Viliv X70 Tablet Hands-On: Slate With a Touchpad

At this year's CES, Viliv is rolling out three new and exciting tablets. The Viliv X70 Windows, X70 Android, and X10 (also Android) are all due to ship this spring. We had a chance to go hands-on with these slates at the Viliv booth and came away impressed.

Viliv X70 Windows

Don't be confused by the X70 model number on this 7-inch Oaktrail-powered Winodws slate. For a couple of years now, Viliv has had an earlier version Windows X70 slate, but in 2011 the device is completely brand new with a from-the-ground-up design that screams style and power. Key specs include a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 capacitive screen, an Oaktrail CPU (clockspeed subject to change), a 32 or64GB SATA SSD capable of 100MB  read / 70MB write speeds, 1 or 2GB of RAM, 1.3 MP / 3MP front and rear-facing webcams, optional 3G / WiMax support, and HDMI-out.

Check out the video below to see the X70 Windows, X70 Android, and X10 up close.

We're particularly excited about the X70's hi-speed SATA SSD, because so many Windows tablets in the past have used slow-moving PATA disks that make the entire systme feel sluggish. The targeted read/write rate of 100 / 70 MBps means that this slate should be more responsive than a typical notebook, not less.

Design-wise, the sleek black front of the system is matched by a textured back that has a leather-like pattern. A 0.56-inch, .96-pound frame makes this 7-inch slate extremely easy to carry.

However, our favorite feature of the X70 Windows is its touchpad. You read that right. The right side of the bezel has a tiny square you can swipe with your thumb to move around the desktop and the right side has two touch-sensitive buttons for left and right click. This technology is similar to the thumb touchpad we saw and were amazed with on the Viliv N5 UMPC, and here it is even more important. Everyone knows that the chief problems with touch on Windows 7 is the difficulty of clicking tiny buttons, icons, and menus with a finger and left/right clicking with touch is no picnic either.  By giving you a working touchpad with buttons, Viliv has addressed one of Windows' most serious tablet problems. Every Windows touch device should have this.

Also on the bezel are shortcut keys that launch the start menu,windows media player, and Viliv's virtual keyboard. You can see a picture of the split virtual keyboard below, juxtapositioned with Windows 7's stock virtual keyboard. There's no comparison as Viliv's split keyboard makes typing a lot easier and even has large transparent keys so you can see windows underneath the keyboard while you type. Having a dedicated button that brings up the keyboard is also an innovation since many Windows tablets require you to tap something on screen to make the keyboard appear. A Viliv spokesperson told us the company is still deciding whether or not to include haptic feedback on the device.

Check out the video below to see some of the Viliv X70's most unique features in action.

Viliv X70 Android

In addition to the X70 Windows, there's a powerful X70 Android tablet that should ship in March or April. The X70 Android has the same exact chassis as the X70 Windows, but inside is a Samsung Cortex A8 1-GHz CPU and 8GB (16/32GB optional) of storage. The 7-inch screen is 1024x600 resolution like the one on the X70 Windows and it also is capacitive. The X70 Android also sports front and rear-facing webcams, GPS, and HDMI-out.

Viliv claims a battery life of 9.5 hours with the 5600 mAH battery. For an estimated price of $399, the device will include a 3G modem in addition to 802.11n,though there will also be a Wi-Fi only version.

Depending on when it is released the X70  Android may come with Honeycomb or with Froyo and be upgradable. Given the device's March / April launch timeframe, we wouldn't be surprised if Viliv launched with Honeycomb.

Viliv X10 Slate

We first saw the 10-inch Android-packing Viliv X10 slate back at Computex. However, Viliv has completely changed the design and screen resolution since then. As you'll see in the picture below and in the video we shot, the X10 looks like a larger version of X70 and no longer has the red accents we saw in Taiwan. Its screen has also gone down in resolution from 1366 x 768 to 1024 x 600.  Other specs are similar to the X70 Android, including the Sausung Cortex A8 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, HDMI-out, GPS, cameras  and connectivity options

The Viliv X10 weighs 1.5 pounds and is estimated to last over 10 hours with its 8500 mAH battery. No word yet on pricing, but it is expected to launch sometime after the X70.

Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.