ViewSonic G tablet pulled due to user experience issue, update on the way

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The ViewSonic G tablet is one of the few Tegra 2-toting Android tablets that you can buy at the moment, but you won’t be finding it at Staples anytime soon. Yesterday we heard that the tablet may have been pulled because of a manufacturing error, but that’s not the case. According to ViewSonic, the G tablet was pulled due to a “user experience issue”. As an owner of a G tablet, let me be the first to tell you, “No Shit”.

The G tablet ships with a customized user interface called Tap and Tap, and to put it nicely, it sucks, big time. Yes, that’s putting it nicely. Given the specs on the thing, (Tegra 2, 16GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, Android 2.2) the G tablet should be awesome. Unfortunately, the UI cripples the entire G tablet experience, which prompted me to side-load a home replacement app. But for those who did their research on the tablet, that was likely their intention from the get go. I’ve been running Launcher Pro on my G tablet since day one, and I’m very impressed with it.

Then there are the custom ROMs for the G tablet, which are very much still in beta, that bring a solid Android experience to the plagued device. There are two ROMs being actively developed, and one (broken) port of CyanogenMod. The most popular is called Vegan-Tab, and improves the user experience in so many ways that you’ll likely never want to return to the original ROM, even if you have a home replacement. Best of all, after doing benchmarks between the two ROMs, the custom ROMs essentially doubled every benchmark score that the tablet’s stock ROM managed to post. With custom software, the G tablet managed to post over 2400 on Quadrant and easily achieved 48 FPS on Neocore.

It seems ViewSonic finally realized that the stock software sucks, as a software update should begin to push out sometime before the end of this week. Viewsonic’s VP of Marketing Adam Hanin told Engadget that it’s basically Google’s fault for lack of support of bigger devices with larger displays, and that they have to come up with their own software and app stores because of this. Well, that may be true, but it doesn’t mean you have to create bad software to run on top of your product, and then be surprised that people don’t like it. Instead of making a custom UI, Viewsonic could have slightly skinned the stock Android UI and people would have liked it more than the crap that’s on the thing now.

In the end, it’s sort of exciting that ViewSonic has realized the error of their ways, but I’m still doubting that an update will make me want to go back to the Tap and Tap UI. Still, if the Tegra 2 does end up being the design reference for Android Honeycomb, then the G tablet may have some life in it yet. Honeycomb on the G tablet, here we come!

You should also know that Viewsonic’s upcoming update may have been found already online, and it looks to be quite a big big update at that. ViewSonic has toned-down their UI, and it’s a huge step in the right direction. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about what’s inside, but here’s a picture of the new launcher to look at for now.

[Via: Engadget]

  • Bruce

    I appreciate your coverage of this tablet. Viewsonic can blame Google for their tablet being slow, but why not just hire the creators of adw, launcherpro, or Zeam? that would be such a win-win-win situation. Viewsonic would have a better product, some really good developers would have more money, and users would have a better experience.

  • Bruce

    I appreciate your coverage of this tablet. Viewsonic can blame Google for their tablet being slow, but why not just hire the creators of adw, launcherpro, or Zeam? that would be such a win-win-win situation. Viewsonic would have a better product, some really good developers would have more money, and users would have a better experience.

  • Anatole Tartakovsky

    This tablet is primarily used by early adapters around the world. It is impossible to use with stock interface, WiFi problems need to be addressed, there are tons of conflicts in the drivers. If they really want their product to survive and build loyalty around it they should concentrate on making the drivers for it available in usable format with alternative ROMs while better have serious issues with accelerometers, BT, USB keyboards, etc. Supporting TnT or Vegan would not hurt either. If they want to take on Apple in consumer space they need to learn “just work” approach to quality control and community builds may seem to be better choice now.

    Long term, adding more RAM, GPS and 3/4G socket will not hurt either when this product will need to be updated for Android 3 release.

  • Howard

    Viewsonic cannot really blame Google for this. Google stated a few months ago that “Android 2.2 is not for tablets.” While Samsung has done a pretty good job with Android 2.2 on the Galaxy Tab, but IMO, there is a big difference between a 10.1 and 7″ display. Owning the Viewsonic gTablet, i can say that the biggest problem with the gTablet is the poor quality display. No software update can fix that. Second biggest problem for the average consumer is lack of Google apps.

