The new Vizio phones and tablets, they shoot laser beams!

For reals. Like, for reals for reals. Vizio, the “brand of TV that I wanted to buy but didn’t because they don’t make DVD players” is branching out. They have 30-something 3D television models being made (PS, remind myself to buy stock) as well as iPhone competition in the form of smartphones and tablets.

In a press release, the company outlines its VIA Phone and VIA Tabletdevices that are set to debut this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Vizio’s VIA Phone will be a 1GHz device with a 4-inch “high-resolution” capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. The VIA Tablet will also feature a 1GHz processor and will be paired with an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. Both the tablet and smartphone will have “a built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app for quick access to the entire home theater or nearly any other CE device in the home.” No longer will I drool over a $200 Logitech Harmony remote control! You know, assuming I ditch my iPhone.

I am unsure which carrier Vizio is going to, and since I’m on an AT&T family plan that is saving me $40-50 a month, I’ll only be further interested if they don’t sell their souls to Verizon.

View the press release:

VIZIO Unveils New Smartphone and Tablet Featuring VIA Plus for Even More Entertainment Freedom

– Part of the VIA Plus Ecosystem, the VIZIO smartphone and tablet Feature a Unified and Intuitive User Experience to Simplify Today’s Connected Lifestyle

– The VIZIO smartphone features a 4″ high-resolution capacitive touch screen with 5 Megapixel camera for photos and HD video capture, and a front-facing camera for video chat

– The VIZIO tablet boasts an 8″ high resolution capacitive touchscreen with 3 speakers for stereo audio in portrait or landscape mode and a front-facing camera for video chat

– Both devices include HD video playback with HDMI video output, high quality audio processing and built-in universal remote control app that make these the ideal handheld companions to the HD entertainment experience

Irvine, CA-January 3, 2011 – VIZIO, America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today it is expanding into the mobility category with the VIZIO smartphone and tablet (referred to as the “VIA Phone” and “VIA Tablet” below) — both part of the VIA Plus ecosystem, the next generation of VIZIO Internet Apps™, that features a unified, sophisticated and intuitive user experience across multiple CE 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, Chief Technology Officer 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 multi-screen, unified ecosystem others have talked about for years and never delivered.”

The VIZIO VIA Phone features a 1 GHz processor, 4″ high-resolution capacitive touch screen, 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 5 megapixel rear camera for photos and HD video capture.

The VIZIO VIA Tablet also features a 1 GHz processor, with an 8″ high-resolution capacitive touch screen, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a MicroSD card slot for additional memory expansion, 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 app for quick access to the entire home theater or nearly any other CE device in the home. Both run on the Android™ Platform, which will also allow users to access thousands of apps through Android Market™.

“As part of the VIA Plus ecosystem, the VIA phone and tablet are natural extensions of the HD entertainment experience that historically has centered around the TV,” added Mr. McRae. “Whether consumers are looking to enjoy content on the big screen, on their tablet or on a mobile phone, VIA Plus delivers on the promise of Entertainment Freedom for All by creating a rich and consistent user experience across all devices that’s accessible to everyone, from the power user to the casual browser.”

VIZIO will be demonstrating the VIA Phone and VIA Tablet in their private CES showcase at the Wynn Hotel from January 6 to 9, 2011.

Author: Jason Zajdel

Learning as I go along. It's an awesome ride. =-)