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TV Company Vizio Jumps into PC Market with Both Feet

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Vizio is kicking its week at CES off with the unveiling of five new computers. This marks the HDTV company's first entry into the PC market.

Vizio is a brand we're used to seeing in the living room. However, Bloomberg last week made waves when it reported that this TV company was planning on entering the PC market. Chief Technology Officer Matt McRae told the publication in an interview that his company was working on two desktop PCs and three notebooks, and that these five machines would be unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, McRae is a man of his word, because with just 24 hours before CES officially opens, Vizio has uncovered its first foray into the world of computing. The company didn't provide much in the way of specs (we expect those will come a little bit later), but we do know that these 24- and 27-inch all-in-one PCs, 14- and 15.6-inch lightweight laptops, and 15.6-inch notebook will launch in the spring of 2012. Vizio has teamed up with Microsoft to provide a clean system image optimized by Redmond, and all of the machines will run Windows 7. Vizio says this line of PCs is an expansion of the Vizio Internet Apps (V.I.A.) Ecosystem and, as such, is based around entertainment.

"PCs are often associated with productivity and the workplace, routinely lacking the excitement that would be expected with what and how consumers want to use their PCs today – as an extension of their entertainment experience," said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer. "Vizio wanted to change that. Our new line of Vizio PCs are truly high quality and consumer focused, delivering enhanced multimedia capabilities while upholding our high standards of performance, style and design."

Stay tuned for more specs -- we'll provide an update as soon as they become available. For now, check out this video from Vizio CTO Matt McRae; Microsoft's Nick Parker, VP of OEM Worldwide Marketing; and Scott McManigal, Senior Director of Design at Vizio.

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  • 2 Hide
    nurgletheunclean , January 9, 2012 9:24 PM
    eh. What's Vizio going to actually change? PC are commodities. It's going to have intel/amd cpu intel/amd/nvidia GPU, ram, disk, etc. Small cosmetic changes to the keyboard and case, some Vizio branded bloatware. Same product different name. My question is with margins so tight on PCs why would they even want to enter that market in the first place?
  • 5 Hide
    Kamab , January 9, 2012 9:39 PM
    All-in-one pc plus emphasis on style. Besides having their own OS, this is what Apple does very successfully.
  • 3 Hide
    nikorr , January 9, 2012 9:43 PM
    Competition is the coolest think! Love it! Bring it on...
  • -2 Hide
    Shin-san , January 9, 2012 9:54 PM
    Very nice-looking, but too much like a Macintosh
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , January 9, 2012 9:59 PM
    nurgletheuncleaneh. What's Vizio going to actually change? PC are commodities. It's going to have intel/amd cpu intel/amd/nvidia GPU, ram, disk, etc. Small cosmetic changes to the keyboard and case, some Vizio branded bloatware. Same product different name. My question is with margins so tight on PCs why would they even want to enter that market in the first place?


    I somewhat agree with you. I certainly was not expecting another player in the PC market. But, seeing Vizio's place in the TV market, I am at least willing to give them a chance. I'll wait to see the specs and real-world performance of these. With any luck (in a broad consumer aspect) it will foster better competition and more competetive pricing counter to the likes of other PC makers (maybe even Apple). Or there is a chance that if they do exceptionally well and become a powerhouse in the PC market, they can pressure Intel/AMD/Nvidia/WD/Seagate/etc to drop prices on products (though that is obviously a hilarious pipedream).
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , January 9, 2012 9:59 PM
    Show me any of those boxes running Crysis over 30 fps and I will be impressed.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , January 9, 2012 11:18 PM
    Let's see what they come up with. A fresh player is usually good to stir things up a bit.
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , January 9, 2012 11:53 PM
    If I had to guess, based on the comment about the custom image, these will be sold at a premium but be devoid of useless bloatware or anything that would detract from the smooth use of this device as an "entertainment appliance."
  • 4 Hide
    alidan , January 10, 2012 12:04 AM
    KamabAll-in-one pc plus emphasis on style. Besides having their own OS, this is what Apple does very successfully.


    apple is more or less a complete failure in the pc market, to the point they almost died... the only reason they have prominence now is because of cellphones.

    nurgletheuncleaneh. What's Vizio going to actually change? PC are commodities. It's going to have intel/amd cpu intel/amd/nvidia GPU, ram, disk, etc. Small cosmetic changes to the keyboard and case, some Vizio branded bloatware. Same product different name. My question is with margins so tight on PCs why would they even want to enter that market in the first place?


