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Vizio Plans To Undercut The Market For All-In-One PCs

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the price-wars-are-fun-for-the-observers dept.

Portables 268

TV maker Vizio is famous for undercutting competitors' prices on LCD TVs; now, the company has released word that it will introduce a new line of budget computers, and next week will be showing them off at CES. Bloomberg reports that the company won't yet disclose actual prices (the kind with numbers), but says instead only that they will be at a "price that just doesn’t seem possible." As the article mentions, the all-in-one desktop machines shown look a lot like Apple products; BetaNews has pictures, and ominously mentions Apple's tendency to sue over similar-looking products.

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The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633270)

Aside from rounded rectangles, is there anything else that looks similar to an Apple product in the picture? Has Apple been marketing truncated-pyramid shaped computers lately?

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633296)

the color silver

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633642)

Hackintosh! (tm) ;-)

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633376)

There is that minimal keyboard that looks like it would be hell to type on if you have any sort of speed. That's very Apple.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (-1, Troll)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634032)

Ohh, I don't think speed is an issue. These are Apple users. Hunt and Peck is plenty of speed. Apple users tend to be the more artistic types, so the mouse if far more important for things like graphic arts, etc. If they are journalists, that just involves copy and paste mostly so there are hot keys for that.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (3, Funny)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634100)

Hunt and peck? That would be an improvement. I've known several "creative" types who refused to touch a 2 button mouse.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (0)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634136)

Ohh, I don't think speed is an issue. These are Apple users. Hunt and Peck is plenty of speed. Apple users tend to be the more artistic types, so the mouse if far more important for things like graphic arts, etc. If they are journalists, that just involves copy and paste mostly so there are hot keys for that.

Macbook Wheel [theonion.com] is revolutionary.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633380)

If you really think that the only thing that makes it similar-looking to Apple products is "rounded rectangles," then you're intentionally being obtuse for whatever reason. There comes a point where it's obvious that other companies are liberally borrowing from Jonathan Ive's design shop at Apple.

Vizio's PC concept looks like this [tumblr.com] . The keyboard looks just like Apple's flat keyboard [imgur.com] introduced a few years ago, the trackpad is a clone of the Apple Trackpad [imgur.com] , and though it's less of a copy than the others, the screen is certainly reminiscent of an iMac, especially taken as a whole with the rest of the components.

I'm not surprised at all that, with all the design work Apple puts into its products, it is going to try to protect that work from knockoffs. Not only is this taking advantage of design work done at Apple, but if the products turn out to be low-quality or problematic, their resemblance to existing Apple products ends up damaging Apple's brand as well. I realize Slashdot comments tend to have an Apple slant (to put it mildly), but come on, this is completely obvious "inspiration" from Apple.

I think what really goes on here is that some people just don't want to give Apple credit for anything, and they hate when people do credit them, so when comparisons between designs are pointed out, it pisses them off and they make snarky remarks about "rounded rectangles."

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (5, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633536)

You mean that TV shaped thing in the picture from the company thats been making TVs since 2002?

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633720)

uh, yeah. It is a well known FACT that TV is just an acronym for AppleTV. Also, surprised no one has mentioned this. Ever notice how the layout on most keyboards is the same as the layout on Apple Keyboards? Rip. Off. It is an ever more well known FACT that QWERTY is Martian for Apple. There are a billion ways to design a keyboard but they all come out rectangular just like Apple. Key sizes pretty much the same as Apple. Even the SAME LANGUAGE AS APPLE!!!!!! They all use the "keystroke" which is the term that high-energy physicists at the LHC have used for centuries to describe touching the brilliance that is Apple products. Most damning is this Vizio product is made from Aluminum. How many things in your house are made from Aluminum. One thing? Two? Most tech products not made by Apple are made from Lead and use molten lava for electrical wires.

It's gotten so bad even general appliance makers are ripping off Apple. Went in my kitchen and saw that my refrigerator was not only rectangular but also made from brushed stainless (like the iPod) and used the English language!!!! And the sink was made from the same exotic Apple exclusive materials as well. And obviously Kohler ripped off Apple's trademarked ease-of-use. All I do is lift the handle and it magically knows what temperature I want my water. Probably ripped of iOS for the sinksoftware as well. Where are the GPL whiners to defend Apple? Nowhere, that's where. And my sink also, not my favorite part honestly, has the same "walled-garden" type block as iOS. Try as hard as I can, but I still can't get the thing to give me soda or beer when I want it. That's really all Android based sinks have going for them. But in the end it's OK because I need Apple, er, Kohler to protect me from evil soda and beer. Don't want to cross the streams. (Copyright Apple).

