You might know Vizio for its line of high-definition TVs, but when it comes to computers, they’re far from a household name. That’s something the company hopes to change, however, with its upcoming line of thin + light laptops and all-in-one PCs. Both form factors will be using an upcoming CPU from an undisclosed manufacturer—though, if you ask us, Ivy Bridge is a safe bet—with discrete graphics provided by NVIDIA.
And while Vizio wouldn’t get into specifics, they did talk design. The Apple influence is huge, but that’s not to say there weren’t a few surprises to be had.
On the portable side, Vizio is launching two machines, Notebook and Thin + Light. The former is a 15.6-inch, while the latter comes in 14-inch and 15.6-inch configurations. The difference is that the Thin + Light line is aiming for ultrabook territory, while the Notebook—though still thin—can be better compared to a MacBook Pro.
Indeed, there are more than a few features that can be compared to Apple’s line of stalwart notebooks. The trackpad, for example, is single, clickable panel, while the glossy display is boxed by a familiar black bezel. It’s far from a MacBook dead-ringer, but Vizio has obviously taken cues from Apple’s unified design. Of course, we were told this is still a working design, and some elements are subject to change. The power button, for example, which is simply another key on the keyboard, is being given its own dedicated button elsewhere on the chassis instead.
But where Vizio’s design really shines is with their all-in-one PCs. The components are built into the monitor’s base—available in 24-inch and 27-inch configurations—and the subwoofer and power supply have been relegated to an external brick. That gives the PC an extremely small physical footprint, and from far away, looks like a mere TV. Of course, that might very well be the point. Both models have two HDMI inputs which allow the monitor to essentially function as an HDTV without the tuner.
We should also mention that display panels Vizio is using on both its laptops and all-in-ones are stunningly bright. Laptops especially often suffer from dull sup-par, LCDs, so we're glad to see someone other than Apple taking visuals seriously. And as if the writing weren’t already on the wall, none of Vizio’s models include a built-in optical drive. There is, however, an external USB 3.0 option. While price and firm released date weren’t discussed, we’re told to expect these machines sometime in May or June.