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Vizio's first Windows 8 tablet: hands-on with the AMD-powered, 1080p slate

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Vizio 11.6-inch Tablet with Windows 8
Vizio 11.6-inch Tablet with Windows 8

Vizio's only been a PC manufacturer for a few months, and it's already diversifying its product lines. Today we got our first look at the new 11.6-inch Tablet with Windows 8 — now the smallest member of Vizio's PC lineup — and it's a bit of an oddity. The most striking feature is its gorgeous 1920 x 1080 display, which looks even sharper than normal on the smaller device — it's a really good screen, but it creates some consequences. Intel's processors simply couldn't power such a dense, high-res screen, Vizio CTO Matt McRae told us, so the company used AMD chips instead. The Tablet is powered by a dual-core, 1GHz Z-60 processor, which based on our time with the device does a pretty good job powering Windows 8.

Like all of Vizio's Windows devices, the 11.6-inch Tablet runs a completely clean version of the operating system — it's called the Windows Signature installation, and it's one of the best things Vizio does. The slate comes with 64GB of solid-state storage, 2GB of RAM, Micro HDMI and mMicro USB ports, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. We weren't overwhelmingly impressed with the build quality; the lipped bezel around the display makes the device feel like two pieces were fused together rather than like a single unibody device. The whole thing is surprisingly heavy, too, but its metallic and industrial design is pretty handsome.

The 11.6-inch Tablet fits in nicely below the 14- and 15-inch laptops Vizio already offers, but it's not clear if its price will fit so well — the company is tightlipped about prices for the device. In what's certain to become a flood of Windows 8 tablets over the next few days, we'll see if 1080p and a non-Intel chip are enough for Vizio to stand out from the crowd.