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634030)

*wipes tear* beautiful.

http://seenonslash.com/ [seenonslash.com]

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633594)

My question is, at what point does a particular design go from being something proprietary to something obvious for it's function? For instance, when does "rounded rectangles" go from being a style feature to a "of course the corners are rounded, what else are they going to do with them, make them pointed?" When does a particular size go from a "design style" to "duh, of course it's going to be about the same size, it is intended for the same function"?

Personally, I have no problem with design being proprietary, but when it requires competitors to actually produce inferior products and impede on their functionality to avoid just looking too much like another product that it is directly competing with, it doesn't seem right to me. Of course tablets are all going to be about the same size, people have about the same size hands, more or less. Every chiclet style keyboard looks basically the same, every trackpad is going to look basically the same, every tablet is going to look basically the same, every smartphone is going to look basically the same. A manufacturer shouldn't be forced to put physical buttons on a touchscreen device just because Apple's touchscreen devices don't have any, or point the corners of their tablet just because Apple's are rounded, or not bevel the edges (that would just be uncomfortable to hold for anyone, I mean, come on), or any of the other silly things that I've heard come out of these patent lawsuits...

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (2)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633704)

OMG, thank you!!!! I have been thinking the same thing as all of these companies started to sue each other over whatever they can think of (OK, well Apple is leading the pack on that one)

I believe they are stifling competition because no one is allowed to have products that look anything remotely resembling Apple's. Now I do agree they are sexy designs(as always), but at what point can you sue over such things.

My TV looks like just about every other TV, but you don't see TV companies suing each other. (or do you, and I'm just misinformed?)

I mean, how much different can you get, before you provide an inferior product or experience?!? Which no one will buy and no one will like and continue to use.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633896)

Everything that isn't metal or plastic has a rounded corner already. Seriously, step away from the computer and look around your house.

Yeah but still. (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633740)

Sorry, it's just a screen a keyboard and a weird shaped tower in stainless steel. Cool looking, but not a blatent copy of anything - though it looks a lot like a microwave and toaster I used to own.

I suppose I can see where you would get frustrated if you spent hundreds of hours designing a rounded rectangle and a flattish keyboard, but I don't look at that and think of apple - I just think it looks like some generic (cool looking) computer parts.

I bought my wife a 17" powerbook with all the fixins - we have other apple products and will buy more, so I'm by no means anti-apple . . . I suppose I'm a little bit anti 'being way to pretentious about a design element that seems really generic'.

Re:Yeah but still. (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633758)

Ha! Also I just realized the super old 15" NEC LCD I'm using looks a lot like that as well. They were geniuses! They copied apple before copying apple was cool!

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633790)

the screen is certainly reminiscent of an iMac

Jesus Christ... It is an LCD monitor so it looks like an LCD monitor. Dell Monitor looks the same oh noes!!! http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2009/08/dell-e2210h-lcd-monitor.jpg [blogcdn.com]

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633856)

It's not that people don't want to give Apple credit for anything, it's that what Apple claims is their design frequently isn't, or is so overreaching as to be ridiculous. The current claim that they own "Rounded Rectangles with one button and a screen that has square icons " doesn't pass the common sense test. Nearly everyone has had electronic devices with a rounded rectangle shape, one button or a screen with square icons, claiming it's your design because you changed one word of that from "or" to "and" is ridiculous. Sure, the iPhone was innovative and looked good. But it looked very similar to a lot of devices that were years older than it.

"Inspiration" by another product isn't illegal, actionable or ethically wrong. I'd list the products that completely obviously "inspired" Apple with their products, but I don't think Slashdot has enough storage space for that list.

It does not piss me off when someone points out similarities in the design. What pisses me off is people who ignore the differences. And what really gets me is when a company is way too full of themselves and take legal action to stop anyone with any similarities from selling their products.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633900)

You have to drink an awful lot of that KoolAid to think that looks like an Apple product, aside from it being 'glitzy and shiny'.

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633912)

Finally, they've perfected the giant iPad with a keyboard, and a bunch of accessories, without any wires whatsoever (not even for electricity).

Re:The Curse of the Rounded Rectangle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634004)

All Apple did was use a "modern" design. There was nothing special about it. In fact it sucks. It is attractive and that is about it. Functionality shit. I'd rather go back to my Palm m500 than touch an Apple product. The Palm was both functional and worked well. Palm at that time knew wtf they were doing. It is sad they copied Microsoft and released hefty units. They should have stuck to thin and gone free. It isn't like there was ever anything special about the software. To this day there isn't anything competive from a boot/design stand point for the software though. Software for taking notes and simialr though is a comodity though so keeping it closed didn't make any sense.

