Vizio just changed the whole look of its product line by announcing a slew of new hardware at CES 2012, including a handful of all-in-one desktops, and two new ultrabook laptops. The Windows-powered devices join the company's latest effort in Android tablets (a mysterious 10-inch model), and compliment Vizio's array of HDTVs. We've got all the news and videos, and will be getting some hands-on time with the new devices soon, so stay tuned!
Jan 13, 2012
I sat down with Vizio CTO Matt McRae yesterday to talk over the company's huge number of CES announcements, from its CinemaWide 21:9 TVs to the $99 VAP430 Google TV media streamer to its entirely new lineup of laptop and desktop PCs. We also talked a lot about smart TV and the challenges of integrating live television with internet content, and Matt said something particularly interesting — he believes that a full internet TV provider that offers 50-100 channels to consumers will launch within 12-18 months. That's a bold prediction from the CTO of the number one US TV manufacturer, but it's also exciting: Matt says internet delivery will enable all kinds of new search and discovery methods and synchronized TV / PC / tablet viewing experiences. Unfortunately he wouldn't say who would be behind this new service, but at least there's hope.Read Article >
Oh, and hey — the CTO of Vizio hates IR blasters just as much as I do.
Jan 12, 2012
Vizio has introduced an entire ecosystem's worth of video and computing products at CES this year, and we just took a look at their entry-level device: the Vizio VAP430 Stream Player. It's a tiny black box that fits in the palm of your hand — not quite the size of a hockey puck, but very close — that will provide access to the usual streaming suspects like Netflix through Vizio's Via Plus platform, and allow you to display media from your mobile device via DLNA. Plug your set-top box into the HDMI input, and you've also got a Google TV, complete with IR blaster control of your STB (and OnLive is on the way).Read Article >
The device is fairly straightforward in terms of ports: ethernet, HDMI in and out, USB and a plug for the IR blaster (Wi-Fi is also included). We weren't able to see the UI in action, but were told it will use the exact same interface and remote as the rest of Vizio's Google TV-enabled devices. If this sounds like something you'd like to add to your set-up, you won't have long to wait: the release of the device was said to be "imminent," with a confirmed price of $99.
Vizio has announced new models in its line of 3D-capable high-definition LCD televisions, while increasing the number of titles available on its Vizio Internet Apps platform. The televisions range from 32-inch to 65-inch models, all feature built-in Wi-Fi, and utilize the company's passive "Theater 3D" technology, which it claims provides a 3D viewing experience without the nasty headaches and sore eyes we've come to expect. The entry level E-Series includes 32-, 42-, and 47-inch models, priced from $549.99 to $899.99, and are available now. The M and R Series feature increasingly improved backlighting, while also upping the number of 3D glasses included (from two to four, depending on the model). Pricing and availability for the latter two lines have yet to be announced.Read Article >
All of the televisions also incorporate Vizio's Internet Apps platform, which the company is expanding in conjunction with the launch. While the usual suspects like Facebook, Netflix, Vudu, and Pandora have already been present, the Yahoo! Connected TV store is now joining the fray, opening up access to more than 180 new apps from the likes of CBS, Showtime, and QVC. Whether it will be enough to cause apps on televisions to truly take off remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Vizio isn't leaving any bases uncovered.
Vizio is charging ahead with its own take on Google TV with the announcement of the VAP430 Stream Player. On the one hand, it's a small Wi-Fi media streamer, connecting to your television via HDMI and providing access to Vizio's Internet App Plus ecosystem. It also offers up web content via the integrated Flash-capable Chrome browser, and you can stream your own content from computers or smartphones — and the cloud, of course. By plugging in your cable or satellite set-top box via the HDMI pass-through, however, you're also getting a full-fledged Google TV. The Android Marketplace is included, as is the snazzy new Vizio Google TV remote that we previewed yesterday.Read Article >
It's a smart move from Vizio, attacking the low end of the market with a standalone streamer while offering up an integrated television option at the same time. At least that's what we assume the strategy is; with no price having been announced, it's hard to say for certain. The Stream Player is expected to ship this spring.
Don't call them "ultrabooks" — Vizio says they're thin-and-lights that meet or exceed Intel's ultrabook specs, but the company isn't using the name. Whatever they are, they're certainly thin, and that keyboard is something else. Vizio CTO Matt McRae told us the company is doing extensive testing on it to make sure it's comfortable, and we found it easy enough to type on, although the individual keys felt sort of huge. The build itself is nice and sturdy, with unibody construction, but Vizio won't tell us what processors or chipsets it's using inside — we're guessing it's Intel's Ivy Bridge. The 13-inch thin-and-light has a 1600 x 900 display, while the 15-inch has a 1920 x 1080 display — they're definitely nice and bright, and there's a neat display-off button on the keyboard so you can use shut it down while watching TV.Read Article >
There's also a "full-size" laptop with discrete NVIDIA graphics — once again, the specific chip hasn't been announced so Vizio wasn't saying what it was, but they were quick to point out that even the full laptop is thinner than the MacBook Pro. Hitting that goal was undoubtedly easier since it doesn't have an optical drive — Vizio's selling a separate slot-loading Blu-ray drive.
We just spent some time with the Vizio M-Series tablet. It's nice and thin, with three speakers and Vizio's custom Android skin on top of Honeycomb. Vizio's not saying what processor it's using because it's not announced yet, but performance on this early unit felt snappy enough. There's the requisite IR blaster on top for control of all your home theater gear, and the screen tech "similar to IPS," but something else — IPS is a trademark and VIzio is using a different supplier. We were told pricing would be "competitive," and that the tablet will come out in June or perhaps a little later.Read Article >
Jan 9, 2012
We saw this coming a few days ago, but Vizio's officially announced its new all-in-one PC and two new laptops, all destined to arrive this spring. As promised there's a "thin + light" model as well as a model simply known as the Visio Notebook. There's no technical specifications available yet, nor is there confirmation of two different screen sizes for the all-in-one PC, but it's clear Vizio's focused on the aesthetic and experience with these products. The company's posted five videos to this page which outline its first entry into the computer space.Read Article >
Vizio's also official unveiled the 10-inch tablet we heard about yesterday — details are again minimal, but based on the company's previous tablet offering we'd expect this to be another Android model. Here's hoping it has Android 4.0 onboard when it launches; unlike the computers, Vizio's not giving a timeframe for when that might happen. Lastly, the company's expanding its living room offerings with a new soundbar and 3D Blu-Ray player — we expect to get up close and personal with Vizio's new gear very soon and will keep you posted on our first impressions.
Jan 7, 2012
Last night, a little bird told us that Vizio's Rose Bowl ad wasn't for a TV: it was actually the company's first all-in-one PC. We didn't believe it at first, but that's exactly what Vizio is about to do: enter the Windows PC business. The company has a slew of machines in its arsenal, including a 24- and 27-inch all-in-ones and 14-inch and 15.6-inch ULV-powered ultrabooks, and Vizio told the Financial Times that they will "exceed ultrabook specifications." (In fact, Vizio tells us it won't officially use the "ultrabook" term to differentiate its machines — it's going with "thin and lite" instead.) On top of that, it will have a regular 15.6-inch laptop for "extreme portable performance."Read Article >
We don't have any real details on the specs — all we know is that they will have DLNA for streaming to Vizio TVs, naturally — but Vizio is saying these will be out in May, which leads us to think they will be powered by Intel's forthcoming Ivy Bridge processors. We're digging up more details as we type, but in the meantime check out the photos and renders below. As you can see, the all-in-ones will be accompanied by matching keyboards, mice, external optical drives, and what looks like a Magic Touchpad too.