Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Jan 2012 20:10 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The news I've seen coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show this year isn't particularly breathtaking or awe-inspiring. Phones, tablets, faster, thinner, yes, yes, we've all been here before. There is one piece of news, however, that stands out from the crowd. The best-selling TV maker in the US, Vizio, is entering the PC market. Stunning designs for both laptop and all-in-one - and buried deep within the press release lies the creamy nougaty centre that makes me want to buy one even more: a Windows 7 install optimised by Microsoft, free of crapware.
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LMAO
by WorknMan on Mon 9th Jan 2012 20:44 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

and buried deep within the press release lies the creamy nougaty centre that makes me want to buy one even more: a Windows 7 install optimised by Microsoft, free of crapware.


You know, it's funny... whoever thought that a vendor NOT putting a bunch of crap onto a device that consumers never wanted in the first place would be considered a feature?

It's like if all car manufacturers started putting a big, steaming pile of shit on the floorboard of every car they sold, and then one manufacturer started advertising that they weren't going to do that, and people got all excited.

Edited 2012-01-09 20:45 UTC

Reply Score: 15

RE: LMAO
by cmchittom on Mon 9th Jan 2012 21:20 UTC in reply to "LMAO"
cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

Well, to be fair, there was whatever succeeded the Pinto. "It doesn't explode!"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LMAO
by zima on Sun 15th Jan 2012 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE: LMAO"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Checking out the Pinto (not an automobile of my continent) ...seems it was basically a myth ("a later study examining actual incident data concluding the Pinto was as safe as, or safer than, other cars in its class.[6]" and more in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pinto#Fuel_tank_controversy ), mass hysteria in the style of "runaway acceleration" recently - maybe it's better to finally let this one die?

Edited 2012-01-15 01:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: LMAO
by tomcat on Mon 9th Jan 2012 21:37 UTC in reply to "LMAO"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

It's like if all car manufacturers started putting a big, steaming pile of shit on the floorboard of every car they sold, and then one manufacturer started advertising that they weren't going to do that, and people got all excited.


Wrong. All car manufacturers DO put a big, steaming pile of shit in their cars. The difference is that you've become accustomed to buying these pre-bundled packages year-after-year. You can't buy a car without a lot of this additional crap that you don't want. But they've got you. Your only alternative is to buy another car with a different set of crap. But it's stil there, nonetheless.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: LMAO
by gan17 on Tue 10th Jan 2012 02:22 UTC in reply to "RE: LMAO"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

This is why I keep saying all nations should ban cars and have 2-stroke KF1 karts as the only option for transport. No more worrying about left/right-hand drive, no more car-pooling nonsense, no more grannies. Best thing: we'd all have lovely aromatic blue smoke to inhale on our way to work every morning!! Don't worry about emission regulations, we can just ban cows instead.

Reply Score: 0

RE: LMAO
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 07:35 UTC in reply to "LMAO"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, you know, if someone released a car without air conditioning, ABS, assisted direction, seatbelt detection, etc... that would be trivial to service any knowledgeable mechanic and would avoid the internal control overflow of current models, I can tell for sure that my parents would run for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: LMAO
by lucas_maximus on Tue 10th Jan 2012 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE: LMAO"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Well, you know, if someone released a car without air conditioning, ABS, assisted direction, seatbelt detection, etc... that would be trivial to service any knowledgeable mechanic and would avoid the internal control overflow of current models, I can tell for sure that my parents would run for it.


ABS is actually worth it though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: LMAO
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2012 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LMAO"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

ABS is actually worth it though.


No kidding. I love seeing the ABS light in my car flicker on to indicate it's saving my sorry ass whenever I get too enthusiastic trying to be a rally driver in icy conditions [in a completely safe environment, by the way].

Edited 2012-01-10 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: LMAO
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: LMAO"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

EDIT : Double post

Edited 2012-01-10 14:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: LMAO
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: LMAO"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

No need to convince me guys, I've learned to drive on a modern car and I feel the pain when I have to drive an older one as far as braking and steering is concerned.