Samsung SwipeIt (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633470)

Samsung also introduced the SwipeIt [akumar.me] a competitor to Apple AirPlay and probably the best name for a Samsung product ever.

Re:Samsung SwipeIt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633526)

The most retarded blog post I've seen all day. You "presumably already own" a Samsung smart TV? Apple will buy Samsung?

Re:Samsung SwipeIt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633690)

Yes. As in: If you purchase/download/install/use/whatever the SwipeIt program, they presume you actually have the TV that will work with it. Like one would presume that if you're buying a wireless router, you have some type of networkable equipment/internet access to use with it, and arent just buying it for the hell of it with no equipment to use with it.

Good for them. (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633272)

Cheap computers are a good thing for the poor people. computers might suck, but at least it will allow some people to get online.

Not that you can't find a ton on craigslist or anything.

Re:Good for them. (5, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633360)

a local thrift store had a compaq pentium I machine that booted up to a 98 bluescreen and wanted 100$, and some dumb shit bought it. Meanwhile across town at the habitat for humanity reuse center (and this like 5 min away, ... small town) they were selling 2ghz p4 pizza boxes for 5 bucks each, and they sat there for months.

poor people for some reason often have a skewed vision of a good buy, that 100$ computer HAD to be good, and those 5$ computers were useless shit, point being its often better to direct them away from ripoff list cause they will plop down 600 bucks for that mac G4 that some douche thinks is still the sweetest thing on the planet

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633396)

What town? Seems like there's a lot of good to be done by letting people know of this $5 Pentium 4. I've never seen a deal this good by a company attempting to stay in business. It's likely that the "dumb shits" you referenced simply didn't know about the deal. After reading your post, they still wouldn't know.

Re:Good for them. (4, Informative)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633448)

Habitat for Humanity (dot org will resolve) often give stuff away, never mind just having $5 Pentium 4s.

They'll take donations, too.

cheers,

Re:Good for them. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633542)

I told everyone I saw, including the operators of the thrift store and people at the thrift store TY

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633464)

With an attitude like yours, I'd rather be poor and uninformed than well-off and friends with people like you.

It's not nice to call people names just because you consider yourself "smarter" than them. Why don't you be kind and go educate the masses instead of just being a troll on slashdot?

Re:Good for them. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633554)

for your information i am nowhere near well off, less than a couple hundred away from qualifying for food stamps in fact.

It doesnt keep me from making an informed purchace

Re:Good for them. (4, Interesting)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633548)

While some people just can't catch a break, or have suffered from lack of opportunity... people who are poor long term often have related poor decision making skills. Whether that's genetic or due to poor parents teaching them the wrong things, I'll leave to the social scientists.

You'll see a surprising number of fairly wealthy people play the lottery - one ticket here and there. You'll see an equally surprising number of poor people play the lottery, dozens of tickets at a time. You'll also see them maxing out credit cards and going to paycheque cashing stores, seemingly without realizing that if they'd just hold off for ONE paycheque, they'd have 10-20% more money to spend. I know a guy with a bottom-end job who is very modest in his purchases, and keeps socking most of his money away. 20 years later, he's a freakin' LANDLORD to some of his former coworkers, and he built it all on a minimum wage job. It can be done.

Seeing a poor person get taking isn't surprising, but when they're fleecing themselves and the person profiting *isn't* trying to take advantage of them, what do you do? Give up on the adults and hope for the best for the kids.

I say this as someone whose extended family has both middle and lower income families in it.

Re:Good for them. (4, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633644)

I find that hard to believe an economic system like that is called communism. In order for a capitalist society to exist, at least in the type that the US is, you have winners and you have losers. Most of the winners had quite a bit to start with and most of the losers didn't have much to start with.

This whole notion of upward mobility hasn't been true in at least 40 years. Sure you get some people that manage it, but the money that would have gone to making that work out is now being siphoned directly to the richest Americans.

Re:Good for them. (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633942)

In order for a capitalist society to exist, at least in the type that the US is, you have winners and you have losers.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of capitalism. Economics is not a zero-sum game. In a capitalist society, you have big winners and you have small winners. Every transaction is made because both participants feel it is advantageous for them to make it. If either party feels a transaction will make them a "loser", they simply will not make the transaction. Failing to be a big winner is not losing.

