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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Vizio 8-inch Android tablet drops below $300 at Costco, Walmart



581770ll_v1.jpgThe 8-inch Vizio Android tablet that debuted just a few weeks ago for as much as $348 already has dropped below $300, selling for $290 at Costco and $298 at Walmart. The tablet is available nationwide and should be in most local stores now. With a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of on-board storage, The Vizio tablet isn't the most powerful tablet on the block but it breaking into a price point that will undoubtedly make it an attractive choice for those who have been wishing for a more-expensive iPad. One advantage this tablet has over the iPad is it's ability  to also function as a large, universal remote for your entertainment center. The included app also lets you set up profiles for each room in your house and then control your devices as you move from room to room.

It also has built-in 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity with a front-facing camera for video chats. Although it ships with a 4GB microSD card (2GB of usable storage) that can be expanded to 32GB with installation of a larger card.

The Vizio tablet comes with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system which will allow you to use many of the same apps you use on your Android phone.

Early reviews are mostly positive with some people saying the tablet is a little sluggish in performance. On both the Costco and Walmart sites the tablet currently has a 4-star rating out of 5. I'm trying to get one for review and will report back with more details later.

At the rate the price is dropping on these tablets we may see this one and others drop to around $200 as we head into the holiday season. That would be a good thing for the tablet market, offering choices to those who are priced out of the tablet experience by iPad and more-expensive Android tablets. And shoot, Logitech makes a large universal remote, the Harmony 1100, that retails for more and does less. So maybe the folks at Vizio are on to something with the new tablet.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 5:25pm]


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