11.6-inch Vizio tablet taps AMD APU

AMD announced the tablet-centric Z-60 APU back in October, but it didn’t have any design wins to discuss at the time. Now, Vizio has unveiled an 11.6" tablet based on the processor. Dubbed simply the Vizio 11.6" Tablet PC, the device runs a "Signature" version of Windows 8 that’s entirely free of third-party software and other pre-loaded junk.

 

Vizio has managed to squeeze the Z-60 into a 0.4" chassis that weighs 1.8 lbs and is entirely fanless. The system isn’t as light as some ARM-based tablets, but unlike them, it boasts x86 compatibility. The Z-60’s integrated Radeon GPU should offer better graphics performance and game compatibility than competing Atom-based solutions, too.

With a 1080p display resolution, the tablet will surely make good use of the extra graphics horsepower. The press release doesn’t provide details on the type of panel used, but let’s hope Vizio didn’t try to cut corners with a cheap TN display. This is, after all, a "premium mobility device designed to turn heads." Such a device should probably have vivid colors and wide viewing angles.

Vizio seems especially proud of the tablet’s built-in audio, which promises clear sound and an extra dose of bass. There’s also a Micro HDMI port if you want to plug the thing into a home-theater system or a secondary monitor. I’d expect at least one USB port, as well; it would be a crime to leave the Z-60’s USB 3.0 support untapped. Apart from noting the tablet’s 64GB of solid-state storage, the press release is devoid of more detailed specifications. We don’t have any word on battery life, pricing, or an expected release date. The tablet is being shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, so it shouldn’t be too far from hitting store shelves.

Comments closed
    • allreadydead
    • 7 years ago

    What’s the expected performance range of a Z-60 ? close to i3 or more like, closer to an atom ?

    With an IPS panel, average battery life coupled with aggressive pricing, this thing can kill entire atom 8 tablets.

    nm, just saw stmok’s post and numbers about zacate..

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    … this would be great for around $400.

    • The Dark One
    • 7 years ago

    Damn, announced just after I’d gotten hyped up about Temash!

    • rwburnham
    • 7 years ago

    What is the deal with so many x86 tablets using only 2 gigs of ram? Isn’t ram cheap as hell these days? Toss in 4 gigs. Throw us a bone!

    Anyway, I like the idea of an OS free of bloatware. I just returned an Acer Windows 8 tablet that had become such a mess I could not even use the recovery process to get it back to default settings. I am not sure if the included Acer software was a culprit, but it was just one more thing that could go wrong.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 7 years ago

      The 2GB of RAM likely has more to do with packaging for the SoC than cost reasons.

    • Pancake
    • 7 years ago

    Why does everyone complain about price? Have you all gotten suddenly poor or what? My first laptop was at the time the cheapest you could buy – an Acer with a Celeron M and 14″ screen for $900. It was the first laptop under $1k for sale in Australia. Then I got an 12″ HP ultra portable for $1500. Then a netbook for $300 which is the portable computer I still most use as the size is perfect.

    The only thing I care about is battery life. Give me any kind of x86 tablet/laptop/hybrid with decent battery life, no bigger than 10″ screen and maybe faster than an Atom and I’ll buy it. I say maybe faster than my Atom because my netbook is quite adequate for portable Eclipse development. Speed/memory have long ceased to be bottlenecks in a system for software development.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Price matters, because if this is in the IvyBridge/Haswell tablet price range, nobody would buy it

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    Interesting. Surface Pro + keyboard lands over a grand due to the i5 inside and Microsoft’s fat margin. Vizio is all about single-digit margins on their displays and keeping things simple. If they get a decent IPS display in this thing and keep the price close to $500 – we might have a winner.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t know about winner, but it might not be as quickly laughed out of the room as the other Win8 tablets.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    With an IPS display this could be very interesting. I’d be curious to know exactly how hot the device gets, but otherwise this could make a compelling alternative to i3/i5 powered Win8 tablets. Ivy Bridge is, quite frankly, overkill for a tablet in terms of performance. I’d love to have it, but the Intel tax washes out a lot of the benefits of the extra performance.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]overkill[/quote<] Don't think of it as a tablet; think of it as your desktop PC in a tablet form-factor. From that point of view, an i3/i5 is certainly [i<]not[/i<] overkill, and Z-60 is probably just above bare minimum.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        Yea desktop without video out, or a keyboard and a 10 inch screen.

          • dpaus
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]There's also a Micro HDMI port if you want to plug the thing into a home-theater system or a secondary monitor. I'd expect at least one USB port...[/quote<] Tell me again how you can't connect an external monitor or keyboard or mouse.....?