If you're consistently generating losers, that points to a problem either in your implementation of capitalism (e.g. overly broad patents prevent competition from introducing and lowering prices for flat, rectangular computing devices), or in the people (lack of education/information, or irrational decision making).

Re:Good for them. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634094)

Yes, the people and implementations are flawed, not the theory. The theory is beautiful and perfect. Why can't reality be more like the theory?

Why don't we take capitalism to its fullest extent and just give one guy all the money. The only way that you get the game to reset is a 100% estate tax. Otherwise oligarchy/fascism/plutocracy is inevitable.

"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

Re:Good for them. (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633776)

If you think rich people don't say "you get what you pay for" and poor people never go for the cheapest option then you know nothing about rich people or poor people. Rich people buy iPhones & poor people buy Cricket phones. Rich people buy Mercedes & poor people buy Hyundai. And what the heck, rich people buy Sony TV's while poor people buy Vizio.

Oddly enough, I've got the Vizio and the Hyundai. But I suppose poor people don't buy EVO 3D's. Maybe that's where I went wrong. But still, poor people don't waste money on things nearly as much as rich people. They just don't have the capability to do so.

Re:Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634010)

Funny, most of the people I know with iPhones are pretty broke most of the time.

Re:Good for them. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633388)

Even if they 'suck' compared to other brands, they are still an order of a magnitude more powerful than we had 10 years ago. And we got along just find back then.

Re:Good for them. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633476)

But what good are they if they're not useful? Every e-machine [emachines.com] I've seen in operation takes an hour to boot regardless of the specs. That's probably where all the "high error rate but still sellable" stuff gets compiled into systems, at a markup.

Re:Good for them. (0)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633980)

Cheap computers are a good thing for the poor people. computers might suck, but at least it will allow some people to get online.

It's not a good thing if they suck to the point that they're barely usable, if usable at all.

Before we bought our first HD TV, we would see such great prices on Vizio, but the name was too unknown for me. Consumer Reports gave them decent reviews, but those reviews didn't account for problems/defects.

After Christmas last year, I saw what seemed like a parking lot full of people pushing carts with Vizio boxes back towards the store. No, not really a parking lot full, but there were at least 5 people... not over some period of time, but at the same time we were going into the store.

Woot.com also seems to have refurb Vizio TVs all the time. It'll be a long time before I by Vizio.

Obviously we can't all afford the greatest products, but sometimes a little more can go a long way.

it has rounded corners (5, Funny)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633274)

I sense Apple lawsuit coming, Apple owns the copyright on rounded rectangles.

Re:it has rounded corners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633362)

If only Apple would put those lawyers to good use and sue the entirety of Web 2.0...

Re:it has rounded corners (-1, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633426)

Sigh...it's obviously more than just "rounded rectangles" that makes it similar-looking to existing Apple products. The keyboard looks exactly like Apple's flat keyboard, and the trackpad is the Magic Trackpad that Apple started offering a year or so ago. When you've got obvious rip-offs on the market--like this Samsung Windows laptop that looks like a MacBook Pro [macenstein.com] and even uses an Apple logo for the default account avatar to resemble the OS X boot up sequence in order to confuse customers--it's not at all surprising that Apple is going to be proactive in protecting its design work. But sites like Slashdot are full of Apple-haters who don't want to give the company credit for anything, because Apple is popular. That doesn't change the fact that when Apple introduces a popular product, a bunch of of competing products start to look almost exactly like it--as if there's no other way to design a PC, tablet, phone, etc. once Apple introduces a particular design for them.

Trolling.. must try HARDER (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633504)

Why do you even bother switching accounts to post in the same story?

The keyboard looks exactly like Apple's flat keyboard, and the trackpad is the Magic Trackpad that Apple started offering a year or so ago.

--it's not at all surprising that Apple is going to be proactive in protecting its design work.

But sites like Slashdot are full of Apple-haters who don't want to give the company credit for anything

bonch writes [slashdot.org]

The keyboard looks just like Apple's flat keyboard introduced a few years ago, the trackpad is a clone of the Apple Trackpad

I'm not surprised at all that, with all the design work Apple puts into its products, it is going to try to protect that work from knockoffs.

I realize Slashdot comments tend to have an Apple slant (to put it mildly), but come on, this is completely obvious "inspiration" from Apple.

I think what really goes on here is that some people just don't want to give Apple credit for anything,

Re:Trolling.. must try HARDER (5, Insightful)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633584)

Looks like bonch needs to be more proactive in protecting his literary work. Overly Critical Guy is making a cheap knock off of his posts and selling it at a discount.

Either way, though, I'm not buying.

