Another week, another iPad competitor steps up to the plate. This week, Vizio gets closer to releasing its Android tablet into the wild, announcing that it's available for pre-order at a select few online locations for a price that of course undercuts Apple's base offering.
While Vizio has promoted its 8-inch tablet as being available at Costco.com and Walmart.com, the Walmart site already shows it as out of stock (though priced at $348). It's still up for pre-order at Costco's online home, at an even lower price of $329.99.
Before you get too excited by that price tag, which compares to the lowest-priced ($499) iPad 2, there are a couple of major caveats beyond the Vizio Tablet's smaller screen size. You only get 4GB of built-in storage, compared to the base iPad's 16GB, though you do get a microSD card slot to add up to 32GB of additional storage. It also comes with Android 2.3, instead of the latest, more tablet-friendly, flavor, 3.1.
Vizio offers one other tablet-buying alternative: a bundle you can pre-order on its site that includes a 16GB microSD card and a carrying case for $399.99. Vizio.com shows an expected shipping date of July 18, while Costco promises a specific mid/late July shipping time frame.
Vizio has made a name for itself in the HDTV world by undercutting established brands while still offering quality products. Can it repeat that success in the tablet world? Are you interested in the Vizio Tablet at all? Let us know in the Comments section.