back to article ViewSonic VSD220 22in Android mega tablet

Depending on how you might want to look at it, the ViewSonic VSD220 is either an expensive 22in monitor or an inexpensive tethered Android tablet. But then you'd be missing the point: it's actually both and neither. It's an unusual mashup for which ViewSonic deserves credit simply by giving it a go. ViewSonic VSD220 Android …

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  1. Ketlan
    Happy

    Wow!

    Let's see you get THAT bastard in your pocket! :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wow!

      Never mind in the pocket, I want to see somebody making a call on one. Yes, trailing a mains cable from their ear.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow!

      Excellent for those who are long sighted and struggle with a 4inch screen.

      Seriously though what an interesting device and the price is £314.50 on lambdatek. I think there are going to be a raft of these things coming with android. Now I wonder if it can be rooted and Linux installed ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow!

        I wonder if this is spill resistant... been looking for something like this to build into our coffee table for some time now. Would be nice mounted on the wall in the kitchen too.

        ...and yes I know I'm a huge nerd.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Wow!

          This may be for me. The vomit removal department have threatened confiscation of my keyboard.

  2. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    The optical sensor often picks up your finger proximity ...

    reminds me of an early HP screen that used a matrix of IR emitters and detectors to determine the position of an operator finger. When an operator touched the screen, a pair of IR beams, one in either axis, would be broken and the appropriate action would be triggered.

    Obviously, in the development labs in California, HP has a paucity of flies and other pests that are attracted to bright screens.

    We were in an area where air-con was not needed, with fans quite sufficient to cool the staff, who also left the windows open. Flies and other multi-legged objects would land on the HP screens and go walkabout, which caused the systems to malfunction.

    It took some time to determine the reason for the erratic operation, let's hope Viewsonic technology has overcome this hazard.

    1. Chemist

      Re: The optical sensor often picks up your finger proximity ...

      I'm rather confused - the table of features claims capacitive touchscreen but the text mentions optical sensors - which is it ?

      (The optical sensor often picks up your finger proximity without you actually having to touch the screen)

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: The optical sensor often picks up your finger proximity ...

        Even some capacitive screens can pick up your finger proximity without touching it. My Asus transformer does this and it's kind of annoying.

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  4. GrumpyOldBloke

    Codecs?

    1. Silverburn

      ...are downloadable.

      Next!

  5. Buzzword

    Would make a good thin client too.

  6. Silverburn

    This looking interesting...I am holding off the win8 "upgrade", because I want to retrofit a touch monitor onto the games rig first. Afterall, would be a shame to pay for metro and not use it as intended?

    Just a pity it's only 22"/1900x1080 - a 27" with 2500x1600 would be perfect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A 22" with 1200 lines would be adequate.

      Just over 9 years ago I had a very nice 21" 4:3 LCD with 1200 lines on my desk at work. Still waiting for something as good to be cheap enough to have at home.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        A quick look at HotUKdeals suggests that 23" 1920x1080 16:9 IPS monitors often drop to around the £150 mark, whereas Dell Ultrasharps 24" 1920x1200 16:10 IPS screens don't drop much below £250.

  7. Andrew Peake
    Joke

    No rear facing camera?

    That's a deal breaker for me!

  8. Dcope
    Happy

    Freeview?? catchuptv app should sort that.

  9. sabroni Silver badge

    >>Referring to it as a "22in tablet" is just silly: as Chromebooks have ably demonstrated, just because a computer runs Android doesn't mean it's a toy.<<

    Chromebooks don't run android, they run Chrome OS. It's not the same thing.

  10. batfastad

    Family kiosk

    This is definitely interesting. For several years now we've had an HTPC machine (Shuttle now ION ITX) hooked up to our lounge TV and it's super-convenient for just switching over to look something up on the internet. But I was finding we still had a laptop plugged in somewhere most of the time, with the HTPC ending up being used purely for film, recorded TV and music playback through the surround sound. I was thinking of getting a battle Nexus 7 just to have kicking around the place but something like this somewhere could also be a good option.

    If there was an HDMI touchscreen that was about 5"-7" in size, with no Android gubbins, but the same cost/size as a Nexus, then that would be great for some Raspberry Pi projects I've got in mind.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Family kiosk

      The monitors in your desired size - 5"-7" - tend to use USB for power, signal, and optionally, human input. I've been tempted by them as a way of clearing tool palettes off my main screen, but they don't seem to be great value compared to cheaper tablets, or even a budget 15" monitor.

      I like the way this Viewsonic device can function as a vanilla monitor... being able to use 10" IPS tablets in this way is something that would add value to me as a second screen for my laptop, especially the devices with a silly number of pixels from Google or Apple. There are some WiFi + software solutions to accomplish the same, but a cable seems so much easier.

    2. vic 4

      Re: Family kiosk

      If you just want to access the internet/watch movies and stuff do you really need a device with a touch screen? Try looking at the various android "dongles" you can get, just attach an hdmi cable and use a remote. I can recommend the one from sumvsion, nano slim+ or something.

  11. frank ly Silver badge

    Just a few changes needed

    I'd enjoy using this with a USB keyboard and mouse attached - cheap and easy, not a problem. For public use, as a kiosk style terminal, it could do with some device above the screen that sprays and wipes every ten minutes or so. I don't touch my Asus Transformer screen often, but it's still covered in gunge.

