ViewSonic has decided to give Android-powered "smart displays" a second go-round. After releasing the VSD220, it's following it up with the VSD240, a 24-inch monitor running Android 4.1. Though we're living in an age when Sony and Lenovo are both marketing battery-powered all-in-ones to consumers, ViewSonic is targeting the VSD240 more toward business users than anyone else. The idea, company reps say, is that it could act as a secondary display in the office -- one that's smart enough to update apps all by itself. By that same logic, it would make for a nifty kitchen computer, though even then, Vizio spokespeople are quick to say this isn't intended to be a primary system.
We happened to see it in person at a CES-related event here in Vegas, and our quick assessment is that the screen is responsive, and the design chintzy. (Just look at that tacky plastic.) In addition to that 1080p display, it packs a 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip along with a TI multicore OMAP processor. As for connectivity, this glorified monitor features HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports, along with an SD card slot, WiFi and Bluetooth. ViewSonic has also baked in a 1.3-megapixel webcam, microphone and speakers. It'll be available in North America starting in April, with street prices expected to hover around $499.
Dana Wollman contributed to this report.
You might remember ViewSonic's slightly strange VCD22 Smart Display from our journey to Computex. If the sight of that 22-inch, Android-based all-in-one desktop set your heart aflutter, you'll be glad to know the finished version is coming to the US as the VSD220 by mid-to-late October. It's decidedly less portable what we saw in Taipei this June and strips out the battery we suspect most buyers wouldn't have used. For better or worse, though, most everything else is the same: while we didn't expect a change to the TI OMAP 4 processor, the VSD220 will be clinging to Android 4.0 instead of upgrading to Android 4.1 for its trip across the Pacific. The micro-HDMI video input, 1.2-megapixel front camera, microSD slot, three USB ports and Ethernet (yes, Ethernet) do help justify a space on the desk, especially for those who want a secondary display for another mobile device or PC. The VSD220 faces a stiff fight from traditional all-in-ones that don't always cost much more -- but we'll at least get a price drop to a more palatable $399 in return for our patience.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
In case you missed it, Part I of this article can be found here
Last week's Switched On discussed the Slacker Portable, Sony eMarker and TrafficGauge, three dedicated devices that didn't make it but saw their functionality ultimately realized via smartphones. But there have been other idea for which the idea ultimately proved popular as smartphone bits rather than separately packaged atoms.Permalink | | Email this | Comments