Re:it has rounded corners (-1, Troll)

Ayanami_R (1725178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633590)

What design work? Apples products are nothing but "plain Jane" design.

Re:it has rounded corners (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633852)

That laptop you linked looks nothing like a macbook pro. In fact, the article linked doesnt even assert that it does; they simply moan that the user logon symbol resembles some kind of abstract apple (which is a heck of a stretch).

I mean, the trackpad is not a single piece, the keyboard looks nothing like a macbooks, the colors are all wrong, the plastic casing is all wrong, etc.

Re:it has rounded corners (5, Funny)

getto man d (619850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633450)

FTA

...will go on sale by June at a “a price that just doesn’t seem possible,” he said, declining to provide specifics.

They're stealing one from Apple's pricing scheme too!

Re:it has rounded corners (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633618)

Why don't you remove that stick from your ass and get on with your life?

Re:it has rounded corners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633762)

what i see is apple evetually suing itself into oblivion. funds are not unlimited and neither is people's patience

Re:it has rounded corners (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633830)

TV maker Vizio is famous for undercutting competitors' prices on LCD TVs...

Is Vizio famous for that? Is Vizio famous for anything (other than chart creation software)? On Best Buy, they seem to be listed for a DVD about the Rose Bowl, a single blue-ray player, and a single TV remote control, all at average (or above average) prices.

It seems a /. editor has just been fooled by a Press Release.

Re:it has rounded corners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633976)

If you're going to accuse the submitter of writing a PR fluff piece and the editor of approving it without doing research, perhaps you could do at least a halfway decent job of research yourself? You searched one store, found no products, and concluded that they don't exist or are rare -- without considering the possibility (the *truth*, in fact) that that particular store does not carry Vizio branded TVs. Search Amazon, NewEgg, Google Shopping, Walmart, and many many other online stores and you will find plenty of Vizio LCD TVs.

Re:it has rounded corners (2)

smart_ass (322852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633996)

Visio not Vizio (for the charting software)

Re:it has rounded corners (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634018)

They have a larger presence in Target, Walmart, and Amazon where consumers are more likely to focus on pricing than anything else.

ARM? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633282)

Am I the only one thinking that this might be driven by some cheap ARM hardware? Only way I can think of to achieve "a price that just doesn't seem possible" in an all-in-one computer.

Re:ARM? (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633404)

Doesn't have to be ARM, there are cheap x86 processors too. Problem is they are also slow.

Not quite as cheap, I suppose. Guess we'll have to see what their 'unbelievable prices' are.

Whatever happened to that Chinese endeavour.. Longsoon? Think that was MIPS based.

Re:ARM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633462)

With the cheap netbook market, I think people generally know what the cheap x86 systems tend to go for and would factor into what people think of as believable prices. Still, who knows, this company apparently has the worst build quality on the planet, that might get an x86 system unbelievable cheap.

Underengineered (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633290)

Vizio products are terribly built. They're fine under perfect circumstances, but the insides are like a freshman EE student built them. Accidentally plug a USB drive into the firmware update port (which accepts a USB form factor)? New motherboard time. Live in a house built before 1978 and took an electrical surge? New motherboard time. And none of it is under warranty. All you can do is plead ignorance and hope for the best.

Re:Underengineered (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633344)

That was the conclusion I came to after reading reviews of their Blu-Ray players a few weeks ago as well. I ended up buying an LG.

Then again, all the reviews said that Samsung makes some of the best Blu-Ray players, yet both of mine have been train wrecks to various degrees, which is why I'm replacing the worst of the pair with the LG, so....

Re:Underengineered (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633382)

I use all samsung BluRay players in my house. I have the least difficulty with it seeingmy DLNA server on the wireless connection and it ALMOST can play any video file I can throw at it. There is a catch, however. The software is unstable. I've had video freeze the machine enough to need "rebooted" (at least with current firmware, that just means turning it off and back on, where the older firmwares would require unplugging the device). More or less, what they can do on paper is leagues better than anything else I've delt with. In real life, I constantly yearn for new software updates.

Re:Underengineered (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633488)

I constantly yearn for new software updates.

What happened to all the talk about Chinese manufacturers everywhere embedding mplayer? I want to buy one of those!

Re:Underengineered (2)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633408)

Well your experience is different from what I've seen in their TV's and Tablets. And who puts any electronics directly onto the house power without a surge protector?

They may not be high end systems but they work. And they don't break the bank. Also most consumers are not opening the cases (as that usually voids the warranty) and thus don't really care what it looks like inside as long as it works.

