami version) without any issues. The device performs really well for eBook reading.  To browse the Internet, I recommend Google Chrome due to its minimal interface.

Display: The LCD display is crisp and clear, very easy to read, with LED back-light. However, in places with a lot of ambient light, the reflective surface makes it hard to read.

GPS Navigation: Viliv X70 comes with a car mounting kit and an integrated GPS unit. I like to travel when I have time, so I purchased also DeLorme Topo USA 8.0 and installed it on Viliv X70.  I am happy to report that it works as expected. Don’t forget to activate the UMPC mode that Topo USA 8.0 has, that optimize the UI for smaller screens.

Touchscreen: Responsive with haptic feedback (which I turned OFF). The on-screen keyboard is easy to use and can “vibrate” when used. I found this to be a distraction, so I disabled it.

SDHC Slot: I purchased a 32GB SDHC card and keep my music and books on it. A perfect addition to the internal somewhat limited 32GB SSD.

Boot time: 5 seconds to wake up from slip, 31 seconds to boot in Windows XP

Software: In my opinion, most of the installed software is crap.  Just get the software you like and configure it the way you want. The resolution is high for the size, so setting larger fonts might help.

Price: around $700 as tested.

4. Conclusion

Due to its size and battery life, Viliv X70 is the perfect all around companion for movies, eBook reading or light Internet surfing. I really like the way it fits into my hands and the way it performs as a navigation system. My only big complain is a lack of capacitive touchscreen similar with the one in iPhone, and a palm rejection technology.

Pros:

– The device is very light, fast enough for its intended use, long battery life, wakes from sleep in 5 seconds. One of the best tablets on the market.

– Nice leather pouch and GPS car kit.

– Built in stylus

Cons:

– Wireless chip/driver issues, it takes a lot of time to configure it right. I purchased a miniature 801.11N USB stick and I am using that one instead.

– Windows XP OS that comes installed is not Table PC edition, however there are some hacks around to install TIP (Tablet PC input panel, including the floating one) so you can use it as a full featured Tablet PC.

– Hard to configure hardware buttons (especially the 4-way directional pad)

5. Gallery

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  • magda

    It seems like a cool device, but it is too expensive. I am waiting for the HP Slate.

  • Agree with both. HP Slate should be nice, Microsoft Courier (whenever it will be launched) will be better. The hindsight is always 20-20.