Vizio pulled off a sort of coup with the Co-Star. This $99 Google TV box packs more features than Sony’s latest model and is half the price. Plus, I think the novel UI looks better than the standard Google TV interface. The box, which was announced last month, is now available for pre-order. It costs $99 and will ship August 14th.
The Co-Star ships with a dual-sided remote: QWERTY on one side and a touchpad on the other. A dual-core Marvell Armada 1500 powers the device. It sports the typical apps such as Netflix and Amazon, but also Onlive, which is the Co-Star’s prime attraction.
Onlive turns the Co-Star into a legitimate gaming machine. Owners simply need to pair one of the OnLive controllers to the box. From there, as long as the owner pays for the Onlive service, games are streamed to the box. And as someone who has played with Onlive since the beginning, I can attest that the service has matured from a novelty to a real thing. There is a touch of latency, but it’s hardly noticeable after a few minutes of playing. It’s almost like your mind adjusts for it.
With OnLive, a good price and Vizio’s typical stellar distribution, the Co-Star could turn out to be the star player Google TV so desperately needs.