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Media-oriented Android tablet sports IR remote

Jul 1, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Vizio announced the VTAB1008, an eight-inch tablet that includes infrared “universal remote” capabilities and runs Android 2.3. The company added that it will employ Android and its own Vizio Internet Apps Plus (V.I.A. Plus) additions in forthcoming TVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones, “and more.”

Vizio first mooted its Android tablet and a forthcoming Android phone during January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Hardware specifications for the tablet haven't changed from what was discussed then, but we now know that instead of being called the "Via tablet," the device is the VTAB1008 (right), running Android 2.3 along with a software interface the company calls V.I.A. Plus.

V.I.A. Plus will be offered "across a wide range of CE devices that will include HDTVs, Blu-ray players, tablets, smartphones, and more," Vizio says. Each of these products will not only be built on Android, but will also let users access the applications in Google's Android Market, the company promises.

We didn't see more details on the televisions, but Vizio is planning some sets that run Google TV, according to a June 22 item by's David Pierce and Tim Gideon. The TV's keyboard, cursor, apps, and all other functionality will be controllable from the VTAB1008, according to the authors.

Ordinary TV sets and other consumer electronics will be operable via the VTAB1008 too, Vizio promises. The company says the tablet has an infrared (IR) port and comes with "universal remote" software pre-programmed to run 95 percent of devices on the U.S. market. (There's no word, however, on whether the app will have the ability to learn IR sequences from the remotes of unsupported products.)

According to Vizio, the VTAB1008 will include preloaded Gmail, Google Maps, Google Market, and instant messaging software. It will presumably also have a web browser, since support for Adobe's Flash is cited, too.

As to hardware, Vizio repeats its January claim that the VTAB1008 will include three speakers, allowing it to play back a proper stereo image regardless of whether it's being used in portrait or landscape modes. (Why hasn't someone else thought of that?)

Vizio's VTAB1008 with its optional carrying case/stand

The tablet also features a GPS receiver "that doesn't need Wi-Fi or 4G to operate," plus a front-facing camera whose resolution is unspecified. It has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage (only 2GB available to the user), plus a microSD expansion slot, the company adds.

Vizio still hasn't come clean on what processor its tablet uses, specifying only a 1GHz clock speed. (It's a single-core CPU, according to the PCMag story mentioned earlier.)

But Vizio does say the VTAB1008 features an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and multitouch capabilities. The tablet outputs video to an HDTV via a built-in Micro-HDMI port, has a VGA-resolution camera for videoconferencing, and runs for up to ten hours on battery power, adds the company.

Specifications listed by Vizio for the VTAB1008 include:

  • Processor — n/s, but is clocked at 1GHz
  • Memory — 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of flash (2GB user-accessible)
  • Display — 8-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Camera — VGA-resolution webcam
  • Expansion — microSD card
  • Networking:
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth
  • Other I/O:
    • Micro-USB port
    • Micro-HDMI port
    • headphone jack
  • Other features:
    • GPS receiver works without aid of Wi-Fi
    • triple speakers allow stereo in portrait or landscape modes
  • Battery — lasts up to ten hours
  • Dimensions — 8.1 x 6.6 x 0.48 inches
  • Weight — 1.2 pounds

Further information

Vizio did not say when the VTAB1008 will ship, but it's accepting pre-orders now. The VTAB1008 costs $380 on its own, or $400 bundled with a carrying case and a 16GB microSD card.

More information may be found on the VTAB1008 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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