TV Company Enters PC and Laptop Market at Consumer Electronics Show

Television maker Vizio Inc. known for it low prices is ready to take on the personal- computer market. At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Vizio plans to unveil two desktop PCs and three notebooks, according to Bloomberg. They will be Window-based computers that should go on sale by June. While not offering additional specifics, Chief Technology Officer Matt McRae did say in an interview, they will be at “a price that just doesn’t seem possible.”

With the company’s entry into the the market, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) and other PC makers could feel pressure while they face narrowing profit margins. When Vizio entered the TV market, it pressured Pioneer Corp. (PNCOF) and Royal Philips Electronics NV (NYSE:PHG) to leave the market. Vizio has the same ambitions for its computers.

McRae said, “It’s very similar to TV — we want to get in there and disrupt it. We think most PCs have been designed for the small-business users, that others have not done a very good job of making them entertainment devices.”

Additional details about the computer, according to Bloomberg, includes the following: desktop PCs will have either  24- or 27-inch screens that hide their electronics within its displays, taking a cue from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iMac. Its notebook will come with a 15.6- inch screen and two ultra-thin versions including 15.6-inch and 14- inch screens. Regardless of the size, the new computers will have entertainment features providing audio and video to Vizio TVs and speakers.

Competitive Marketplace

Vizio is entering a competitive marketplace in the fast-growing categories of ultra-thin laptops and “all- in-ones” or  desktop machines with built-in monitors.

Hewlett-Packard will also introduce a new all-in-one $1,200 PC at CES this week. The company believes the ultrabook category will be similar to other aspects of the PC market, where consumers and businesses want different sizes and designs to meet their needs, according to Hewlett’s market vice president Page Murray.

Murray added, “I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all laptop out there, like some of our competitors might. Driving down prices isn’t a viable long-term strategy. There’s always going to be somebody who wants to win a race to the bottom. But you get what you pay for in many of those situations.” Other computer makers are expected to unveil slimmer laptops or ultrabooks at CES this week.

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