However, what I was trying to say is that some people who are used to the oddities of manual car operation may take the serviceability and UI cleanness of old cars anyday over the feature overflow of newer ones ("Geez, is it me or are there five crowded remotes around that steering wheel ?")

Myself, cars really aren't my thing no matter how old they are. I got that driver license thing sorted out because I was more or less forced to, but I infinitely prefer trains and bikes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: LMAO
by lucas_maximus on Tue 10th Jan 2012 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: LMAO"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I have a Harley 1984 Sportster 1200, that has been modded quite a bit. I would love ABS (they have it on motorbikes to).

Modern cars are more like a house on wheels than a car I would argue, and they are quite safe upto quite high speeds, however they aren't that safe to those outside.

I recently moved to Spain/Gibraltar (I commute between the two), the driving seems to be crazy compared to the Great Britain.

However because everyone is driving batshit insane, everyone is paying huge amounts of attention.

I actually feel a lot safer around cars when on my push bike, because I know drivers are paying attention. Which they don't in the UK.

The Harley always gets spotted (when it starts which isn't often), so that isn't so worrying when driving in the UK.

Edited 2012-01-10 20:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: LMAO
by smashIt on Wed 11th Jan 2012 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LMAO"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

I recently moved to Spain/Gibraltar (I commute between the two), the driving seems to be crazy compared to the Great Britain.


next time you should use the right lane
i'm sure that would reduce your stresslevel ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: LMAO
by lucas_maximus on Wed 11th Jan 2012 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: LMAO"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I have wondered why all the cars where driving the wrong ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: LMAO
by suryad on Wed 11th Jan 2012 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LMAO"
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

Yeah it's like driving in India. You would think it doesn't work but it does. People there are insane drivers. The pedestrians are insane but boy is everyone aware...driving in India is like driving with the force...you have to or else you just won't even step out of the house!

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: LMAO
by leos on Wed 11th Jan 2012 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: LMAO"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Yeah it's like driving in India. You would think it doesn't work but it does.


Common misconception. It doesn't actually work. India is the world leader in road fatalities. It looks crazy and chaotic, and it is also highly dangerous. People might be more aware, but that isn't enough to reduce the danger.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/world/asia/08iht-roads.html?pagew...

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: LMAO
by zima on Thu 12th Jan 2012 02:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: LMAO"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah it's like driving in India. You would think it doesn't work but it does.

Yeah, and actual statistic say something completely different...

BTW: a buddy, who spent some time there, not only maintains that he would never dare driving in India, instead opting to at most be a passenger driven around by a local & in relatively "armoured" car - he also preferred to do that (passenger thing) only after two of three drinks. One might call it "force" I guess.

Edited 2012-01-12 02:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: LMAO
by zima on Thu 12th Jan 2012 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LMAO"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I recently moved to Spain/Gibraltar (I commute between the two), the driving seems to be crazy compared to the Great Britain.
However because everyone is driving batshit insane, everyone is paying huge amounts of attention.
I actually feel a lot safer around cars when on my push bike, because I know drivers are paying attention. Which they don't in the UK.
The Harley always gets spotted [...], so that isn't so worrying when driving in the UK.

Your feelings deceive you. You have ~2 times higher chance of dying on the road in Spain; it apparently has ~2 times higher road fatality rates than the UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_d... (those seem to include motorcyclists)

My place is in turn over two times worse than Spain; the "havoc on the road makes people safer" is rubbish (I think I can guarantee you that, among other factors, driver training and road culture are on average very poor in the places at the bottom half of that Wiki list, where "everyone is driving batshit insane, everyone is paying huge amounts of attention")

Driving in the UK is a joy in comparison; though one does have to learn a higher kind of road culture (better to, at the least, drive around as a passenger for a few weeks with somebody; otherwise at the beginning you catch yourself feeling like you're some boor from a savage place, making mess)


Mind you, Spain doesn't really seem anywhere near bad - it's very nearly the top, and "merely" average for the EU (but that's probably mostly because of the newish members who pulled down the EU-wide stats, two of which are familiar to me...)
You experience one of the best driving environments in the world, anyway.


