Vizio details PC line-up

And finally, finally, finally, Vizio has fully unveiled its brand new line up of laptops and all-in-ones. The successful American TV maker announced its new kit at CES in January, catching my eyes with a set of beautiful, distinctive laptops and all-in-ones, and, as they promised back then, they have now unveiled all. This has want written all over it. Update: Rejoice: non-glossy, matte screens on the laptop.

Especially the all-in-ones intrigue me. I’m actually a fan of the form-factor, but few companies have ever been able to offer decent Windows all-in-ones that even came close to Apple’s iMac. These new machines by Vizio seem to be the first – and it’s done by a newcomer, not an incumbent. The only question remaining was price, and it seems Vizio has nailed that one as well.

The all-in-ones (more non-rendered prettiness here) come in either 24″ or 27″, both as 1920×1080 panels – which is a little bit of a letdown; I had hoped that the 27″ model would at least have a higher-res BTO option. For the rest, we’re looking at Intel Ivy Bridge processors, NVIDIA Kepler GeForce GPUs, and storage options that max out at a 1TB regular HDD coupled with a 32GB SSD for the operating system. It comes with a wireless subwoofer, touchpad and keyboard.

Software-wise, Vizio scores major, major brownie points by working very closely with Microsoft to deliver a completely vanilla Windows 7 installation, with not a single piece of bloatware. Only Microsoft Security Essentials has been installed, but considering its lightness, I wouldn’t call that bloatware. To illustrate just how far Vizio as willing to go with this: all Vizio’s machines come with a special ‘V’ key (on F1) to launch services like Hulu Plus, Vudu and Netflix; however, none of these will come pre-installed, just to avoid bloatware. Nice, nice going.

And now for pricing. The all-in-ones will start at $898 for the 24″, and $1098 for the 27″. That’s way cheaper than I originally anticipated, which makes me very happy. I really, really want one of these, so I hope Vizio will sell them internationally; so far, the company has focused entirely on its home-turf, the North-American market. If any of you know anybody who works at Vizio – let us know.

As far as laptops go, Vizio has managed to create a unique and uniform design there too. There’s two models which you could classify as ultrabooks, but Vizio calls them thin ‘n’ light. They’ve got the same Ivy Bridge processors, and sport an Intel HD4000 graphics chip. They come in both 14″ (1600×900) and 15″ (1920×1080). There’s also a slightly thicker 15.6″ model, which sports a discrete Nvidia Keppler GPU. Each of these also start at $898.

It would seem that it takes a newcomer to finally be able to do what HP, Dell, etc. could not: create a simple line-up of crap-free, beautiful computers at reasonable prices, to properly compete with Apple. These Vizio machines will appear at all the major retailers and can be ordered from starting tomorrow.

A very strong first showing for the new kid in town. Now, how about those international orders?


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