You probably know Vizio for its televisions, not its tablets. (Indeed, the company makes some pretty nice HDTVs, and we say that from personal experience, not just testing.) Nonetheless, the company has thrown its first tablet, the prosaically named 8″ Tablet, straight into a wild scrum. This $299 Android-OS tablet is part of the company’s plan to create a new ecosystem centered around its Vizio Internet Apps Plus platform (V.I.A. Plus) for HDTVs, Blu-ray players, tablets, and smartphones. Vizio’s vision is that the V.I.A. Plus platform will consist of Android apps on all of its entertainment devices, as well as future services that will integrate the tablet with other V.I.A. Plus devices. One of the features Vizio promises, for example, is the ability to push media, such as photos and videos, from the tablet to V.I.A. Plus Vizio TVs with an easy flick of the finger.
The plan is for this and other kinds of V.I.A. Plus magic to appear through the end of 2011 and into 2012. For now, though, the company has deployed the technology only on the 8″ Tablet. But, in stark contrast to this forward-looking tech, the 8″ Tablet doesn’t run the latest version of Android. Like many other under-$300 tablets, it instead uses version 2.3 (a.k.a. “Gingerbread”), which is something of a drawback by itself.
Unlike most Gingerbread tablets we’ve reviewed, though, this one supports the full Android Market. This means you can access the full range of the latest Android apps available, rather than having to rely on pared-down third-party repositories, such as GetJar or AppBrain. Also, the Vizio 8″ Tablet is one of the first budget-priced tablets we’ve seen that doesn’t look or feel cheap.
See review at Computer Shopper
If money is no object (and is it ever truly not one?), a tablet running the most recent version of Google’s Android operating system is what you want if you’re looking for an alternative to an Apple iPad. For lots of folks, though, $500 is simply too much for a device geared mostly toward mobile entertainment. Hence, we’re always intrigued by entry-level gadgets that can do a bit less, but for far less cash Take Pandigital’s 7-inch-screened Star tablet, for example. It sells for $159.99, a fraction of the price of an iPad or top-shelf Android tablet…. Read more at Computer Shopper.