Vizio's new 8-inch tablet now up for preorder

The company's new Android-based VIA tablet is selling for $399 retail and is expected to ship on July 18.

Lance Whitney/CNET

First demoed at CES in January, Vizio's new 8-inch VIA tablet finally has a price and a ship date.

Slated to ship on July 18, the new Android tablet is now available for preorder. Vizio is selling the tablet directly for the full retail price of $399. However, consumers can grab a better deal by ordering it at Costco for $329 or Wal-Mart for $348.

A report from mid-June had already pegged Wal-Mart selling the tablet for $349.

Equipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but customized with Vizio's own user interface, the tablet offers an 8-inch, 1,024x768 capacitive touch screen and is powered by a 1GHz processor. It comes with 4GB of onboard storage, of which 2GB is available to the user. An SD card slot provides an additional 32GB of space.

A single VGA camera graces the front, while the usual Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth, GPS, and accelerometer are part of the package as well. Ports include a Mini-HDMI and Micro USB along with the SD card slot. But Vizio has also beefed up the tablet with features beyond those typically found.

An integrated infrared remote can transform the tablet into a universal remote control, letting its owners work their TVs, DVD players, stereos, and other audio or video equipment. Vizio also smartly added three speakers, so the device can deliver stereo in either portrait or landscape mode.

Google Marketplace, Maps, YouTube, IM, and Gmail are all preloaded, and as an Android device, the tablet supports Adobe Flash.