Re:Underengineered (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633422)

Flat screen TV's are all problematic on repairs (so says the guy who fixes my CRT's but does most of his business on flat screen warranties). Get the extended warranty, hope you get 5 years out of it.

On inflation-adjusted basis, they cost 25% of what CRT's used to cost, so 5 yrs vs. 20 years seems about right.

Re:Underengineered (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633672)

In my experience, Vizio's products are very robust. An angry ex-girlfriend threw my 37" vizio LED TV on the floor and stomped on the back. The front bezel cracked off, but it still works perfectly. Pretty amazing for something so thin (the tv, not the ex).

Wondering about desktop sales ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633306)

It seems to me that with smart phones, tablets and lowered priced laptops; desktops should be in decline right? Of course, there's a market for super cheap desktops, but I wonder when the whole concept of a desktop will just banish.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633336)

Never, probably. Very few whole concepts entirely vanish. There's movies and television, but stage plays still exist. There's television and MP3 players, but radio still exists. There's internet streaming, but radio and television still exist. There's e-readers, but print books still exist. There's laptops, tablets and smartphones, but desktop computers still exist.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633370)

And yet outside of a few hobbyists, the telegraph is defunct. The short-wave and long-wave radio bands are basically defunct. Analog TV is defunct. Celluloid movies are rapidly becoming defunct. ISA slots are defunct. It's not at all uncommon for a specific type of product in a larger class of products to go away if the replacements completely obviate the need for the original product. I see no reason why traditional desktops can't or shouldn't go the way of X terminals eventually.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633662)

Development? Power-users? Stallman? There's always going to be a subset of the computer using population that needs more than the latest iShiny.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633742)

Yes, but the desktop computer itself is not a particular technology. Telegraph is defunct but people still communicate long distance electronically. Analog TV is defunct but TV's are everywhere, Celluloid movies are on their way out but people still go to the movies just the same as they did 80 years ago.

With "The Cloud" we may see more people move to tablets and smart phones that serve as little more than a terminal, but desktops aren't going anywhere. Honestly, it's funny, but the majority of people I know with laptops use them in exactly the same manner as a desktop: sitting at their desk, plugged in, often with a standard wired mouse plugged in for good measure since most people don't care for trackpads. For all the portability, they unplug their laptop like once a month, if that, so it's a wasted feature. And tablets, I honestly don't know how people can do anything with them that requires more than basic text input or coarse pointer control. I've heard the anecdotal "I wrote an entire novel on my iPad and it was as easy as a keyboard!!1!!1!1!" but I honestly don't see how people can stand software keyboards, it's just way too inefficient for my expectations, I guess.

Anyways, my point is, as long as people are sitting at a desk using a computer, there will be desktop computers. Not everyone needs portability or a particular form factor.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633372)

Desktop sales are already in a steep decline in the western world. People are moving to mobile platforms like smartphones and tablets.

Desktop sales:
2005: 35 million units
2008: 32 million units
2010: 25 million units
2014 (predicted): 22 million units

Mobile sales (tablets and smartphones):
2005: 66 million
2008: 126 million
2010: 170 million
2014 (predicted): 264 million

Desktops are becoming as irrelevant to computing as traditional windows PCs are to gaming in the face of consoles.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (5, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633428)

I think a big chunk of that is that even a 5 year old desktop is fast enough for most consumer tasks now, no?

The market is rather saturated with fast desktops, not like the leaps between 486 -> P1 > P2/3. There's less incentive to upgrade regularly.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (5, Interesting)

Ayanami_R (1725178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633678)

This is ultimitley why PC sales are down. Good enough old systems coupled with a broke populace = no new sales. Take it from someone who fixes computers for a living. My sales are way up as more people are getting older systems upgraded or repaired because they're still fast enough, and cheaper than a new machine. Ultrabooks aren't going to do dick to spur sales, as they are too expensive (even at price points like 649 usd) and most customers I talk to plan to spend less than 500 when they absolutely need a new machine. Apple is running out of people that can afford their product, and with food and fuel expected to surge next year I am fairly sure they have peaked. If people have to choose between an idevice or food and a non idevice I think we all know which one wins.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633440)

Performing a linear extrapolation of the sales data, we see that sales of desktop PCs drop to zero by 2028.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633614)

Do laptops sit in desktop or mobile sales? Anyone at my company who hints at working from home gets a laptop. My house has 1 desktop, 2 laptops and 1 smart phone for 2 adults. In 2006 there were 4 laptops and 2 smart phones for 4 adults - 0 desktops

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634108)

I would be a bad /.er if I didn't leave this here. [xkcd.com]

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633460)

Desktop's will never die, not as long as they have the capability of being 10 times more powerful than their portable brethren.

