Viewsonic: There's no G Tablet 'manufacturing defect,' it's a user experience issue

In case you missed it, this weekend Staples announced that it was no longer offering the 10.1-inch Viewsonic G Tablet because of a "manufacturing defect." Well, as it turns out, Viewsonic is claiming there's really no hardware defect at all -- instead, the manufacturer of the Android 2.2, Tegra 2-powered tablet is reporting that there's really a "user experience issue." Nope, that doesn't sound much better, but according to Viewsonic's VP of Marketing Adam Hanin, the G Tablet saw a fair number of returns because of its sluggish software experience, which was caused by the preloaded Tap and Tap Android layer. A number of issues were also caused by the lack of Flash, which Adobe hasn't yet certified for Tegra 2 (we hear that's finally coming at the end of January). "We believe it is the user experience that caused all the returns, and we are taking important steps forward with the G Tablet," Hanin told us.

So, what are those steps exactly? Viewsonic will be releasing an over-the-air software update before the end of the week and will also provide links for users to manually download and install a beta version of Flash on its support page. Naturally, we asked Hanin why the G Tablet was shipped in this half-finished state at all -- he told us that while Android and Tegra are great platforms, Google's lack of support for larger devices means that companies like Viewsonic have to "go out and put together their own software and app stores." We're not sure that's a great answer -- in fact, it sort of sounds like Viewsonic is trying to blame Google, Adobe, and NVIDIA for its own half-finished and laggy software, when it released the tablet on its own accord to retailers. Either way, we've now seen more than enough terrible "user experience" issues on the early crop of Android tablets -- Honeycomb, where are you?

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ViewSonic Confirms High Performance of GTablet
Software Upgrade Release to Improve User Experience

WALNUT, Calif. – December 20, 2010 – ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of computing, consumer electronics and communications solutions, today responded to recent retailer actions surrounding its GTablet 10.1" Android 2.2 Tablet. The GTablet, based on the nVidia Tegra II chipset, is one of the fastest Android tablets on the market today, consistently leading industry benchmarks.

"We always listen to customers; while they love the hardware, they raised several issues about the user interface," Jeff Volpe, VP and GM for ViewSonic Americas. "As a result, our software partner is releasing an upgrade that will address customer concerns. Along with great performance improvements, customers will have the flexibility to use both a standard Android interface as well as a user-customizable interface which has been significantly enhanced since the product launch." Volpe went on to say, "ViewSonic is committed to its tablet endeavors and will continue with new announcements at CES in January."

Current GTablet owners will automatically receive the upgrade through their WiFi connection by Friday, December 24. Users simply need to accept the request to install the upgrade. In addition, Adobe® Flash certification is targeted for the end of January, 2011. In the interim, users can download Flash from various websites that distribute android applications.

For the latest on GTablet software updates, please visit beginning Wednesday, December 22. For general questions, please contact GTablet support at (866) 501-6405.