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ViewSonic’s ViewPhone 4e hands-on (video)

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

The ViewSonic ViewPhone 4e — the downmarket sibling of the ViewPhone 4s — launched at MWC today and unlike the 4s, the 4e was essentially feature complete. This dual SIM set will ship with Android 2.3.x Gingerbread, a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, a 3-megapixel camera, and an FM radio. We had a chance to see it in both yellow and a truly garish pink hue and the housings are impressively solid and while they may not come in our favorite colors, they’re at least fun. While not as tack sharp as the ViewPhone 4s’ IPS display, the 4e looked just fine and the the quick UI tour didn’t show any obvious slowdowns or stuttering from its 650Mhz CPU. We’re expecting this to launch in Europe before June for about $350.

Zach Honig contributed to this report.

Continue reading ViewSonic’s ViewPhone 4e hands-on (video)

ViewSonic’s ViewPhone 4e hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 26 Feb 2012 16:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ViewSonic goes dual-SIM with ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e, all packing Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Friday, February 24th, 2012

When you’re ready, here’s yet another load of pre-MWC goodness. This year ViewSonic decided that merely slapping Ice Cream Sandwich on its new ViewPhones isn’t good enough, so instead, the company’s just-announced 4s, 4e and 5e also come with an extra SIM slot. Starting from the left we have the ViewPhone 4s featuring an impressive 3.5-inch 960 x 640 Super Clear IPS LCD (which, from the sounds of it, should be very similar to Apple’s Retina Display from LG), along with a five-megapixel camera, a VGA front-facing imager and a 1GHz chip. Pictured in the middle is a similar-looking ViewPhone 4e but packing a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 LCD, a slower processor at 650MHz only, a three-megapixel camera and one extra touch button than its sibling; all of this made with budget in mind, obviously, though somehow ViewSonic’s very proud of its 10.3mm thickness.

If 3.5-inch displays aren’t your cup of tea then you’ll have to jump straight to the 5-inch ViewPhone 5e, but so far all we’ve been told is its 800 × 480 screen resolution. Could there be more in this dual-SIM beast? Stay tuned to our MWC coverage and you’ll know as soon as we do.

Gallery: ViewSonic goes dual-SIM with ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e, all packing Android Ice Cream Sandwich

ViewPhone 4sViewPhone 4eViewPhone 5e

ViewSonic goes dual-SIM with ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e, all packing Android Ice Cream Sandwich originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 06:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hands-On the $170 ViewSonic Tablet I Wanted to Love, But Couldn’t [Video]

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
When we found out about ViewSonic’s $170 tablet that runs Android’s latest (and definitely greatest) OS, we were more than just a little skeptical. We wanted to believe, but we’ve been hurt before. After some hands-on time, I can confirm that our dead-inside hearts were dead-on. More »


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Barnes & Noble calls on feds to probe Microsoft’s patent warpath

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

It is no secret that Microsoft is on a warpath. The company has garnered Android patent licensing deals from major industry tech players like HTC, Samsung and ViewSonic, just to name a few, and has chosen to sue those that resist, such as Barnes & Noble. The book seller, which recently announced its second Android tablet, has sent a letter to the Justice Department’s chief counsel for competition policy Gene Kimmelman that calls on the U.S. government to probe Microsoft over monopoly concerns. “Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices,” Barnes & Noble said in the letter. “Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals’ costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices.” Read on for more.

The Redmond-based company reportedly makes $444 million annually from Android royalties, which is estimated to be at least three times the revenue it makes from its own Windows Phone operating system. “All modern operating systems include many patented technologies,” Microsoft said recently. “Microsoft has taken licenses to patents for Windows and we make our patents available on reasonable terms for other operating systems, like Android. We would be pleased to extend a license to Barnes & Noble.”

Barnes & Noble told Bloomberg that Microsoft was asking it to pay the same fees that it charges companies who license its Windows Phone operating system. Microsoft’s case against Barnes & Noble is scheduled to be heard beginning in February 2012.

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Microsoft chasing down Huawei for Android patent license agreement

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Microsoft is chasing down Huawei in search of a patent licensing agreement, The Guardian reported on Tuesday. “Yes, Microsoft has come to us,” Huawei Devices chief marketing officer Victor Xu told The Guardian. ”We always respect the intellectual property of companies. But we have 65,000 patents worldwide too. We have enough to protect our interests. We are a very important stakeholder in Android.” Xu also said that “negotiations are in progress” with Microsoft, which takes home an estimated $444 million annually from Android royalties. Microsoft has a cross-licensing agreement with Samsung and has similar deals with HTC, ViewSonic and other Android device vendors. It is expected that Microsoft may soon hunt down Amazon for an agreement related to its new Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet, too. 

