GTab – USB Host Functions

The ViewSonic G-Tablet has a USB Host Port!

GTab USB Host AdapterNot only does the GTab have a mini (NOT micro) USB connector to connect to your computer, it also has a STANDARD USB Host port for attaching peripheral devices! (It is located under the rubber cover for the SDCard.) This is a big deal. It allows you to add additional functions that are either absent and limited on the touch screen.

I thought it might be helpful to know what does and does not work:

  • KEYBOARD: One of the most valuable USB devices that I have added to my GTab is a USB Keyboard. I previously posted a quick review of the case & keyboard combo (http://bishoptec.com/2011/05/review-gtab-case-keyboard/) that I use. (Actually, I need to update that review since the keyboard is really not that helpful.) Since I am dissatisfied with the keyboard in the case, I purchased the Logitech USB Keyboard (Model K120, abt $12 in Walmart). It works perfectly. As with all peripherals on the GTab, you need to attach the device and reboot (allowing the GTab to boot with the device attached). It may not be necessary on all devices but it is now my standard procedure. Otherwise, the K120 works exactly as expected.
  • MOUSE: I also attached an old Logitech USB Mouse (model number is worn off) and it works. With some older Gingerbread ROMs, it was so jumpy (just moved from click-point to click-point on the screen) that I fond it useless. However, with the newer ROMs, it moves smoothly around the desktop and I really like it.
  • HUB: I have an old (unpowered) 4-port USB 2.0 hub that I tried (so cheap that there is no manufacturer or model number listed). It worked fine. I attached both the keyboard and mouse to it (and it to the GTab) and everything worked.
  • WEBCAM: I tried my Creative Labs Model VF0230 but I found no way to use it. It did not appear that the GTab recognized it and when I used the Camera app, it still used the built-in camera.

I did an updat2ed review of the USB Keyboard and Mouse here: USB Keyboard on gTab

 

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8 Responses to GTab – USB Host Functions

  1. Marco says:

    Hi Ray, Is there any way/app you know of that will allow a USB webcam to work on a gTab with jellybean installed? Many thanks.

    • Ray says:

      Hey Marco. It has been a LONG time since I owned or used a GTab, so anything that I say is the result of my 70-yr-old memory. 🙂
      I did an article asking for inputs about what would – and would not – work on the GTab’s USB host. Unfortunately, there were few responses. (Try this article:http://bishoptec.com/2012/04/usb-keyboard-on-gtab/) But the gist of what I recall was that it was just a matter of trial-and-error tests. I seem to recall that someone had gotten a webcam to work but it was brand-specific.
      We generally speak of Linux (Android is a subset of Linux) as not using “drivers” like Windows. However, the reality is that it does use drivers but they are compiled in the kernel. You cannot (easily) add or remove drivers. If the developer of the ROM included a driver that would support certain webcams, then they should work – but others might not work.

      • Marco says:

        Thanks for the prompt reply Ray.

        I have not had any success getting any one of my webcams to work on the old Gtab with jellybean. I have tried several webcams, even going so far as to borrow cams from friends but still no luck.

        I do need some sort of cam on the Gtab to work so I guess I will have to scout around and try installing different OS’s until I find one that will work either by supporting a webcam or allowing the built in cam to work.

        Anyway I do enjoy your videos and find them very informative for a noob like myself when it comes to tablets.
        I am still not sold on the idea of tablets anyway and prefer a nice little laptop or notebook. Still, tablets are a lot of fun to mess about with and my son loves some of the game apps.

        If I find something that works either way with a cam external or on-board I will surely post it here.

        Thanks again for the videos and info on your website.

        • Ray says:

          Hey Marco. Sorry that you did not find what you need. But don’t give up on tablets just because the 4yr old GTab does not meet your specs. It does not meet mine either!

  2. rory says:

    what about a usb touchpad instead of a mouse…

  3. Guy says:

    I just tried using 2 flash drives plugged into a hub in the port and can’t get that to work. It appears that the drive assignments are limited. I’m running cyanogen.

  4. kk6t says:

    This also works for moving files between a flash drive and the gtablet.

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