BTW, regarding "feelings" on the road and such - IIRC, 80+% of the drivers think they are above average ones.

Edited 2012-01-12 02:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: LMAO
by zima on Sun 15th Jan 2012 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LMAO"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

PS. I also suspect you might think motorcyclists are more at danger in the UK partly because of quite widespread mass-media campaign few years back, which I just remembered - one about how car drivers need to be watchful for motorcycles, & showing the consequences when they're not.

So the problem (because it is still a problem obviously, even if relatively minor in comparison to many places) got quite a lot of attention, you remember it well from the UK.

Most other places generally don't seem to care so much, beyond mainly just this stereotype of motorcyclists being "organ donors" & reckless devils of the road, purely responsible for what happens to them.

Edited 2012-01-15 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: LMAO
by zima on Mon 16th Jan 2012 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: LMAO"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

However, what I was trying to say is that some people who are used to the oddities of manual car operation may take the serviceability and UI cleanness of old cars anyday over the feature overflow of newer ones ("Geez, is it me or are there five crowded remotes around that steering wheel ?")

Seems to me you chose there bad examples, when thinking about present trends of bad car UI overload / what your parents have issue with - and, in this sense, I agree there's plenty of wrong with equipment of many modern cars ( http://www.osnews.com/thread?494863 ), a bit "like if all car manufacturers started putting a big, steaming pile of shit" to which parent poster alluded to...

I just want physical controls (not requiring to look at them) in the style which we worked out a ~decade ago (when we pretty much hit the high spot with this, when we for example realized rotary dials are much better than sliders), controlling what a fairly nice car would have back then (when cars finally got fairly "good enough"). The superfluous trash can live in the GUI of a display & its control, or touchscreen, if it really "must" be there...
(oh, and why the heck would I want electrically controlled seating or left mirror adjustments? Right one, sure... OK, the last one might make sense from the point of view of parts standardisation between right & left driving markets)


However, the examples of ABS, traction or climate control are not feature overflow in a "bad" sense... after all, they are not only definitely usable - I'd say they are especially advisable for folks who are getting, well, old (worse eyesight, slower reaction times & muscle control, greater impact of uncomfortable cabin conditions); and not using seatbelts should be irritating for those who want to use public roads & overall services (after all, not wearing them dramatically increases injuries, more dangerous when getting older; then such people often demand much more attention, care, pity, and so on ...resources from the society), I think universal seatbelt detection is a small price for that.


I probably don't particularly "need" ABS now, since it switched on for a total of 3 times for me, ever, IIRC (and only one was a situation where it probably had some real utility - an obstacle on the road in the night; the two other were just one bumpy-glass-ice covered parking after short thaw and... I was bored when slowly approaching the garage on a gravel surface, and decided to force ABS engagement ;) ). But I prefer to have it in any car I drive.

Remember, 80+% of the drivers think they are above average ones... (and also, IIRC, the group which actually has the highest proportion of above average / safest ones, is that few-percentage-points which declares itself to be below average) I think we should avoid saying things on which "I don't need ABS, I'm a fabulous driver, and in fact ABS is harmful for somebody like me" can latch onto.



Most importantly: ABS & traction control essentially don't need to have hardly any UI beyond the usual driving controls. Seatbelt detection, even more minimal. Climate control - one physical dial and one switch, maybe two.


Anyway, some econoboxes are still very much like what you/they would want... maybe they would interested in, say, Dacia Logan? ;) (essentially, not-totally-current tech of Renault Clio of with all the kinks and bugs worked out, and half of the parts; the ~combi version even turned out quite neatly, IMHO)

Myself, cars really aren't my thing no matter how old they are. I got that driver license thing sorted out because I was more or less forced to, but I infinitely prefer trains and bikes.

