The Vizio tablet weighs just 1.2 pounds (0.54 kilograms), but it's designed to become one of the most powerful components in users' living rooms thanks to its ability to control home-theater systems.
The Vizio has just 4GB of built-in memory -- many of its entry-level competitors start at 16GB. The tablet's memory can be expanded via an open slot for a 32GB memory card [source: Poeter], but the Via's limited on-board memory, paired with its 1GHz single-core processor, may make it difficult for the tablet to accommodate memory-hogging operating system upgrades or multiple apps. By comparison, the Apple iPad has a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor. Each core independently processes information, and it also reads and executes instructions. What does that mean in practical terms? For the user, the dual cores result in a device with the ability to handle more information, faster [source: McGrath].
Vizio proponents say that the tablet doesn't necessarily need more power because it's intended to act as a remote to operate home-theater systems, including cable boxes, surround sound and televisions [source: Lugmayr]. The tablet works as a remote with Vizio equipment, as well as some equipment from other manufacturers. It has a built-in HDMI port designed to transmit high-definition content to televisions, and users can expect about 10 hours of battery life between charges.
The Vizio tablet runs Android apps, which are available for purchase or free from Android Market. The tablet can also be used as a remote to search and download apps for new Vizio televisions equipped with the Vizio Internet Apps platform. This platform also gives users access to Blockbuster On Demand and Hulu Plus [source: Melanson].
While the Vizio tablet may have trouble competing with tablets that have more powerful operating systems, faster processors and greater memory capacities, there is one gadget that might be quaking in its box: e-book readers. The tablet's screen is larger than most readers', and it supports e-books, magazines and other multimedia. Plus, for just $50 to $100 (or so) more than an e-book reader, users can play Angry Birds and sync their home theater systems, too.
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- McGrath, Jack. "Apple's A5 Chip: the iPad 2's Insanely Fast Processor." Techno Buffalo. March 4, 2011. (Aug. 25, 2011) http://www.technobuffalo.com/companies/apple/apple's-a5-chip-the-ipad-2s-insanely-fast-processor/
- Melanson, Donald. "Vizio Internet Apps adds Hulu Plus and Blockbuster On Demand." Engadget. Jan. 5, 2011. (Aug. 20, 2011) http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/vizio-internet-apps-adds-hulu-plus-and-blockbuster-on-demand/
- Mori, Kanama. "Those Tablets Below $300 Price Tag." Pctabz.com. Aug. 7, 2011. (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.pctabz.com/2011/08/those-tablets-below-300-tag-price/
- Poeter, Damon. "Vizio Tablet Hits Shelves at Steep Discount." PC Mag. Aug. 9, 2011. (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390756,00.asp
- Vizio. "Using Greener Methods." (Aug. 25, 2011) http://www.vizio.com/environment