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Panasonic Viera Tablet: Will this Dog Hunt?

by Terrence O'Brien on March 10, 2011

Like every other company under the sun, Panasonic is getting in on the Android tablet action. Unlike other companies though, the Viera Tablets aren't being pitched as standalone devices for gaming and browsing the Web, Panasonic sees them as companions for its line of televisions.

The tablets will come in three sizes: 4, 7 and 10-inches and run Android 2.2 (Froyo). Given that other Android tablets hitting the market are using 3.0 (Honeycomb), the Viera Tablet is already a generation behind.

Panasonic hasn't given definitive specs on the devices, but it's clear these tablets aren't packing the same high-powered parts found in devices like the Motorola Xoom. But the Viera tabs aren't designed for gaming, they're meant for watching video and running a few Panasonic sanctioned apps. That's right folks, no Android Market here, just the Viera Market, a selection of Panasonic approved apps that will likely have a heavy focus on media.

The main selling point for Viera Tablets is their ability to interact with Viera TVs. When paired with a compatible Panasonic Viera TV, you'll be able to send content from the tablet to the TV, view information about what you're watching on the tablet or even check out alternative viewing angles from an HD movie. Panasonic says there will be social networking features baked in so you can check Twitter and Facebook. The Viera Tablets will also be able to act as a remote control—after all, what's the point of having a fancy tablet that interacts with your TV if you can't change the channel in between Tweets?—but probably only for Viera devices.

Given the limited functionality and strong competition from the Xoom and iPad 2, I don't see many people springing for a Viera Tablet. Though it's possible that Panasonic will see the light and release a full-featured version running Honeycomb when (if) they release the tablets in the summer. Pricing for the Viera Tablet has not been announced.


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