What do you get when one of the leading LCD HDTV manufacturers gets into the smartphone and tablet business? That's yet to be seen, but Vizio is getting ready to find out. The company is the latest technology vendor to build mobile devices.
Dubbed Via Phone and Via Tablet, the mobile devices will soon be part of the Via Plus ecosystem, described as the next generation of Vizio Internet apps that feature a single user experience across multiple consumer electronics devices, including Vizio HDTVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones and tablets.
"Both the Via phone and tablet feature the highest performance coupled with innovative features that tie them into the media-consumption experience," said Matthew McRae, CTO at Vizio. "And by integrating the Via Plus user experience also found on our next-generation TVs and Blu-ray devices, Vizio is delivering the multiscreen, unified ecosystem others have talked about for years and never delivered."
Speccing the Via
That's the value proposition in theory. What the new devices are in reality remains to be seen. For now Vizio is offering specs. The Via Phone features a one-gigahertz processor, a four-inch high-resolution touchscreen , 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity , GPS, a microSD card slot for memory expansion, and HDMI output with HD video playback. It also features a front-facing camera for video chats and a five-megapixel rear camera for photos and HD video capture.
The Via Tablet also features a one-gigahertz processor with an eight-inch high-resolution capacitive touchscreen, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a microSD card slot for additional memory, HDMI output with HD video playback, and a front-facing camera for video chats. It also boasts a unique three-speaker design for stereo audio in both portrait and landscape modes.
Both devices include a built-in IR blaster with universal remote control for quick access to a home theater or nearly any electronics device in the home. Both run on Google's Android operating system, which will allow users access to thousands of apps through the Android Market. Vizio will demonstrate the new devices at the Consumer Electronics Show, which begins later this week. (continued...)