Vizio’s exceptionally priced $99 Google TV set top box started shipping a few days ago and the iFixit team have got their hands on one. In traditional but brilliant iFixit way, the team takes apart the device bit by bit and finds out what makes this little power box tick.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Vizio Co-Star, it is a Google TV smart box which turns your TV into an Android based device and gives you easy access to all your favorite stuff via apps like Chrome and YouTube. It has Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, supports 720p, 1080i, and 1080p via its HDMI connector, has full access to Goolgle Play (including games and apps) and comes with a Universal QWERTY remote with trackpad. Talking of the remote, the iFixit team took than apart too!
The specs on the Vizio website don’t give much away about the internals of the device, but the teardown shows that it is powered by a Marvell Armada 1500 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal flash storage.
As for the remote, it is double-sided (with a qwerty keyboard on the reverse side) and includes not only a touch-sensitive trackpad but also ABXY buttons and a directional pad for gaming!
If the would-be engineer in you likes to see the innards of Android devices then I recommend taking a peek at the teardown photos.
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Problem is when ever I have visited VIZIOS site the Co-Star is not available. Also I think it would have been great to get a hands-on review of the unit before destroying it.