You’ll find no shortage of Bluetooth speakers that work with Android phones and tablets, but Vizio is smiling a step and throwing Android directly into a pair of boomboxes.
The Vizio Portable Smart Audio boxes each have their own touch screens, measuring 4.7 inches on the smaller boombox and 7 inches on the larger one. Both run stock Android 4.4 KitKat and will likely include the Google Play Store for installing whatever apps you want.
Technically, that means you could use your boombox to play Angry Birds, though the more obvious use would be streaming music apps such as Pandora, Spotify, Songza and Rdio.
Why not just buy some Bluetooth speakers and pair your phone or tablet? Vizio thinks users might want speakers that just work on their own, with no need to worry about Bluetooth pairing or having your phone or tablet nearby. Still, the boomboxes will support Bluetooth if you do want to pair another device.
Vizio isn’t talking specific tech specs yet, but both devices will have quad-core processors, rechargeable batteries and some built in storage for your tunes. They’ll also have full-sized USB ports for playing music from an external drive.
I got a brief demo during CES, and thought the larger boombox sounded much richer than the smaller one. They were both pretty heavy, so I’m not sure about toting them around wherever you go, but they could be nice to have around the house. Hopefully Vizio isn’t done fine-tuning the software, as swiping through the Android home screen wasn’t exactly smooth.
I like the idea, though, if the price is right. Right now, Vizio isn’t talking cost or availability.