Well we should live long enough to see fairly autonomous cars, that's a bit like trains... ;) (and BTW, for myself, a "personal" hub & spokes model of transportation also works: it's really fairly easy to keep a folding bike in the trunk of a car at all times)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: LMAO
by Earl C Pottinger on Wed 11th Jan 2012 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: LMAO"
Earl C Pottinger Member since:
2008-07-12

Which points out that a good minimal design is not one where you remove everything you can.

Rather it is one where you remove everything not really needed but keep the things that add real benefit.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: LMAO
by viton on Tue 10th Jan 2012 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE: LMAO"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

if someone released a car without air conditioning, ABS, assisted direction, seatbelt detection, etc...

You could buy the LADA.
http://www.palitsyn.com/__data/assets/image/0012/3180/bmw-vs-lada.j...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Brynet
by brynet on Mon 9th Jan 2012 22:26 UTC
brynet
Member since:
2010-03-02

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Reply Score: 3

Not even gonna start
by leos on Mon 9th Jan 2012 23:05 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Nice to see some more people getting serious about competing with Apple's designs here. I like all in one computers like the iMac, and this is finally one that doesn't suck (I've tried many, and aside from the iMac line, they all suck quite badly).

However the only reason the trackpad on the desktop works for the iMac is because of the excellent trackpad support in Lion. Seriously, it is a joy to use, and I even bought one to replace my mouse on the iMac. For just about everything (except pixel-perfect photo editing), I now prefer the trackpad. Just Safari's sliding back feature is worth it. The same trackpad on Windows is crap. Without the UI support for proper multitouch, a mouse is far superior.

As for the laptop, well I always liked the macbook air, and it's nice to see more companies going the ultrabook way. Maybe not the most cost effective, but it's just a joy to use a nice light, well designed laptop instead of the old heavy plastic clunkers. With something like that you are approaching the portability of a tablet without the sacrifices in the software realm.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Not even gonna start
by zima on Thu 12th Jan 2012 04:55 UTC in reply to "Not even gonna start"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice to see some more people getting serious about competing with Apple's designs here. I like all in one computers like the iMac, and this is finally one that doesn't suck (I've tried many, and aside from the iMac line, they all suck quite badly).

Do a google image search for IBM Netvista, you'll see a few rather fine all-in-ones from a ~decade+ ago. I really like those nice little machines, they made one computer lab at my uni quite stylish ...sadly, almost a blimp (as evidenced by how few pictures show them all-in-ones)

For example:
http://vdm.io.tudelft.nl/fca/ibm/21.htm
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/01/0110_sapper/source/12.htm
(this one has P4, there was also an earlier Pentium 3 model; yes, a ~decade+ old, quite a bit earlier than similar iMac)

Edited 2012-01-12 05:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Looks good!
by pcunite on Mon 9th Jan 2012 23:06 UTC
pcunite
Member since:
2008-08-26

Looks good!

Reply Score: 1

actually i dont know much about vizio...
by Spoonman on Tue 10th Jan 2012 00:17 UTC
Spoonman
Member since:
2009-02-26

...as they are us based and usualy dont ship their products to europe, but i could not hold myself back from importing a vTab1008 android tablet built by vizio as the specs sounded ok and the price was apealing. However, i already kind of regret my desicion as the version of android that ships with the vTab is very limited interface wise, they built their own interface and cutting off major parts of the os. The launcher has only the functionality of what normally the app drawer is for and can not hold widgets, the desktop is replaced by a 'widget board' that can not hold any icons and comes up by doubleclicking the home button, the notification system is at least bugy, the grapics performance is very limited in 2d resulting in a choppy user expirience, memmory management is flaky and the drawbacks go on. I was able to root my device before the latest firmware update came out and disabled root, so i was able to disable the update service that would otherwise pop up every few minutes reminding me that a new update is available, which does not change anyhing other than disabling root.
Also to help comunity development i tried to get the kernel sources from vizio so we can build custom kernels and port cm7 to the vtab, but there is no contact option except the outsourced helpdesk, which prooved to have no idea what a kernel is ("you need a hardware driver?) and then, after i teached him what linux and gpl is, told me to ask google for the sources. However, he refused from providing a contact to vizio dev department which, as i found out later, does not even exist, but is outsourced as well.

