ViewPad 100 tablet offers Windows and Android

After earning itself positive attention with the launch of a £349 seven-inch Android tablet at this year's IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, ViewSonic left a few pundits scratching their heads with the launch of another.

Announced today, the ViewPad 100 is 10.1-inch, 600x1024 resolution multi-touch device.

So far, so ordinary. But the ViewPad 100 is a dual-boot tablet, offering users a choice of Google's Android mobile OS and Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium.

The option to use a 'proper' PC operating system will satisfy one of the criticisms made of tablet devices such as the Apple iPad - that they're just not as versatile as laptops for general computing.

The extra processing oomph needed to run Windows is provided by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom chip. But with just 16GB of storage as standard, those hoping to replace a laptop with one of these could soon see themselves running out of space.

The idea of including a second OS harks back to the kind of 'instant-on' media features seen on many notebooks, which use a cut-down Linux-based OS to run music playback and other software, avoiding the need to boot right into Windows.

Likewise, Android is here for immediate tasks such as checking email or quickly browsing a web page. Trouble is, the ViewPad 100 comes installed with Android 1.6, code-named 'Donut' rather than the latest 2.2 seen on its seven-inch stablemate, which offers handy features like built-in wi-fi tethering and extensive speech-to-text functions.

The ViewPad 100 also comes with wi-fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, assisted GPS, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, mini-VGA port for output to external displays, and a MicroSD slot for adding additional storage.

The device will be out in October 2010 - priced, ViewSonic says, at "no more than £549".