This past weekend, we reported that Staples had stopped selling the Viewsonic G Tablet due to a “manufacturing defect,” but now it turns out that stores made the decision to pull the product due to sluggish software and an overall lousy user experience rather than a hardware problem. In a press release issued today, the company called its slate “one of the fastest Android tablets on the market today,” but said it plans to issue an over-the-air software update later this week that will improve performance and allow users to disable the proprietary Tap n’ Tap UI that has covered over Android on the device.
Speaking to Engadget, Viewsonic VP of Marketing Adam Hanin, said the company has experienced a high return rate due to the Tap n’ Tap UI’s sluggish performance. He also said consumers were upset about the lack of Flash on the device, a problem which should be solved when Adobe certifies flash for the G Tablet’s Tegra 2 CPU sometime in January. Until then, however, users will be able to download a beta Flash player from the Viewsonic site.
We really can’t blame all the users who have been returning the G Tablet. We reviewed the sluggish slate last month and found that its proprietary Tap n’ Tap UI slowed the system down to a crawl while also making it ugly and difficult to use. The device’s hardware is decent and its battery lasts over 10 hours, though the cheap plastic chassis creaks when you hold it. But if it takes several seconds to return to the home screen after you’ve hit the home button, who cares how long it lasts?
Several intrepid users have already rooted their G Tablets and installed custom firmware that provides a much better user experience. If you own a G Tablet and don’t want to wait for the company’s upcoming software update, you may want to check out the VEGAn ROM and rooting instructions at the XDA Forums.