Snakebyte Vyper

The Snakebyte Vyper is a mid-tier tablet that fills the role of an all-in-one media and gaming console.

The Snakebyte Vyper is a mid-tier tablet that fills the role of an all-in-one media and gaming console.

Though at its core the Snakebyte Vyper is a seven-inch Android tablet, it's better to think of it as an all-in-one home media and gaming console that allows you to stream video from your tablet to your TV. Available in the US starting 31 January, the Vyper is packaged with a docking station and an AirMouse remote control for US$199.99. However, for US$249.99, it also comes with a Bluetooth gaming controller.

In an of itself, the Vyper is a mid-range Android 4.2 tablet with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor inside. It has a 7-inch touchscreen with a 1280x800 pixel resolution, and it has expandable storage up to 64GB. On the back you'll get a five-megapixel camera, and there's a two-megapixel secondary shooter as well.

However, when you connect it to a docking station at the bottom edge of its screen (in landscape mode), you can begin mirroring your tablet to your TV via an HDMI connection.

Navigating through a custom user interface developed by Snakebyte, you can play games, watch movies or shows on Netflix or Hulu (US exclusive, obviously), and play music. As an Android-based platform, the Google Play Store and all your apps will also be accessible.

To click through media, you can use Snakebyte's AirMouse remote control, which projects a cursor onto your TV similar to a computer, so you can click and scroll through menu items. For gaming, however, the company also developed a wireless Bluetooth controller. You can connect up to eight controllers to one tablet for games that support multi-players.

During my brief time with the Vyper, I was able to navigate to and play Riptide GP (which is shown in the photo above). Once the tablet plugged into the docking station, connection was quick and easy. I also found the UI to be intuitive and familiar.

The Vyper platform's price is steep. You'll need to cough up an extra US$50 for the controller, and with that money, you might as well purchase an Xbox 360 or PS3. In addition, given the existence of media receivers, mirroring your tablet to your TV is nothing new. But, if you're an Android gaming enthusiast with money to burn, you may dig the Vyper's convenience of connecting your tablet to your TV via a dock, quickly and easily.

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