  • Howard

    Viewsonic cannot really blame Google for this. Google stated a few months ago that “Android 2.2 is not for tablets.” While Samsung has done a pretty good job with Android 2.2 on the Galaxy Tab, but IMO, there is a big difference between a 10.1 and 7″ display. Owning the Viewsonic gTablet, i can say that the biggest problem with the gTablet is the poor quality display. No software update can fix that. Second biggest problem for the average consumer is lack of Google apps.

  • Howard

    Viewsonic cannot really blame Google for this. Google stated a few months ago that “Android 2.2 is not for tablets.” While Samsung has done a pretty good job with Android 2.2 on the Galaxy Tab, but IMO, there is a big difference between a 10.1 and 7″ display. Owning the Viewsonic gTablet, i can say that the biggest problem with the gTablet is the poor quality display. No software update can fix that. Second biggest problem for the average consumer is lack of Google apps.

  • Jason

    ViewSonic tells users where to find Flash player for download, directs users to developer forum and provides other free app download links… http://www.viewsonic.com/gtablet/favorite.htm – lots of ways to help the new user get what they need out of this device’s awesome hardware. New software update coming today.

  • Jason

    ViewSonic tells users where to find Flash player for download, directs users to developer forum and provides other free app download links… http://www.viewsonic.com/gtablet/favorite.htm – lots of ways to help the new user get what they need out of this device’s awesome hardware. New software update coming today.

  • Geoff

    I have played with my G tablet for 24 hours now and will be returning it. Ultimately it’s the horrible viewing angles on the display that made my decision for me. The software is garbage out of the box, but Vegan-tab was very usable and quick (so I don’t think Android 2.2 on a tablet is impossible.) The hardware seems good except for the display. I’m surprised more people don’t make a deal about this.

    If you will always use it by holding it at a 90 degree angle from your face, plan to always use it alone (someone sitting next to you can barely see anything), don’t get scared off by loading custom ROMs, and you NEED an Android tablet now, then this is the tablet for you.

  • Silelentspeedy

    It is a horrible piece of trash, I don’t know where they get the 10 hours run time, maybe 4, 10 if you don’t use it. after attempting to update it the only choices you have after that is force quieting everything you try to open which ends up in a total reset after which you can again start the attempted update from scratch. It wont let me install anything, support sucks, when you call in there solution is bring it back tot the store you bought it, which is Office Depot, and they don’t want to touch it, or take it back. So if you are looking for a recipe for disaster? buy a g-tablet by Office Depot.

  • Anonymous

    Pass on the g tablet!!!!!! mine has been at the g tab repair place for 5 weeks and they won’t even tell me when I can expect it back. It seems there is a problem with the main board and they don’t know how to fix it, per support there are 10 others with the same problem. They tried to tell me that I had opened it up and damaged the main board, I didn’t open it up, and they wouldn’t accept the unit under warranty until I filed a protest. STAY AWAY FROM THE G TABLET.

  • Penny

    I just bought a g tablet 2 days ago. I have not been able to use it because it has connectivity issues. I can not get a return call from the support number. After reading the reviews from this sight I think I need to return it. Any suggestions?

  • Mees

    hoe moet die foutmelding weg?????????????????????
    how that error message out?

  • Helen

    So anyone in the world can freely choose to run “awful tap-n-tap” or “any
    aftermarket rooting”?

    Why did Viewsonic pick the worse of the 2 choices?  Did they gain
    something?

  • Rene

    You hit it on the nail with this article.  I got mine earlier this month.

  • Ami

    Had I not loaded a Honeycomb-based ROM on my gTab, I would have been returning it the day it got here! I am running GTabComb 3.3, and it works beautifully! (except for the camera, due to NVidia’s lack of adequate hardware drivers for it). Other than that, it *almost* feels like my Xoom tablet! I am able to get Quadrant score of 3808! The hardware is just awesome. But yes, it is a definite shame that the software and support for this amazing tablet really sucks!

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