Vizio launches 8-inch tablet for $299

The company says that the device is now available at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon, among other retailers.

The 8-inch Vizio tablet costs $299.
The 8-inch Vizio tablet costs $299. Vizio

Vizio has launched its 8-inch tablet at a price that could make it a key player in the Android tablet space.

Customers looking to get their hands on the device can head over to Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon, among other retailers, and pick up the tablet for $299.

Vizio's decision to drop the price of its tablet to $299 comes as a surprise. In June, reports surfaced, claiming Wal-Mart would be selling the tablet for $349. Last month, Vizio started offering the device on pre-order for $399.99. However, at the time, customers could go to Costco or Wal-Mart and order it for $329 or $348, respectively.

Vizio is currently selling its tablet for $369 on its Web site.

Related stories:
• Vizio teases 8-inch tablet as launch nears
• Vizio's new 8-inch tablet now up for preorder
• Vizio's Android tablet to hit Wal-Mart for $349?

Aside from its 8-inch display, Vizio's tablet comes with built-in GPS and 2GB of onboard storage, which is expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card. The Android-based device allows users to connect to the Web via Wi-Fi, and download apps from the Android Market. The tablet also doubles as a universal remote, allowing users to control their home theater devices.

At $299, Vizio is offering one of the better deals on the market. Apple's iPad 2, the leader in the space, starts at $499, making Vizio's option a strikingly more affordable option for some customers. It also puts it within striking distance of the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, which comes with a 7-inch display and Android for $249.

What's more, Vizio has decided to cut the price before customers get their hands on the device, rather than do so soon after its launch, like HP did.

HP last week offered a $50 "instant rebate" on its TouchPad tablet, just a month after the tablet launched. The TouchPad now retails for $449.99 and $549.99 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. To address early-adopter outcry, HP said over the weekend that it would offer TouchPad owners a $50 credit for its App Catalog app store.

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