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Best iPad 2 Alternative Yet? The £147 Viewsonic ViewPad 7 3G

Viewsonic & online retailer iBood have teamed up to sell the ViewPad 7, an Android-based tablet, for a staggeringly low £147, a third less than its next best price at Amazon and less than half the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The price (opens in new tab), which is valid until the end of the day today, includes delivery and is a third of what the Viewsonic ViewPad 7 cost at launch.

The tablet offers most of the features of the iPad 2 3G. It comes with a Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz system on chip, the same as the Orange San Francisco or the HTC Wildfire, 512MB RAM, 512MB onboard storage and a 7-inch 480x800 pixel capacitive touchscreen.

The rest of the configuration is unheard of at this price; Android OS 2.2, a 3-megapixel rear camera with a VGA webcam, Wi-Fi, 3G with phone capabilities, Bluetooth, AGPS, a microSD reader, microUSB, a 3240mAh battery, two year warranty and access to Android Market.

A 16GB microSD card now costs under £15 which means that you can up the Viewsonic Viewpad's memory to match that of the iPad for a grand total cost of £162.

Other competitors to the Viewsonic include the 7-inch Andy Pad from UK Matterss maker, Mattressman, which costs only £129 but has yet to be launched, as well as the Kogan Agora, a 7-inch tablet, which has a more powerful processor but no 3G or rear camera.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.