In addition to the AMD-powered tablet running Windows 8 that Vizio showed off earlier this week, the company is showing off two new ARM-based tablets running Android at CES. Vizio has reportedly listened to feedback from users as well as completed internal testing to arrive at a new tablet form factor that is lighter and thinner. In contrast to the previous-generation design, the two new Vizio tablets will be 7-inches and 10.1-inches respectively.
Both tablets feature an IPS display, rounded corners, and a back panel that is covered with a soft-to-the-touch material. Also, both tablets have a similar color scheme and logo placement.
While the exterior design is similar between the two devices, the internal specifications differ significantly. The 7-inch tablet is much smaller and has been optimized for portrait viewing. According to Vizio, the tablet is light enough to hold in one hand comfortably. Along the edges, it offers micro USB, a headphone jack, and volume controls. It has a front-facing 1.2MP webcam and an IPS display (non-laminated) with a resolution of 1280 x 800. A Vizio logo and speaker bar adorn the underside of the device.
Internal specifications include a NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microphone, and the Android 4.2 operating system. There is no word yet on the amount of RAM or how much the tablet weighs.
Meanwhile, the 10.1-inch Vizio tablet is matched to compete with Google’s Nexus 10. The Vizio tablet features a laminated IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, front and rear-facing cameras, speakers, and micro USB, HDMI, and headphone connectors. Internally, the 10.1-inch tablet uses NVIDIA’s latest Tegra 4 System on a Chip (SoC), which should push it above the performance of the Nexus 10 — and (hopefully) provide the computing power necessary to smoothly push all the pixels on the high resolution display. Other hardware specs that Vizio has shared includes 32GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The tablet will ship with Android 4.2 as well.
Notably, Vizio has opted to provide a completely stock Android 4.2 operating system with its new tablets sans any skins or bloat-ware. Both tablets are expected sometime this year, with The Verge claiming the 7-inch model’s release date being within the first half of 2013. Allegedly, the tablets are noticeably lighter than the current (and, granted, older) crop of competing tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. It will be interesting to see how well the Tegra 4 chip handles the 2560 x 1600 display with the Android UI, movies, and 3D games.
For comparison, the Kindle Fire HD 7” is running a dual core OMAP 4460 SoC at 1.2GHz and the Nexus 10 is running a dual core Samsung Exynos 5250 chip at 1.7GHz. It is somewhat of a tossup with the 7” Vizio tablet and Tegra 3 as it will depend on the task and how well multi-core/multithreading is handled in the particular piece of software. The comparison between the Exynos 5250 and Tegra 4 will be interesting though, as it reminds me of the early Intel Core days where debates would be waged over the faster clocked E6600 versus the slower Q6600 and the merits of dual vs quad core on the OSes and games of the time. I’m interested to see some independent benchmarks of Tegra 4 versus Tegra 3 and A6X-powered devices in particular though (to see if it lives up to NVIDIA's claims).
Besides the unknown Tegra 4 improvements, current unknowns on the two tablets include pricing, availability, battery life, amount of RAM, and the SoC clockspeeds.
What do you think of the redesigned Vizio tablets from what we know so far? Did the company get it right this time around with its re-engineered stock devices?
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
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