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Product Review: ViewSonic VSD241 Smart Display, a 24-inch Touch Screen Monitor and Android Tablet

ViewSonic's new smart display is pretty much a giant Android tablet, with all the pros and cons in tow. By John McCormick

With computing power increasingly inexpensive, and the Android operating system coming of age through tablet computing, it's only logical that the next step in computing evolution would be a thin client Smart Display based on Android. ViewSonic's' VSD241 display brings a full-sized touch-screen monitor to life with Android.

The Hardware

The VSD421 sports a 24-inch screen TFT LCD display, with full HD 1920x1080 resolution. It's also a touch screen, with dual-point optical touch technology. So, just like your android tablet or phone, you can use two-finger actions to zoom your display, and do all the traditional actions you would on a typical Android tablet. The system is running Android version 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean).

The processor is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core with plenty of oomph for your favorite Android apps. And I'm not ashamed to admit that Angry Birds is pretty cool on a 24-inch display.

The system has an integrated two-megapixel webcam intended for videoconferencing; an HDMI port for video input to use the system as a monitor; two standard USB ports, a mini USB port, and a micro USB port; an SD card slot; an RJ45 jack for wired networking as well as WiFi and Bluetooth; and a headphone jack.

The system is supported by a pull-out stand attached to the back that provides a "leg" for the monitor to lean back against, and can be adjusted to a variety of angles.

When being used as a monitor for an external computer system, the touch-screen capabilities can be utilized by that external computer when you also connect the VSD241 to the computer through its mini-USB port. This presents the touch-screen as an interface device, and turns the host computer into a touch-screen system.

The system is designed to be a thin-client for running general Android apps, but can also work very well in a browser-hosted software environment for running business applications, or in using remote access apps to other computer systems.

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