Vizio Co-Star

The Good The Vizio Co-Star is the smallest Google TV box on the market and only costs $100. It comes with a double-sided remote, with a touch pad on the front and a full keyboard on the back.

The Bad The Google TV software continues to disappoint. There aren't dedicated apps for major streaming services like Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and MLB.TV, nor is Google's own movie rental service supported. Major content providers like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, and MTV still block Google TV's software from streaming browser-based video. And the software is still buggy and difficult to use.

The Bottom Line The Vizio Co-Star is an affordable way of getting the Google TV experience, but the software remains underwhelming and hampered by restrictions.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
5.8 Overall

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Review

Vizio Co-Star

You may be surprised to find that Google TV is still kicking around. That's understandable, given poor reviews, sluggish sales, and last year's problems with Logitech, one of its original hardware partners. Google itself is even starting to pretend Google TV doesn't exist, launching other living-room initiatives like Google Fiber and the Nexus Q without even mentioning the long-struggling platform.

Vizio's Co-Star is one of only a handful of products on the market still trying to prove Google TV has a place in your living room. And it has a few distinctive features that make it stand out from other boxes: a $100 list price, a custom Google TV skin, and a small footprint. It's also the first Google TV device to support OnLive cloud gaming out of the box, although that's less of a marquee feature given OnLive's recent troubles. But none of this can overcome the heart of the Co-Star's failings, which is the underwhelming Google TV software. While it may seem like it can "do a lot" for a $100 device, so much of its functionality is hamstrung by restrictions and the overall bugginess of the software. The Vizio Co-Star is cheap way to check out Google TV, but it's still not worth the price until the software improves.

Design
The Co-Star is the smallest Google TV box yet, looking more like an overstuffed Roku box than the more cable-box-like Logitech Revue or Sony NSZ-GS7. It lacks the crisp, refined look of the Apple TV and the glossy black finish with silver highlights makes it look a little generic.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $100
  • Brand Vizio
  • Type digital multimedia receiver
  • Additional Features smartphone remote controlled
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