Hands On With Vizio's Edgy New Android Tablet

Vizio's new 10-inch M-series tablet is fast, sleek, and completely enviable. In terms of design, if the iPad and Galaxy Tab are luxury vehicles, this thing looks more like a Formula One machine.

The M-Series tablet is Vizio's entry into the high-end tablet market -- although just how high, we don't know yet since there's no pricing or final word on specs. But think of it like this, if Vizio's 8-inch tablet is a Kindle Fire competitor, the 10-inch M-Series is gunning straight for the iPad market. It's a damn good looking, and good feeling tablet, exuding performance and style.

The most visually striking feature is its angularity. The rounded corners you've come to expect from, well, pretty much every other tablet are nowhere to be seen. All the corners, as well as the edges, are squared off at right angles. Everything is hard-edged. That overall effect is quite nice. It's noticeably different, and for some reason suggested performance.

Better, it's certainly zippy and responsive. It scrolled smoothly, and reacted quickly when we changed orientation. The apps fired quickly, and looked great. Downside? It's running a skinned version of Android. That's a little bit of an odd choice, given how closely Vizio is working with Microsoft to bring a pure version of Windows 7 to market on its computers.

The stuff we could see included a top-side IR port, and a bottom-side HDMI port, for running video out. Another nice touch? The integrated stereo speakers. When the tablet's in portrait mode, the topside speakers play. Go into landscape mode, and the sounds swaps to two side-by-side speakers.

All in all, it's certainly got the most enviable design of any Android tablet I've seen. And it's nice and fast too. Can't wait to get this one in to test.

Note: Over in the US, Vizio became a big player over the last few years with pretty-good-for-the-price big-screen TVs — and now they’re looking to shake up tablets, laptops and PCs in the same way. So far, Vizio TVs haven’t come to Australia so don’t hold your breath for computers either. Still worth keeping informed, though — especially if you’re partial to having things internationally shipped.

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