By Stephen Silver
December 6, 2011
Those doubting the viability of Android tablets- and I've certainly been in that camp myself- will be pleasantly surprised by Vizio's entry, called simply the Vizio Tablet. No, it's not the iPad, but it provides tremendous value for its $299 price point.
Introduced subtly last January in a TV commercial that aired during the Vizio-sponsored Rose Bowl Game, then unveiled formally at CES the next week, the Vizio Tablet has been on the market since August although it has gradually added software updates and other new features since.
What separates Vizio's entry from most Android tablets is that it sports top-notch audio and video, and also doesn't feel like it was rushed out the door before it was ready.
It runs Android 2.3 and its screen is eight inches- smaller than an iPad, but larger than the Kindle Fire or BlackBerry PlayBook. That screen size especially comes in handy when viewing YouTube and Netflix video. Not to mention, the Vizio Tablet offers the best “Angry Birds” experience I've ever had.
Speaking of video, preloaded apps have been added, since the original release, for both Netflix and Hulu Plus, so plenty of content is available to you if you're a subscriber to either of those- and Vizio Tablet owners are also entitled to three free months of Hulu Plus. HBO Go is also available for download if you're an HBO subscriber.
The tablet offers the Kobo app preloaded, but if you prefer Kindle it supports that as well; I downloaded the app and was accessing previously downloaded books within minutes. There's also free video chat for up to six friends through ooVoo, although if you have six (or two, or one) friends who know what ooVoo is, good luck to you.
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