Product Review (submitted on January 11, 2012):
Vizio 8” Tablet Review (original review dated September 2010)
I picked one up from WalMart about a week ago for $298.00. I currently have a Xoom tablet which I use heavily for work and school activities. The plan had been to wait for the Acer 7” tablet to come out and get one, but after reading about the 5 hour battery life and the fact that it runs Honeycomb I figured I would try out the Vizio. I’ll briefly discuss the following items and then provide my final thoughts
Finish – the Vizio looks and feels like an expensive piece of electronic gadgetry. The back has a nice grippy surface and the weight is just right for me. I have large hands so the proportions are just right. It also feels perfectly balanced. The screen smudges easily but this is true with all touch screen devices. The edges have a nice bevel to them that also helps when holding with one hand. Properly polished and shined up, this thing looks good on the coffee table, countertop or outside on the patio table. The look is more elegant than industrial / tech.
Hardware / Performance – the single core processor and 512mb of RAM perform very well for my needs. This thing has blazed thru every task I have thrown at it. Multi tasking, no problem. Streaming music from Digitally Imported radio while responding to emails and web surfing, no problem. Full screen YouTube, flash enabled web sites, VEMO music video watching, no problem. The Kindle app works great, the Zinio online magazine app works great. Switching between apps, screen transitions, everything is very fluid and smooth. I have experienced absolutely no lag, period. The display is bright and clear. Not the brightest out there but certainly very good. The viewing angles are also good. I have no need for a high res camera being as I have a Eye Fi memory card in my stand alone digital camera and I plan to use this around the house only. I’m going to assume this manages memory because I have yet to experience any app slowdowns. The wi fi signal is always strong regardless of my location inside or outside. The Bluetooth also works very well. The battery life is great. It normally lasts until 8 or 9 hours before throwing in the towel.
Software / Features – upon connecting to my home network, a major software update was downloaded and installed automatically. Not sure what it updated but it shows Vizio is committed to continually improving the device. The standard factory Vizio interface is boring so the first thing I did was install LauncherPro, a homescreen replacement app. With this I figured out how to easily change wallpaper and make the device look and operate the way I want. Because I have a Xoom I am familiar with the Honeycomb OS. Honeycomb is good, however, right now not a lot of apps are specifically coded for it. Gingerbread has a larger selection of apps and is more stable. Again, everything runs fast and smooth. I have installed the following apps and they all run with no issues: Kindle, LauncherPro, DI Radio, UberMusic, Jazz Radio, AudioGalaxy, 3, Audalyzer, You Tube, QuickPic, PicSay Pro, Mobo Player, Zinio, USA Today, Pulse Reader, News360, Engadget, Earthquake, The Weatherchannel, Lighting Bug, EventFlow, White Noise, Bible, UltraChron, RealCalc, Google Earth, Thinking space, Documents to Go, Catch, Astro and Dropbox, DirecTV, ConvertPad, Dolphin HD web browser, Final Countdown widget, Movies, Circle Launcher Pro, and XiiaLive. This device doesn’t support live wallpapers which I found strange. Tech support stated it may be a feature incorporated in a software update. The remote control and IR blaster work very good. It’s been programmed to control the following devices: 32” Vizio HD TV, 47” Toshiba HD TV, 40” Sony HD TV, Sony home theater receiver, Sony blu ray player, 2 DirecTV satellite/dvr receivers, Sony 5 disc DVD home theater system. Right now it doesn’t work for my PS3 or my Sony internet box but again, Tech support says those items may be addressed in an upcoming update.
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this device. I would recommend this device to anyone looking for a low cost table that delivers excellent performance and value for the money.