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Vizio reveals Via Tablet and Phone with Android, sub-$300 3DTVs ahead of CES (update: pic!)

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
January 2, 2011
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Vizio made its name by packing high end features into value-priced HDTVs and it's taking that mentality to new areas, revealing the tablet we spotted in last night's Rose Bowl ad as the 8-inch Via Tablet and a 4-inch Via Phone. Both will be running Android and while CTO Matthew McRae didn't spill any OS details to the Wall Street Journal, the combination of confirmed Market access and odd button configuration has us thinking Honeycomb is in the works when they are released this summer. The only Via Phone details mentioned are screen size and its front and 5MP rear cameras, while the tablet promises a "high resolution" screen, WiFi, three speakers, HDMI out and front facing camera -- but no cellular service.

Expect TV manufacturers to be on their toes as well, since Vizio says it will bring 3DTVs to market that start at less than $300. The new mobile products will also tie into its TV business through the Via Plus internet service, which sounds a lot like Samsung Apps by allowing access to Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Android market access (to go along with its new Google TVs) and even a new Vizio On Demand movie services across all of its devices. We'll temper our excitement slightly remembering the new TVs and iPhone app shown off last year that never quite made it to shelves, but this trip to Vegas has already gotten even more interesting.

Update: Get a peek at the Via Tablet and Via Phone immediately above, and get a load of those front-facing cameras!





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