When did everyone get this huge blind spot when it comes to what people do with computers? There are still people out there that do more with their computer than surf the web and consume digital media. People that need as much raw power as they can get for what they're doing have no choice but to remain on the desktop. Although laptops are now beginning to fill that niche (and even then, cheapo ones struggle), tablets and smart phones aren't going to fill that niche for a long, long time.

When tablets, smart phones, and laptops come out that are able to directly compete with their desktop counterparts in terms of raw power, productivity and potential, then I'll say the desktop's days are numbered. Until then, desktops aren't going anywhere...

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633520)

There are still people out there that do more with their computer than surf the web and consume digital media.

Sure, but nowhere near enough to sustain an industry just for that. There are still people using Symbolics LISP machines too, but you don't see a vibrant industry producing new ones.

Just look at the decline in desktop sales and the rise of the mobile platform. You think that trend isn't going to continue? Desktops will be effectively dead within 20 years, 30 tops.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633778)

Desktops will go away in the next 5 years to be immediately replaced by "workstation" class machines.

Apple already has this. They don't sell desktop PCs they sell minis, all-in-ones, laptops and workstations plus tablets and handhelds. They've branded them to avoid any connection to these segments though so they can evolve as needed.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633788)

There's a "performant enough" level. Tegra 3 looks to be almost there. Maybe within the year...

What the mobile platforms are giving us is amazingly swift progress and remarkable flexibility. This is winning fans.

We've been playing "Intel giveth and Microsoft taketh away" for a very long time. But in time, all things end.

Re:Wondering about desktop sales ... (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634070)

The majority of people just wanted a device to surf the web and do basic stuff. Before they needed to buy a desktop, now they have the choice. Desktop will never die maybe correct (as in, sure you will probably find desktop for sale in 50+ years, just as you can buy a brand new horse carriage today), they just become more and more irrelevant for the mainstream consumer. Soon, they will be a professional tool only, later, a specialist tool and after that they will peacefully become a legacy tool.

Apothecary is laughing now. (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633330)

So there is going to be brutal price war in the PC market. And Apothecary wanted HP to get out of that business and was excoriated for it. Now what? Fate of HP (and other manufacturers who threw in their lot with Microsoft) is doomed. Not that I shed any tears for them. Not that any of the PC maker big execs showed any kind of leadership or foresight.

They agreed to every non disclosure clause from Microsoft, accepted tainted money to keep Microsoft's competitors out, missed every opportunity to set themselves apart from their competition by something other than price. Did any of these geniuses think, "What is the major complaint about the PCs? Lack of security. Let me pitch a line of PCs with Firefox front and center, with NoScript pre loaded. Throw in some OpenOffice free too" when it would have mattered, may be five years ago? Nah, they obediently kow-towed every line drawn by Microsoft and reduced themselves to mere purveyors of commodity boxes. When there is no difference between the brands qualitatively what happens? Price war, gimmicky sales tactics, pre-loading of crapware and nagware. Good riddance. Go die in a price war somewhere clueless idiots.

Re:Apothecary is laughing now. (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633348)

Apothecary

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Re:Apothecary is laughing now. (1)

mythar (1085839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633384)

Apothecary

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Apotheker

Gimme a break (2)

bogie (31020) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633356)

Apple's the only one allowed to use Aluminum in their designs?

Btw they'll probably keep the cost down by using netbook cpu/gpus. So yea you can have a 27" iMac that does 2560x1440 with a quad core i5 for $1700 or a 27" tv set running at 1920x1080 with a net book stuck to the back for probably $800. Different strokes and all that...

Re:Gimme a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633412)

netbooks aren't necessarily that bad for the job, though... with the right addon chips/video chipset, you can still easily decode 1080p video on it. and from the looks of things, these things are really just intended to add internet and word processing to the TV. It's not going to be a high end gaming system, but I don't think it's intended to be so.

Re:Gimme a break (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633640)

Don't forget 27 inches of Angry Birds and Facebook

Was hoping for a MUCH bigger screen (4, Interesting)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633378)

This is just more of the same. I was really hoping that, with Vizio being a big flatscreen maker, they'd just be slapping a PC on the back of them.

Many big LCD TV's these days have built in network media stuff (netflix, hulu plus, pandora, and loads of more minor players), so they've got some computing guts in them already. I was hoping they'd just up the power a little and bring out an integrated webtv type thing on 55"+ screens, and include a keyboard. If it ran like a real PC, they could even skirt the hulu plus issues (and similar from other providers) since it could be considered a PC. Toss in external storage device support (USB3 + gigabit network) and it'd be a winner.