[Via Engadget]

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Microsoft lawyer defends Android licensing strategy

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Speaking with The San Francisco Chronicle recently, the deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property group, Horacio Gutiérrez, discussed his company’s decisions to chase down other firms for Android-licensing agreements and the current state of patent wars. Gutiérrez doesn’t think Microsoft should be viewed as a “patent troll” for its recent agreements with Samsung, HTC, ViewSonic and Acer (among others) and its ongoing lawsuit with Foxconn and Barnes & Noble over the Nook. He also does not think the current patent system is broken. “Every time there are these technologies that are really disruptive, there are patent cases,” Guitiérrez explained. “Licensing is not some nefarious thing that people should be worried about. Licensing is, in fact, the solution to the patent problem that people are reactive so negatively about.” Read on for more.

Guitiérrez says that Microsoft invented a number of functions used in Android, including the “ability to synchronize the content that you have in your phone with the information in the server of your company or in your computer at home,” and the “efficiency of operating systems” as a whole. “I think the most important part here is that a lot of the innovation that is happening today is really happening in the software space,” Gutiérrez noted. “So the question of whether software should be patentable is, in a sense, the same as asking whether a significant part of the technological innovation happening nowadays should receive patent protection.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s full interview can be found via the read link below.

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Microsoft squeezes more revenue from Android thanks to new Quanta deal

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Microsoft announced on Thursday that Quanta Computer will begin licensing its patent technology for Android and Chrome-based smartphones and tablets. Microsoft will receive royalties from Quanta, but the terms of the deal not disclosed by either company. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property, Horacio Gutierrez, said. Microsoft has similar agreements in place with HTC, Viewsonic, Acer and Samsung, among others. Analysts estimate Microsoft pulls in three to five times more revenue from Android royalties than it does from its own Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft and Quanta Computer Sign Patent Agreement Covering Android and Chrome-Based Devices

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Quanta’s tablets, smartphones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Quanta under the agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Commitment to Licensing Intellectual Property

The patent agreement is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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Froyo-based ViewSonic V430 smartphone appears in Russia, anonymity almost guaranteed

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

ViewSonic has revealed its latest Android phone, the V430 — though you’d be hard pressed to tell who made it from looks alone. Putting the incognito design aside, vital statistics include a meaty WVGA 4.3-inch screen, and a 5 megapixel primary camera paired with a VGA front-facing camera, all chugging along on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. ViewSonic has cut down to only three buttons below the screen, a change from the four-button setup we’ve seen on its previous Android tablets and phones. Sadly, the Android version number has been similarly reduced — the V430 is apparently running Android 2.2, not the Android 2.3 Gingerbread deliciousness we’ve come to expect from Google-powered smartphones in 2011. The V430 looks set on launching first in Russia, but no word yet on whether it’ll board the Trans-Siberian across to Europe and beyond. Price is also Russian secret.

Froyo-based ViewSonic V430 smartphone appears in Russia, anonymity almost guaranteed originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 21 Sep 2011 15:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viewsonic ships 7-inch ViewBook VB730 tablet for $230, sticks with Android 2.2

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Looking for something a bit different to replace your Galaxy Tab with? Can’t say for sure why such a yearning would be reasonable, but if we just rang your bell, Viewsonic’s got a newcomer that’s on sale now. Just a few months after passing through the FCC’s database, the ViewBook VB730 is now in stock over at Amazon, with $229.99 netting you a 7-inch slate with Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, WiFi, a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage space, a microSD card slot and an 800 x 480 screen resolution. Unfortunately, there’s no Android 3.2 to be found here; instead, Froyo’s listed as the OS of choice, but it’s fair to expect a bit of corner-cutting given that shockingly low price point. Hit the source if you’re sold.

