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1/11/2013
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ViewSonic Smart Display Puts Android On Your Wall

At CES, ViewSonic debuted a 24-inch version of its Android-based Smart Display that's a PC and tablet all in one package.

CES 2013: 7 Standout Technologies
CES 2013: 7 Standout Technologies
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
If you like the idea of a 24-inch, wall-mountable Android tablet, then you might be interested in the ViewSonic VSD240. ViewSonic announced the VSD240 this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. It is what ViewSonic calls a Smart Display: a full 1920 x 1080p HD LED touch display with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system built in.

The VSD240 Smart Display is a follow up to last year's VSD220, which had a 22-inch screen. ViewSonic says it offers a "PC-less computing experience." The VSD240's 24-inch screen means you have plenty of viewing space for content, video and more. There is also a 19-inch version available. They all run the latest version of Android and have access to all the same Android apps and services that a smaller Android tablet might. The 240 can be mounted on a wall, or used on a desktop or counter with a folding display stand.

The VSD240 is powered by a quad-core, 1.7-GHz Tegra 3 processer from Nvidia. ViewSonic says this is more than adequate to deliver speedy performance, even when it comes to graphic-rich gaming and multitasking. In terms of connectivity, the VSD240 comes with a standard RJ45 Ethernet port so it can be plugged directly into a router, as well as 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for those who prefer fewer wires.

[ At CES, Intel shows it's no longer putting all its eggs in Microsoft's basket. See Intel Hedges Bets, Gets Cozy With Android. ]

Though most people will use the 24-inch touch display directly to interact with the VSD240, it does support a wide number of ports and input methods. It has USB ports so users can connect a mouse or a keyboard; HDMI so users can connect other video devices, such as tablets or smartphones; and an SD port for expandable storage options.

The VSD240 has its own SRS 3-D Technology stereo speakers for good sound reproduction. It includes a 1.3-megapixel camera that can be used to capture regular pictures or for video chats. The webcam includes a microphone for the complete videoconferencing experience. This would be perfect for Skyping with far-flung family members.

I spent some time using the ViewSonic VSD240 while in Las Vegas and came away impressed. Though it is somewhat awkward to use the touchscreen when sitting at a desk, adding a keyboard and mouse helped out. Personally, I think the most ideal use is hanging the Smart Display on a wall in a common space, such as kitchen or family room. It can be used by multiple people for surfing the Web, watching videos, streaming music, social networking and more.

The 24-inch VSD240 will be available in North America in April for an estimated selling price of $499. The VSD220 is already available for $399.

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