But no... it's just another all-in-one monitor and another (likely underpowered) laptop. I wonder if the 27" model will at least have more than 1920x1280 resolution (ie. 2560x1600)?

blame the cable co's + dish and directv (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633472)

For nor make pc tunner's and cable co's for makeing cable card a joke. Most people use the cable or dish / directv box GUI on there TV. At least the directv DRV's can view some youtube video.

Re:blame the cable co's + dish and directv (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633886)

What language is this supposed to be, you retarded cunt?

Re:blame the cable co's + dish and directv (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634074)

ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER. Do you speak it?

                                                                       

Re:Was hoping for a MUCH bigger screen (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633944)

I was hoping they'd just up the power a little and bring out an integrated webtv type thing on 55"+ screens, and include a keyboard. If it ran like a real PC, they could even skirt the hulu plus issues (and similar from other providers) since it could be considered a PC. Toss in external storage device support (USB3 + gigabit network) and it'd be a winner.

Who really wants a gigantic all-in-one costing thousands of dollars that they can't upgrade? Seeing how 55+ TVs alone run at least $1200 for the cheap ones. Add the computer components and you're looking at $2K. Geeks want them separate as they can upgrade either the computer or the screen separately. Average consumers could care less that their 55" TV is a computer. They would rather it stay an appliance. I think that would be a mistake on Vizio's part. Instead they are going for computers to be cheap so that they can sell millions of them rather than the handful who would really want to buy what you describe.

apple needs to make so you get ro the HDD with out (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633442)

Have to take the screen off.

Now why does all other AIO's make it so much easier to get to the HDD?

No Windows, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633500)

I'm guessing these systems will be marketed as media consumption and social networking devices for the Moms and Grandmoms of the world. That said the worst thing Vizio could do would be to select Windows as the OS for this platform. Hopefully they are running a Grandma friendly build of Andriod that is locked down enough to keep the required tech support skillset on par with that required for a smartphone. And hopefully they can be easily rooted to keep these devices interesting to the /. community.

Make it open and serviceable to kill everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633534)

There's no real reason for most desktops to be separate components these days - people don't need that much on average.

But the typical all-in-one costs a fortune.

If the industry just came up with a monitor w/ motherboard and hard drive form factor, this would happen.

Re:Make it open and serviceable to kill everything (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633688)

You mean other than ergonomics and durability. Which are quite significant if you think about it.

bargin hdtv maker plans to make bargin pcs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633570)

No big surprise here. I hope that they can sell a pc to each of their happy hdtv customers (all 10 of them). I did not like the image quality of their hdtvs, and paid an extra 20% more for a major brand hdtv that I believe looks much better. I like inexpensive products, not cheap ones.

I have been hoping that the VESA PC form-factor (behind the monitor mount) would take-off more that the all-in-one form factor.

Disposable hardware, how cheap it is (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633596)

Once again, proving how disposable hardware is. Got a virus? Need an upgrade? Throw it away and get a new one! The only thing of value is personal data such as pictures and documents.

The industry will eventually adopt two approaches with how data gets stored. The OS and Apps data will be installed on the build-in drive. All user apps will be stored on a removable drive. That can be flash, or a removable 3.5" HDD. If a drive isn't available, the OS prompts the user to install one so all local profile data can be redirected to it. Optionally, user data can be backed up over the cloud with an account provided. The idea being, if the PC turns into a boat anchor, you simply pull the easy-to-remove drive and toss the machine overboard.

We live in a disposable society. The numbers back it up. Don't get angry with me, I'm simply pointing out a known fact.

Welcome to iCloud (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633794)

That's the basic idea behind cloud + web (or, I suppose, iCloud + iOS + Facebook). Your music, pictures, mail, chat, and documents are just sort of out there somewhere on the network. Do you really care where they are?

There's a point where when you're the 98% of users who just consume media, write emails, and Facebook you really have no use for a general purpose PC as it's understood today. That's the brutal truth. If you're a student you need more (word/excel), but for that mcjob - do you really use your PC to edit 1080p video or reencode your video library?

An impossible price? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633702)

100Pi US Dollars?

Eleventy-two Euro?

100e Pound Sterling?

Or maybe it's vaporware, at 10,000i Yen.

Horrible Glass (2)

robwmc (734472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633842)

They can undercut all they want but their glass is horrible. I bought one of their TVs and told everyone I had it stolen because I couldn't take the picture quality.
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