So i think this device is at least for me and i think for many other buyers as well, will be the last piece of hardware i will ever buy from f...ng vizio.

Reply Score: 2

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

http://www.vizio.com/xwr100-routercodes

"GPL Codes

The download on this page is unnecessary for almost all VIZIO users. The codes on this page may be needed if you do programming to alter the code."

Haha, love it!

Reply Score: 2

Spoonman Member since:
2009-02-26

Yes, nice... but i don't see the vTab1008 there.

Reply Score: 1

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Me neither. I was just agreeing with you, pointing out their cavalier attitude toward GPL. I grew frustrated just reading about the lengths you had to go to to get the source code =(

Reply Score: 2

Andraste
by judgen on Tue 10th Jan 2012 02:10 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

I did not know that you like the old brythonic gods of ancient england..

Andraste was the a god of the east anglians ca~0ad/ce.

Fun tidbit, or did you mean the one in Dragon Age?

Reply Score: 2

No, thanks
by Treza on Tue 10th Jan 2012 02:30 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

How ugly. What's that crap ?

I can't believe everyone is copying Apple doing that sort of minimalistic "IKEA" design.

I prefer the baroque shape of a violin over the boring shape of a triangle.

I want connectors, even on laptops, I want to choose my keyboard, I want to move displays and set their height, I want to be able to change the hard disk. I don't care about shiny plastics and chrome that must be polished every other day.

That PC is fit for working on animated powerpoints. (yay, they put Windows on it, how astute, they tuned the installation, either this is fake, either your drivers won't be maintained.).

I also hate the silly shape they gave to the foot of the screen.

There is some perception that the all-closed, rectangular shape of Apple products are the highest achievements in design and manufacturing. How silly.
It is far more difficult to build repairable and adaptable designs from generic pieces, reducing the number of screws while keeping mecanical strenght,...

The obession of ultra-slim laptops is just as ridiculous. They are not more sturdy than others, and must be transported in thick padded cases : Transportable devices mostly used at home. Pathetic.

Be proud of your connectors.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No, thanks
by MacTO on Tue 10th Jan 2012 05:49 UTC in reply to "No, thanks"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

I prefer the baroque shape of a violin over the boring shape of a triangle.


The thing is, minimalism sells. I'm guessing that it sells because it is the least likely to offend the taste of consumers, even if it is also the least likely to be aestheically pleasing to most consumers. Think of it this way: there are people who thought that Barbie computers were cute and there are people who craft wooden cases for their computers. While both demographics would probably buy something with a minimalist design, the Barbie girl is unlikely to want the craftsman's delight (and vica versa).

I want connectors, even on laptops, I want to choose my keyboard, I want to move displays and set their height, I want to be able to change the hard disk.


If you want it, then buy a machine that fits those criteria. This computer is definitely meant for someone else. It is likely meant for someone who wants something that they can buy without fretting over details, and will plug their camera or iPod into the computer every few weeks. It isn't meant for people like you or me. They probably don't want what we want either. As long as the market can address the needs of different people, there is nothing wrong with that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: No, thanks
by gtada on Tue 10th Jan 2012 08:05 UTC in reply to "RE: No, thanks"
gtada Member since:
2005-10-12

The thing is, minimalism sells.


True, but you can do minimal and still have your own style. I'm disappointed that so many companies choose to copy Apple's products instead of having a little soul (looking at you Samsung).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No, thanks
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No, thanks"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

As said above, try to take a look at what Asus are doing. In my view of aesthetics, they make some of the prettiest computers out there, yet do not blindly follow Apple's designs. They try a lot of new things, which one may like or not, and they attempt to satisfy a much larger user base than Apple.

Ironically, I believe they also used to manufacture Apple's laptops at some point.