    • Xenolith
    • 7 years ago

    This is why I don’t like CES… these detail-less announcements. I am very interested in this, but this is vaporware for all we know.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    This + Android == Interesting.

      • Xenolith
      • 7 years ago

      Android isn’t meant for x86. That’s why they developed ChromeOS.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      GREAT HARDWARE AND GREAT OS > GREAT HARDWARE AND BAD (android) OS

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Sure! So where is the great OS again? All I see is Windows 8.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          Maybe you missed Scotts review when he said it was the best windows on the market, or Geoff’s, where he said it was great on a tablet?

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          I know, [i<]finally[/i<]. A tablet that can actually [i<]do[/i<] something.

        • 5150
        • 7 years ago

        The caps make it legit.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          TOO LEGIT TO QUIT

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            ..but the guy with the funny pants DID quit, didn’t he? I mean, he doesn’t do even reality shows anymore

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 7 years ago

            QUITTERS NEVER WIN!

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Unless they’re smokers.

            • dpaus
            • 7 years ago

            Well… [i<]ex-[/i<]smokers.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Too bad AMD is having trouble grabbing a slice of the tablet pie. Without doing research, my guess is that the Z-60 is either too expensive, too power hungry, not fast enough, AMD can’t promise enough supply to meet production targets, or AMD isn’t providing enough technical assistance/support to device OEMs on how to integrate the Z-60 into their designs. It could also be because device makers are too busy with their ARM-based toys to take x86 too seriously. And one of the possible reasons for that last statement is that OEMs want to give ARM a chance to supplant/compete with x86, which Intel seems to want all to itself.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<] too power hungry[/quote<] This, and drivers.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        Lol what does that mean?

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Z-60 is too power hungry for what it can do, and AMD graphics drivers suck

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            It’s also going to have a short time on the market. I’m not sure why any company is even rolling out devices with Z-60 with Tamesh coming out in 3 months. The only thing I can figure is that Temash will be a near drop-in change, otherwise it’s a lot of engineering resources to put into something that will be replaced in less than a quarter.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]I'm not sure why any company is even rolling out devices with Z-60 with Tamesh coming out in 3 months.[/quote<] Because Temash is NOT coming out in 3 months. Temash will be shipped to "customers" (i.e., OEMs) in June, and consumer products will be on the shelves in October/November. If Temash products were really going to be available in June, they would be shown off in CES right now.

      • jensend
      • 7 years ago

      The main trouble is that the tablet platforms from both AMD and nV are still 40nm and can’t match competitors’ 32nm and 28nm chips on performance per watt. Kabini and Tegra 4 are both supposed to ship this quarter and should both be considerably more interesting.

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        Despite the fact that both of them are slower than an Intel Atom and almost certainly won’t have USB 3.0 ports or SATA 6 gbps, and can’t run a full desktop operating system — sure! Shove your definition of what’s “considerably more interesting” on the entirety of the tablet-buying consumerbase!

          • jensend
          • 7 years ago

          Every single thing you said is wrong.

          Kabini is definitely faster than Clover Trail Atoms, which are themselves somewhat faster than the justly-ridiculed Atoms of the past. Temash and Tegra 4 will be competitive with Clover Trail on CPU performance and will beat it on graphics performance.

          As the article says, the Hondo Z-60 used in this tablet already has USB 3.0 support. There’s no reason why future tablet chips from AMD or nV can’t include USB 3.

          The Z-60 also includes SATA 6Gbps, while even Bay Trail, which Intel is aiming at late this year, won’t have it. But there’s not really any reason to care. Even the best SSDs are only seriously bottlenecked by SATA 3Gbps on heavily-sequential workloads. SSDs small enough, inexpensive enough, and with low enough power consumption to appear in tablets aren’t going to be that fast, and tablet workloads won’t be heavily sequential. For now, having SATA 6Gbps controllers and using the 6Gbps protocol will just use more power without delivering a perceptible benefit.

          Just about any chip from the past decade can run a full desktop operating system. When you say what you actually mean – “x86 Windows” rather than “full desktop operating system,” then sure, Tegra 4 can’t run it, but it becomes obvious how vacuous that claim is. All of AMD’s chips run Win7/8 64-bit just fine.

          Saying AMD and nV’s 28nm offerings will be more competitive and therefore more interesting than their present chips isn’t shoving anything on anybody. Seeing that statement as some terrible imposition on you and every single member of “the tablet-buying consumerbase” is beyond absurd, it’s psychotic. It’s known as querulous paranoia and I’d recommend you see a psychiatrist.

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      The fact that there haven’t been any real AMD-based Windows 8 tablets on the market since Windows 8 came out is why I went with an Atom tablet. I didn’t really want one, but it was either that or tablets with faster, pricier Intel CPUs.

