If you have been waiting for a bargain tablet, the ViewSonic G Tablet may be it. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first but found myself enjoying the reading experience in OverDrive Media Console Mobile for Android.  I digitally flipped through a few chapters of Harlan Coben’s Live Wire the other night and thought the speed of a page turn and overall app performance were adequate on this particular tablet.

This spunky little device is running Android 2.2 Froyo; however, ViewSonic changed the interface slightly. If you are familiar with Android, it won’t be exactly what you are expecting or are used to. There is one thing that I recommend, and that is completing the firmware updates as soon as you take it out of the box. Otherwise, you’ll be a little disappointed in the OS. These firmware updates will make all the difference. The G Tablet also has support for Flash 10.1 which seems to be a feature most non-iPad consumers are interested in.

The G tablet’s 10 inch screen size is easily comparable to the iPad and is also 3 inches larger than other Android tablets on the market to date. The video playback was spectacular, which is in part to the 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor. It also supports resolutions up to 1080p, in addition to supporting most video formats, like MPEG-4, DivX, MOV, etc. Another nice feature is that it has outputs for both USB and HDMI.

Other notable features include support for WiFi, Bluetooth, video conferencing with a 1.3 megapixel camera, and an impressive 8-10 hours of battery life. The battery life listed in the specs is really more of a potential listing. Besides having ports for HDMI and USB, you also are able to plug-in for mini USB. Lastly, if 16 GBs of memory isn’t enough, you have the option of an extra 32GBs via a microSD.

As I mentioned before, this is more of a bargain tablet, and by bargain I simply mean less expensive than the iPad 2 and other high profile tablets. Browsing online, I have even seen the ViewSonic G Tablet for close to $300.

Overall, I think the ViewSonic G Tablet isn’t a bad option if you are looking at tablets, especially if you take into consideration the firmware update. It’s got a great processor and a large screen for reading eBooks or watching videos. The price point is also a big factor and any decent tablet for under $400 is something to add to your list of devices to research and consider.

Megan Greer is an account specialist for OverDrive.

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