Viewsonic ships 7-inch ViewBook VB730 tablet for $230, sticks with Android 2.2 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 14 Jul 2011 03:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Add GPS to your Viewsonic G-Tablet and test your soldering skills

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
GPS module in Viewsonic G-Table

If you picked up one of those G-Tablets, but are now suffering from buyer’s remorse after realizing how much you miss GPS, there’s a solution — provided you have a strong DIY streak. It turns out Viewsonic set space aside on the Froyo-powered slate’s motherboard to place a GPS receiver. Of course, if you even have to ask what flux is or what SMD stands for this is not the hack for you. And while apps that rely on 3G, such as Google Maps, won’t work properly, offline navigators like Navigon and CoPilot should be just fine. If you’re comfortable tearing open your device and poking at it with a hot iron, hit up the source link for a complete list of parts and some very detailed instructions… or, you could just buy a tablet that already has GPS.

[Thanks, Andrew F.]

Add GPS to your Viewsonic G-Tablet and test your soldering skills originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 25 May 2011 13:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Eee Pad Transformer gets overclocked to 1.4GHz, deemed less than stable

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

While many of you continue your quest for an Eee Pad Transformer, some folks, predictably, have already figured out how to overclock it. Someone in the XDA forum posted a custom kernel allowing hackers to crank the tablet’s clock speed to 1.4GHz, the same peak reached by the ViewSonic G Tablet. Beware, though, that performance at that speed has proven unreliable, so the with the dev recommends a more modest 1.2GHz to avoid data loss, a meltdown, and “injury of assorted puppies.” Par for the course, really.

Eee Pad Transformer gets overclocked to 1.4GHz, deemed less than stable originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 May 2011 15:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ViewSonic 7x to launch as first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

ViewSonic is set to become the first company to launch a 7-inch tablet running Honeycomb, according to a new report on Wednesday. Pocket-lint cites anonymous trusted sources in claiming that the new tablet — referred to in the report as the ViewSonic 7x, though it would likely launch under the ViewPad brand — will be unveiled later this month at the annual Computex conference in Taipei. Reported specs for the upcoming Honeycomb tablet include a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, front and rear-facing cameras, HSPA+ support, DLNA support and an HDMI port. The 7x is expected to launch in June in certain markets, though we doubt U.S. availability should be expected any time soon.

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Viewsonic G Tablet gets firmware update with Flash, USB peripheral support

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Viewsonic’s G Tablet may not have made much of splash when it debuted last fall, but it’s certainly been picking up a bit of steam as of late. A recent price drop brought its cost down to just $280, and hackers have even managed to overclock its processor to 1.4GHz and get it running CyanogenMod 7 to boot. Now Viewsonic itself has given the tablet a further boost, with a new firmware update bringing support for both Flash and USB peripherals, which can apparently also be used with a docking station. The update’s of the over-the-air variety, and should be waiting for you if you haven’t turned on your G Tablet in the past few days.

Viewsonic G Tablet gets firmware update with Flash, USB peripheral support originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 01:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viewsonic 3DV5 Is a 3D Camcorder For Your Pocket [Now Available]

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Viewsonic announced their mini-sized 3D camcorder last month, but now they’ve finally brought it stateside. Not only does the 3DV5 pack two 5MP fixed focus cameras for 3D 720p video, it’s also got a glassesless 3D display panel for playback. More »


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Viewsonic introduces 3DV5 3D pocket camcorder, no glasses required

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

There’s a good chance this 3D bandwagon may never stop rolling, so rather than maintaining that bitter beer face for yet another day, you may as well embrace the next dimension. Viewsonic’s newest pocket camcorder just so happens to fit into that segment, as the 3DV5 is a 720p shooter with a 2.4-inch autosterescopic display, not dislike that found on Nintendo’s 3DS. According to the company, there’s a one-touch function to switch between 2D and 3D recording modes, and once they’ve logged the latter, they can either plug it directly into a 3D HDTV (via HDMI) or watch it on-screen without any 3D glasses. Users can also throw these up on YouTube’s 3D channel if they’d rather rather with a set of anaglyph spectacles, but you’d probably budget for an SD card — you know, considering that the 10MB of internal storage space won’t exactly hold a masterpiece. Is this guy really worth £150 ($238)? Can you really live another day without the ability to create 3D content?

Continue reading Viewsonic introduces 3DV5 3D pocket camcorder, no glasses required

Viewsonic introduces 3DV5 3D pocket camcorder, no glasses required originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 30 Oct 2010 09:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A Dual-Booting Tablet Running Android 1.6 Sounds Barmy, Viewsonic [Tablets]

Friday, September 3rd, 2010