January 03, 2011
| by Rachel Cericola
VIZIO is kicking off the New Year with a slew of new products, as well as new product categories. They just announced a few company firsts, including a smartphone and tablet product.
Dubbed the VIZIO VIA Tablet, this product includes an 8-inch color touchscreen, a 1GHz processor, built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a MicroSD card slot, and a front-facing camera for video chats. There’s also GPS, which may not help in your living room, but makes this a nice travel companion.
Another interesting feature is an HDMI output, which allows for HD video playback. If that’s not an option, the tablet does have a three-speaker design for audio in both portrait and landscape modes.
For a more portable experience, the VIZIO VIA Phone does include many of the same features, in an even smaller package. The handheld has the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the GPS, the 1GHz processor, a MicroSD card slot, and an HDMI output for playback on your HDTV. The phone also has a front-facing camera, but adds in a 5-megapixel rear camera for pictures and HD video. Everything is accessible via the phone’s 4-inch high-res touchscreen.
Both devices also include a built-in IR blaster, as well as a universal remote control app. That means that both can be used as a control device for your entertainment system or almost any other device in the home. Other apps can be added via the Android Market.
Since both share the VIA moniker, we have to wonder if either device will run VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA), which is featured on many of VIZIO’s newer TVs. This on-screen service provides instant access to services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Flickr, Twitter, and much more.
Aside from entertainment options, VIZIO has yet to announce pricing and availability for either product. The company should be fielding those questions this week, since both items will be on display at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.