updated 10:45 pm EST, Fri January 6, 2012
Vizio plans AIO desktop, thin notebooks
[Updated with pics] Vizio on Friday revealed that it would be getting into the PC market as of CES. A work in progress for two years, the strategy outlined to the Wall Street Journal would include all-in-one desktops and thin notebooks. Details are vague, but the all-in-one would hide the computer in its base, notebooks would range from 14 to 15.6 inches, and designs would try to avoid an industrial look.
A level of software integration would be available, and wouldn't be exclusive to Vizio in some cases. As an example, a notebook could get information about the show currently playing on a Vizio TV. Rival PCs and tablets would have some level of access.
Even as Vizio was known as the budget option in TVs, though, it wouldn't take that route in computers. The first designs would cost "substantially less" than what Apple offers, CTO Matt McRae said, but Vizio wouldn't engage in a race to the bottom on price like many existing Windows PC builders.
The electronics firm would be entering at a time when companies like Acer and Dell have been bruised by the PC business. The rise of tablets like the iPad, and a tough economy, have cut into their sales. Vizio is hoping to strike a balance, and notes that it has its own tablet.
McRae mentioned that Vizio had strong sales of the Android tablet, although in terms relative to non-iPad makers. Unit shipments were "way over six figures" and that the company had underestimated its first production run, selling out in four months.
Along with the PCs, Vizio is poised to show its long-promised Google TV sets and an overall remake of its lineup, though most might not ship for several months.