Edited 2012-01-10 08:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No, thanks
by moondevil on Tue 10th Jan 2012 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No, thanks"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

My last two laptops were Asus. Quite nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No, thanks
by lucas_maximus on Tue 10th Jan 2012 13:45 UTC in reply to "RE: No, thanks"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/26979.html

It constantly surprises me how many people don't really know what minimalism is. If some people on here would like read some design blogs or books ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No, thanks
by Treza on Tue 10th Jan 2012 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No, thanks"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

You could have copied the citation directly, I was expecting a link to a website about design:
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 - 1944)


For me, that's unrelated.

I don't care about pointless complexity and "tuning" gadgets.

I made a musical analogy because musical instruments are really optimised for their purpose.
- A triangle has a good shape for a single note, reproducible, pure.
- There is almost nothing useless in a violin, the weird shape serves difficult requirements : Interesting sound covering evenly several octaves, harmonics for rich chords...

When I see a Macbook Air or that stuff, I'm not impressed by the "perfection" obtained by removing itches.
I see that they had a problem integrating connectors, replacable batteries, ... and, instead of finding clever solutions, they preferred to avoid the problem by removing features, for the sake of a silly quest for ultimate slimness. They crippled their product to respect absurd constraints.
Instead of finding a way to cover many octaves, they gave a shiny triangle.

As always, everyone has his/her tastes, ...

Antoine de Saint exupery also wrote, at the beginning of "The Little Prince", about the way adults never understood his drawings, seeing a hat instead of a boa eating an elephant.

I want to be able to see elephants playing violin.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No, thanks
by lucas_maximus on Wed 11th Jan 2012 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No, thanks"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I see that they had a problem integrating connectors, replacable batteries, ... and, instead of finding clever solutions, they preferred to avoid the problem by removing features, for the sake of a silly quest for ultimate slimness. They crippled their product to respect absurd constraints.


Bravo. I find this quite an interesting viewpoint. I not sure if I completely agree, but certainly a worthy argument to think about.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No, thanks
by MacTO on Wed 11th Jan 2012 05:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No, thanks"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

I think that people understand minimalist design fairly well, it is just that they are doing so in an aesthetic context rather than a functional context. Apple's "buttonless" mouse was aethetically minimalist, in part, because it did away with the visual representation of the button. These computers can be considered visually minimalist because they reduce the number of hard edges (i.e. there are fewer sharp corners to poke your eyes out).

Functional minimalism is something different, but that would be reducing a computer to an appliance. A lot of people don't want that.

Reply Score: 2

Vizio is happening
by Hussein on Tue 10th Jan 2012 02:40 UTC
Hussein
Member since:
2008-11-22

Vizio might become the company to watch out for. If only they'd develop their own OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vizio is happening
by Noctem on Tue 10th Jan 2012 05:54 UTC in reply to "Vizio is happening"
Noctem Member since:
2010-06-08

Vizio and webOS?! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vizio is happening
by r_a_trip on Tue 10th Jan 2012 10:10 UTC in reply to "Vizio is happening"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

If only they'd develop their own OS.

I wonder how they would fare with that. The tinkerer in me finds the idea exiting. The realist is already ringing the death knell. Developing a consumer grade OS with a large enough third party ecosystem is a tall order.

First you have to make clear to the market that it isn't Windows. That it isn't Mac OS X. Without diminishing its value proposition.

You also have to make sure that the bare necessities are present. Large enough selection of peripherals and accompanying drivers. Web browser, music player/organizer, photo editor, Office Suite (with import/export for MS Office formats). The OS needs to be able to communicate with the most common cameras, video recorders and music players.

You also need a compelling story for third party developers. A large enough market to sell in. Good developer tools. Getting this going might be tough the first few years. We haven't even looked at games yet. Games might not even be pressingly necessary, but vocal gamers will kill any buzz it might otherwise have if there aren't any A title games available.

Even if the Deities smile upon the effort, it will be challenging to convince an inert market to forgo the obligatory MS Windows (Mac OS X) + MS Office and the plethora of specialty programs (like AutoCAD, PhotoShop, Maya, A title FPS games, etc.) which the majority probably don't need or use, but who are convinced these are the hallmark of a good, usable system as espoused by expert niche geeks.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Vizio is happening
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Jan 2012 08:34 UTC in reply to "Vizio is happening"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If only they'd develop their own OS.


