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ViewSonic ViewPad E70 with Ice Cream Sandwich Debuts at $170

LAS VEGAS -- Viewsonic Corp.'s newest addition to a growing line of tablet devices will be a 7-inch slate running the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and selling for $170, the company announced at CES 2012. The ViewPad E70, bolstered by a 1GHz processor and 4G of RAM, will be available late in the first quarter of 2012.

At a significant chunk of change less than $200, the E70 is geared toward the economically-minded consumer who's not ready to fork over the heavy cash payment associated with top-tier tablets like Apple's iPad. The E70 will attempt to deliver quality entertainment features like high-definition video, quick processing and wide viewing angles. Its guaranteed failure to do so seems quite possible, as technological disappointment within this price point has become as sure as anything but gravity.

Given the company's lackluster history in the field, we're skeptical that ViewSonic will manage to fall upward - though we would love if it did. Last year's ViewBook 730 was a bust, and the ViewPad 10 was even worse; neither broke the two-star boundary by our reviews team.

Everything's not lost, though, as the E70 has some features that will appeal to any consumer. A front-facing camera (though the number of pixels hasn't been revealed) will enable video chat capability, Wi-Fi support will boost internet speeds at home, microSD expandable storage will store up to 32GB and a 1080p HDMI output means sweet video streaming on your television. With all of that on top of Google's new slick Sandwich operating system, we hope the E70 doesn't end up as this year's first addition to the slate graveyard left behind by 2011.