Hands-on: Panasonic Viera Tablet

 

Panasonic is jumping on the tablet bandwagon, and has created several new Viera Tablets, revolving around its already successful IPTV Viera software. These tablets are Android based, come in 4, 7, and 10 inch models, and will be compatible with many Panasonic Viera TV's already on the market via a firmware upgrade. Future Panasonic TV's will of course support these tablets as well. For owners using Panasonic televisions that aren't compatible, new Blu-ray players created from the Viera line will support these tablets, allowing any consumer to access to Viera content and functinality. The 10 and 7 inch models have an HDMI out and USB port, while the 4 does not, and serves more of a remote control function than tablet.

These tablets offer the majority of features you'd find with an Android OS, including the Android Marketplace and Internet browser, but also feature an app store tailored to Viera specific applications including Netflix and Facebook. Time will tell whether or not developers will create Viera specific apps for Panasonic users. When asked if the Viera Market will tailored to an Open development model, answers were conflicting. During the press conference, it was hinted it may be, but reps on the floor said that information is not yet known. Stay tuned.

Performance of our hands on unit was somewhat laggy, but reps stated this unfinished product is continuing to be tested and fine tuned, and rest assured will be quite acceptable when it comes to performance.

One cool feature we tested was the ability to "flick" content over to a TV. You simply load a stream, or other various media source, push content on the tablets screen up, and it then appears on the TV. You can then multitask to another application without losing what you flicked to the television.

The 10 and 7 inch units felt solid, and had a nice weight to them. Not too heavy, but not flimsy either. The 4 inch model on the other hand was bulky, heavy, and felt more like a remote than a tablet.

All in all these lines of tablets shows promise, and with the integration of Viera, many Panasonic owners may jump at the chance to make their TV viewing experience more interactive.

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16 Comments

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jasonon said,
its like 50" plasma in the palms of my hand! but srsly panasonic, cut that huge BEZEL
I have thought about the same issue. Through the large Bezel they are solving another problem. Panasonic and other tablet designers are choosing to have a large bezel so that the user can hold the tablet without touching the touch sensors of the screen. If you have any part of the touch sensor pressed, and if you touch another place on the screen again, the user input is transmitted as a 2-finger gesture. A 2-finger gesture usually is used for Zoom. So when someone does this, instead of scrolling a page of text, the text will Zoom-in. It is pretty annoying to see this happen. Phones do not have a large bezel requirement because a user can hold the whole device in his hand.

The reason why the bezel is all around the tablet is so that they can support both Portrait and Landscape modes.

This is the coolest thing I have seen so far. How does it work? The TV *must* have some type of wireless receiver built in with auto-play set to ON that is paired with the tablet to automatically accept files that are being sent to it. The data sent must have the time (minutes, seconds) attached to it so it knows from which point to start playing.

rwx said,
This is the coolest thing I have seen so far. How does it work? The TV *must* have some type of wireless receiver built in with auto-play set to ON that is paired with the tablet to automatically accept files that are being sent to it. The data sent must have the time (minutes, seconds) attached to it so it knows from which point to start playing.

Pretty much yeh. Airplay (apples attempt at this) does it using simple HTTP commands to specify to starting points and play/pause.

i think it would be more interesting if you could be watching live tv, and flick it to your tablet so while your out the kitchen (for example) making a meal you're still watching tv

DomZ said,

Pretty much yeh. Airplay (apples attempt at this) does it using simple HTTP commands to specify to starting points and play/pause.

i think it would be more interesting if you could be watching live tv, and flick it to your tablet so while your out the kitchen (for example) making a meal you're still watching tv

somethings going to have to give, all these companys competing for a very small market, I see a lot of losers with a few winners.

evo_spook said,
somethings going to have to give, all these companys competing for a very small market, I see a lot of losers with a few winners.
I think it's a great thing. More competition, in the end the consumer wins.

Singh400 said,
I think it's a great thing. More competition, in the end the consumer wins.

No, cause now IDK which one I want! Probably the playbook

Singh400 said,
I think it's a great thing. More competition, in the end the consumer wins.

No, cause now IDK which one I want! Probably the playbook

Singh400 said,
I think it's a great thing. More competition, in the end the consumer wins.

Yeah were winners, I meant from the companies perspective, they'll be some jumping on the bandwagon and making a lose. I assume it'll be survival of the fittest and trim off the waste.

evo_spook said,

Yeah were winners, I meant from the companies perspective, they'll be some jumping on the bandwagon and making a lose. I assume it'll be survival of the fittest and trim off the waste.

To be fair this is what Apple did right - got their tablet out of the day first so when (the average) consumer is faced with 100 different tablets with different operating systems and different app stores they might be more likely to go with Apple because it's the most familiar, it's tried and tested and integrates with their iPod's and whatever other Apple devices they have

Singh400 said,
I think it's a great thing. More competition, in the end the consumer wins.
Actually that is partially true. If there are too many competitors, customers purchasing items from multiple competitors would leave all their devices "out of sync" with each other. They will have to buy devices again from those who survived. The number of such customers, however, will be small compared to ones that went with the Apples and Googles and Microsofts. In times like these, it is in the customer's best interests to buy products, if at all there is a need to buy, from the competitors who have the highest chance of survival in such a race, so that there is a high chance that their purchased products will get support later in the future.