Probably not a good business decision. There's already plenty of OS's to chose from and designing your own would incur significant R&D cost that would be hard to justify.

Reply Score: 2

I just don't get it
by Kivada on Tue 10th Jan 2012 07:57 UTC
Kivada
Member since:
2010-07-07

Why none of these all in one desktop deals never comes with a top end GPU, yeah, they're using the mobile version, but theres no reason why something of this size cant fit a pair of HD6990m Crossfire http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6990M-Crossfire.58862.0.... or GTX580m SLI http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-580M-SLI.56637.0.ht... I mean seriously, these can be found in dual card config in things as small as high end 15.6" laptops, often with an Intel Extreme Edition i7 mobile CPU.

Theres no reason they can't fit even one of them in something that is 20"+ to make these things seriously powerful and a real contender to the likes of Apple.

Also, good on them for going with a mostly uncrapified Win7 install, but I suspect that MS will make them install every piece of crap that they make instead of being just the bare naked Win7+ hardware drivers.

Just too bad theres no Linux option.

Edited 2012-01-10 07:59 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Designs
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 08:14 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, first it is obvious that they take inspiration from Apple's designs, and that they do so with much less imagination than, say, Asus. So a lot of what I could say of Apple's computers would still be valid here.

That being said, I like their personal touch on the all-in-one. Putting the connectors at the bottom of the computer makes more sense than on the side of the screen : less mechanical stress, less ugly hanging wires, etc...

Still, I'm definitely not part of their target audience. I like pretty and silent computers, they feel nicer to work on, but I also like them to feel robust, have a comfortable set of expansion connectors, feature an optical drive, and pack some decent amount of power in their internals. So I don't think this would drive me out of my current favorite computer brands.

Edited 2012-01-10 08:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

does "clean" == "free of crapware"?
by crimperman on Tue 10th Jan 2012 10:00 UTC
crimperman
Member since:
2006-11-09

The system looks stunning I'll agree but I''m not so sure about the claims of "free of crapware/bloatware". Vizio's press release says

"the VIZIO PCs boast a clean system image optimized by Microsoft"

As the rest of it is as full of non-committal marketing jargon as any other press release,can we presume this bit to mean free of crapware or are they - being a multimedia company - just talking about how the OS looks? To me a "clean image" may just as easily refer to the appearance as the installed software. I can imagine that many a Windows user would welcome a crap-free installation but I wonder here if we techies aren't reading too much into the words "system image" here?

Reply Score: 2

libray Member since:
2005-08-27

It is probably a "clean-looking" system image.

A non-vendor base Microsoft install should be the "cleanest" in terms of less bloat than any that include additional processes and vendor applications or even themes.

For Microsoft to stamp this release as more optimized than their standard would IMO, cause question as to why they would not optimize their installs by default.

Reply Score: 2

Stylish, but...
by MechR on Tue 10th Jan 2012 11:16 UTC
MechR
Member since:
2006-01-11

Needs more Home/Page-up/Page-down/End.

Other than that, aren't flat closely-spaced keys more prone to mistyping? ISTR that being a complaint about previous-gen Acer keyboards.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stylish, but...
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 15:12 UTC in reply to "Stylish, but..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, it's kind of a compromise : large flat keys are more comfortable to type on than macbook-like "Chiclet" keys, especially if you have big fingers, but they do cause more mistyping (especially on small keys such as the Fxx).

Ideally, laptops would have some kind of telescopic keyboard that has both wide and well-separated keys ! ;)

Edited 2012-01-10 15:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Stylish, but...
by Treza on Tue 10th Jan 2012 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Stylish, but..."
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11
RE[3]: Stylish, but...
by Neolander on Tue 10th Jan 2012 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Stylish, but..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Exactly ! I can't believe that someone actually made one ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Stylish, but...
by zima on Thu 12th Jan 2012 03:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Stylish, but..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It wasn't really better than present full-size keyboards (really, typically quite full-size: place some random laptop next to a desktop keyboard), overall size usually doesn't seem to be the limit nowadays.
And that Thinkpad was quite small (but "fat")

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Stylish, but...
by Neolander on Thu 12th Jan 2012 07:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Stylish, but..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I tend to disagree a bit, as least as far as my favorite laptop form factor, 16", is concerned.