    really, why not just make a quality monitor line, 1920x1200, or 2560x1600 with built in tv tuners for conveyance.
  • 1 Hide
    runswindows95 , January 10, 2012 12:19 AM
    If they aren't overpriced, they may have a shot. I mean, be nice to buy a laptop with just Windows installed, and that's it.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 10, 2012 1:24 AM
    the more competition leads to lower prices i hope :D 
  • 2 Hide
    tipoo , January 10, 2012 1:58 AM
    These look gorgeous, hope TH reviews them. The keyboard looks badly spaced though.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , January 10, 2012 2:00 AM
    Shin-sanVery nice-looking, but too much like a Macintosh


    My sentiment was "Wow, something good looking that doesn't look like a mac". Apart from being metal and having a keyboard, wheres the resemblance? Looks like a nice original minimalist design.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnA , January 10, 2012 3:50 AM
    Well, I can see these taking off in several areas.
    First is the international market. These things look good and will probably make a dent in Europe. Second, Vizio is well established in walmart and sams and other large retailers. This will become the high end PC across the country in no time. Think Sony Vaio. That's the unit that will lose sales, along with Apple. With the network Vizio has, you are going to see these everywhere. Looking at their VIA page, it's not hard to see where they are going with all this
    http://www.vizio.com/discover/via
    It's part of an integrated system people with less skill can put together. This is the direction Apple is heading with their apple TV's. I'd expect this PC/TV marriage to be duplicated by all the major players in short order, backed by MS. I'm sure vizio will tie in with a phone vendor (or provide android apps) soon to complete the package.
  • 1 Hide
    tlmck , January 10, 2012 8:02 AM
    nurgletheuncleaneh. What's Vizio going to actually change? PC are commodities. It's going to have intel/amd cpu intel/amd/nvidia GPU, ram, disk, etc. Small cosmetic changes to the keyboard and case, some Vizio branded bloatware. Same product different name. My question is with margins so tight on PCs why would they even want to enter that market in the first place?


    The margins on TV's is even smaller.
  • 0 Hide
    Steveymoo , January 10, 2012 9:27 AM
    "We too, would like to lavishly waste rare earth metals, to sell to stupid consumers." - Vizio, 2012.
  • 0 Hide
    papaswedine , January 10, 2012 12:06 PM
    Steveymoo"We too, would like to lavishly waste rare earth metals, to sell to stupid consumers." - Vizio, 2012.


    lolz
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , January 10, 2012 12:23 PM
    Shin-sanVery nice-looking, but too much like a Macintosh


    Why is a comparison to a Mac such a bad thing, Allot of people want their computers to have great engineering and good aesthetic design. Not everyone wants their office to look like NORAD with speakers. I personally think we should see more to this. Asus is actually extremely good at this but they don't market their stuff very well. Vizio has the marketing dollars and could do very well.

    Competition brings innovation guys. I welcome this although they are a bit late to the game.
  • 0 Hide
    nurgletheunclean , January 10, 2012 9:34 PM
    KamabAll-in-one pc plus emphasis on style. Besides having their own OS, this is what Apple does very successfully.

    How is Windows 7 their own OS? Apple sells computers at a huge premium because of their image. It's a lot to do about fashion. Vizio doesn't have the Prada/Coach style appeal that Apple does. Vizio is not going to get Apple's clientele, and premium prices and aesthetics are not going to get Dell's, Acer, HP, or Lenovo's.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , January 10, 2012 10:17 PM
    nurgletheuncleanHow is Windows 7 their own OS? Apple sells computers at a huge premium because of their image. It's a lot to do about fashion. Vizio doesn't have the Prada/Coach style appeal that Apple does. Vizio is not going to get Apple's clientele, and premium prices and aesthetics are not going to get Dell's, Acer, HP, or Lenovo's.


    You are incorrect, and he was talking about Apple having their own OS. Also, there is value in sound industrial engineering and design and OSX is a very strong OS that is great for somethings, not so great for others. Same as Windows, Linux, and any other OS's out there.

    I personally use both, but for different reasons and I have to say I prefer OSX over Windows. If you look at the cost of an Apple solution vs the competitors at the beginning of the lifecycle you will see that the value is there. It is mid-late lifecycle where the value goes to crap because they maintain their price point. They are able to do that because they offer enough built in capability and design that people don't care as much the CPU/Memory etc.. Those kinds of things are stuff we care about because most of use are enthusiasts but to most people they want something that can do what they want it to do, take up minimal space doing it and last them a long time. Apple does exactly that. No performance degradation in the OS means that despite the new applications that are installed, new hardware that is attached, and the lack of malicious applications at this point the system is stable and consistently performs.

    Probably get some negatives from some people but it is true. Like Apple or not, they do a good job.
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