      The 1GHz rating on the AMD chip worries me, but I am hoping that the architecture will make up for lack of raw clock speed.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    Now this will be interesting as compared to the Surface Pro on features, price, and the like. I believe that x86 tablets that can run all windows software will make or break Windows 8. I would snap one up if the price is reasonable and the quality good. I thought it might be the Surface Pro, but not I’m not so sure given the prices that are being floated around for it.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      If the Surface Pro scares you on price, do you really want to see the price tag for an 11.6″ tablet at 0.4″ thickness?

        • kvndoom
        • 7 years ago

        Well when I think “Vizio” I automatically think “Walmart” so yeah I’m game. 😉

          • phileasfogg
          • 7 years ago

          Don’t forget Costco. They’ve been selling Vizio TVs for several years now and it’s likely they’ll sell this tablet too. Vizio doesn’t need much advertising – the mere fact that Walmart and Costco distribute their brand is enough to guarantee decent sales.

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            Well, maybe…but in that case I would expect Yet Another 13×7 TN Display.

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          That’s unfortunate, because they’re the only PC manufacturer that’s actually listening. When I think “Vizio” I think “Good products,” actually. Yeah, their TV’s aren’t Samsung or Sony quality… but they’re pretty good, and they’re a hell of a lot cheaper. Their computers, targeted towards consumers, are actually well-built (WHAT A CONCEPT) and don’t have much bloatware on them.

          I hope they take off like a rocket to combat the expansion of the iEverythings.

            • kvndoom
            • 7 years ago

            Oh I’m not associating them with “cheap” in the quality sense but “cheap” in the price sense. Up until recently I thought Vizio [i<]was[/i<] a Walmart brand! I think their variety store penetration gives them a good advantage. The Samsungs and Sonys of the world are going to be hurting if/when Best Buy folds. Walmart and Costco aren't going anywhere any time soon. We have a 40 inch Viz in the living room of our house and I have no quarrel with it.

    • RDFSteve
    • 7 years ago

    What’s the price? As crazy as it sounds, I’d be interested in one of these just for using PowerPoint.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]We don't have any word on battery life, [b<]pricing[/b<], or an expected release date[/quote<] As long as it has that USB 3.0 port (so it can be paired with something like a [url=http://www.targus.com/us/productdetail.aspx?regionId=7&sku=ACA039US&PageName=Cables%20&%20Hubs%20Accessories%20by%20Targus&productCategoryId=11&bucketTypeId=0&searchedTerms=&navlevel1=&cp=&bannertxt=Cables%20%26%20Hubs%20Accessories<]Targus Dual-Video Docking Station[/url<]), this could be an ideal system for mobile professionals; salespeople, realestate agents, etc.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      How about something like this ? [url<]http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/NU.SGPAA.014[/url<] Its a 'special' deal at $300. C-70 processor, 4GB ram, blue tooth, usb 3.0, hdmi, and come free with full featured keyboard that act also as a screen cover. Or is .8 lbs extra to much extra to carry ?

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        If you’re trying to impress clients across a small conference table, a tablet on a stand with touchscreen features and a BT keyboard off to the side makes a cleaner impression than a rotated laptop.

          • dpaus
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]If you're trying to impress clients across a small conference table....[/quote<] ...then a glossy screen smeared with greasy fingerprints doesn't work that well either. Do they not make Gorilla Glass in a fine-surfaced matte finish?

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            Tablets have a “cool right now” factor that laptops lost about 10 years ago. Also, if you don’t like glossy displays with finger prints, guess how badly a matte surface will foul up…and how much harder it will be to clean.

            • Malphas
            • 7 years ago

            Not all of us have sweaty, greasy, fatman hands, dpaus. None of my touchscreen devices ever seem to have any fingerprints on them at all, frankly.

            • Sam125
            • 7 years ago

            Or how about not trying to endorse a stupid idea? That’s much smarter.

            Signed,
            A non-greasy/sweaty/fatman hands user

            • dpaus
            • 7 years ago

            I’ve been staring at my post for several minutes trying to see where I said ‘sweaty’ or ‘fat’ in any way, and I just can’t see it. Perhaps one of my eagle-eyed gerbil friends can point it out to me.

            Do you ever actually [i<]use[/i<] your touchscreen devices? Because even my Dad's - and he has very dry skin - has plenty of 'swipe marks' on it.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            I’d be more impressed by a business person who has something resembling a business productivity tool more than a consumption tool.

            • dpaus
            • 7 years ago

            Not if they’re just there giving you a (Powerpoint) sales pitch (like RDFSteve was saying) or logging on to a company website to show you some products/specs.

          • Sam125
          • 7 years ago

          Eww. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and wipe down your screen before the presentation. Otherwise stick to using a projector.

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