You get pretty close to the size of desktop keys, but compromises are still made in some areas. As an example, in the case of my Asus N61JV, the two main issues which I can denote are that
1/The suppr key is too small and/or too close to the Print Screen key. I keep hitting the wrong one when touch typing.
2/The arrow keys are too much integrated in the keyboard to be very comfortable to use, too.

That being said, I guess I could avoid both of this issues on laptops which do not have a numpad, but they can take that thing from my cold dead hands ;) It's just too nice to have, especially on AZERTY layouts where you have to press shift to access the top row of numbers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Stylish, but...
by zima on Thu 12th Jan 2012 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Stylish, but..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh, absolutely, it's easy to find some issues with most laptop keyboards - my point (which I made quite unclear...) was: they seem to hardly come from pure size constraints.
(also, such issues were no doubt present also in the above Thinkpad - even if Thinkpad keyboards usually are damn good - and even non-folding laptop keyboards are often larger nowadays)

I guess it's more about some ill-advised "aesthetics" and/or a drive to keep costs low & engineering dilemmas away - for example, by keeping the keyboard module as rectangular as possible (which, say, harms those arrow keys, dictating their large integration).
Or consider how, for some time, a typical 15.6" laptop seemed to waste plenty of space on the sides of its keyboard, usually for some (often almost fake) grills or some such.

PS. I wonder, how do you manage the iconic WASD (of FPP games) on AZERTY keyboards? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Stylish, but...
by Neolander on Thu 12th Jan 2012 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Stylish, but..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You are probably right about engineering constraints and low costs for the arrow keys, though for the suppr key I still think there's a bit of vertical or horizontal space missing around the return key on 16" laptops.

PS. I wonder, how do you manage the iconic WASD (of FPP games) on AZERTY keyboards? ;)

Two possibilities :
-Game developer has thought about foreign keyboard and uses scancodes + portable key naming : WASD maps transparently to ZQSD on the french keyboard, everyone is happy.
-Game developer has not thought about foreign keyboard and uses hardcoded ASCII key names : better switch to QWERTY using Windows' Alt+Maj shortcut and touch type ! ;)

For an anecdote, I've spent 2 months and a half in Sweden using a FR layout mapped to a SV keyboard on my work computer (that happened to be made by Lenovo, but... not so good, save for the awesome matte screen), so I had a lot of time to appreciate the benefits and limitations of the second option ;)

Edited 2012-01-12 08:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by bolomkxxviii
by bolomkxxviii on Tue 10th Jan 2012 15:40 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Apple lawsuit announced in 3...2...1...

I really don't understand the appeal of these things. All in one designs are so limited. You have almost no expansion capability and if any one item fails, too bad. The keyboard is another Apple design I don't get. If you touch-type these keys offer almost no travel and they are not slightly cupped like traditional keys to help keep your fingers centered over the keys.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by bolomkxxviii
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2012 15:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by bolomkxxviii"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If you touch-type these keys offer almost no travel and they are not slightly cupped like traditional keys to help keep your fingers centered over the keys.


Matter of preference. My work is typing (all day long), and you can pry my Apple keyboard from my cold dead hands. I like the light touch, because it requires less effort and thus, is less straining. And yes, I can touch type just fine on this thing.

Edited 2012-01-10 15:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Disappointed in Announcement
by james_parker on Thu 12th Jan 2012 21:43 UTC
james_parker
Member since:
2005-06-29

I want three things in an announcement (at least as good faith estimates):

- specs
- price
- release date

Unfortunately, none of these three have been provided. Pretty pictures mean little to me; they are nice, but they don't trigger buying decisions.

Right now I'm consulting on someone on buying their first computer. One of these might be worth recommending, but without this information, they take themselves out of the running.

Reply Score: 2