  12. Himalayaman
    Mushroom

    "surely has plenty of potential in the big wide world."

    Not really.

    1. thesykes

      You just need to open your eyes.

      Was walking round a trade show a couple of weeks ago, and plenty of stands had iPads, laptops, TVs hooked up to DVD players and PCs hooked up to monitors, nearly all being used to display videos or photographs. All of which could be replaced by a single unit like this.

      Bigger than an iPad, no keyboard like a laptop, no need for DVD/TV or PC/Monitor combos.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        thesykes....

        How did they have the iPads hooked up the DVD players? Is it possible to use them as a wired monitor, or had they accomplished it over WiFi?

        This Viewsonic device is interesting, but if one doesn't mind a couple of extra cables, there are plenty of cheap ARM devices that could be coupled with a far cheaper 23" touchscreen monitor.

        1. thesykes

          DVD players hooked up to TVs

  13. Sil

    Toys

    Chromebooks aren't toys?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Toys

      >Chromebooks aren't toys?

      No more than an Olivetti typewriter is a toy, or an 8086 running a spreadsheet. Many people can accomplish productive tasks on them, depending upon their job- not everyone is a software developer, video editor, or geologist. Can you give us your definitions of 'toy' and 'tool'?

  14. EddieD

    Now, there's a thing

    I've been looking to "upgrade" my aging, but still excellent, 20" VS monitor I use as a secondary to the 30" main monitor - this would do nicely

    Mmm, Christmas is coming, and after all the shopping I've done so far for other people, it may just be my turn...

  15. str8g8

    2nd TV

    I've been looking to get a 2nd TV in the breakfast room recently and looking at Smart TVs in particular, but this would be perfect, mounted on the wall, but would it be possible to, for instance, hook up a FreeSat box or something?

    1. Peter Ford
      Go

      Re: 2nd TV

      It's got a HDMI input, so a I don't see why you couldn't hook up a FreeSat or FreeView box to it: that was my thought when I saw it...

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: 2nd TV

        The only missed opportunity I can see is the lack of a second video input - would be great if you could switch between Tablet, PC and FreeSat display without messing with wires...

  16. Peter Galbavy

    battery / power?

    The review isn't clear. Is there any battery or is it purely externally powered?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: battery / power?

      Main-powered only. It's not a tablet.

  17. Michael Kean
    Happy

    Interesting...

    For a "General Purpose" computer I reckon this sort of machine has a good chance of succeeding. You won't multitask as much as a power computer user; but for general stuff it's probably quite good. Very few viruses to worry about. Easy to install stuff - except printers of course but hey it's paperless office time!

    Given people currently have a good familiarity with Android compared to Windows 8; if this product gets off the ground in time it could make a dent in Win8 sales.

    Good on 'em :)

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Interesting...

      Paperless office... hehe, it's still not here, but I must admit that tablets and phones have reduced my domestic printing... I might use a tablet for showing off photos, or use my phone for navigation rather than print a list of directions before leaving the house.

      You can print from Android devices if you have a PC or server left on in your house, or a compatible printer.

  18. Ben 77

    Want one.

    I can think of loads of uses for this. CCTV viewer at work would be one. But basically I want one in the kitchen - TV and Radio for cooking when the cricket is on, viewing recipes online, displaying photos at a decent resolution.

    Just a few odd things with the spec - why microSD? No room for a full size SD slot?

    1. ElNumbre
      Thumb Up

      Re: Want one.

      Me too, espesh if they come down to a magic £299.99 price point.

      TVHGuide + TVHeadend for the telly; Google Music/Spotify/etal for music; Youtube for other video.

      Although I'm interested to see if/how quickly it gets rooted to hopefully avoid being "stuck" at 4.0.

  19. awjr
    Angel

    Patent pending :)

    Take one table, one router, cut hole and sink this into it. It will need some sort of software screen rotation control. Also all power volume controls need to be front facing.

    I'm calling it the iNexus

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Patent pending :)

      Even if the volume controls are side-mounted, I'm sure you can incorporate a sliver of plastic - about the size of a stick of chewing-gum- into your design, to allow the buttons to be operated from above.

      Rather than mess up a table, it might be easier to have a work-surface CNC milled to your specification. A local timber supplier charges about £100 per hour, but a job like this would take minutes.

    2. philbo

      Re: Patent pending :)

      >Take one table, one router

      [WTF???]

      Oh.. *that* kind of router

  20. Bob H
    Joke

    I wonder what the battery life is?

  21. xyz

    The amazon link in the article is spurious.

    God, I want one of these...must buy, must buy!

  22. Bomberb
    Happy

    Perfect in the kitchen.

    Superb. I have been waiting for something like this .

    Stick it on a wall, or cupboard. Plug in mains and wifi (or HomePlug).

    Internet, Mail, Movies (?) Recipes etc etc.

    No keyboard, no mouse, no blasted anti-virus or o/s updates.

  23. EvilGav 1
    Thumb Up

    Nice

    Wonder what the sensitivity is like though?

    Can think of an ideal use for it - as a touchpad for PhotoShop (other graphics programmes also available). Being able to look at the image as you draw on it, rather than the slightly disjointed feel using my Wacom tablet would be fantastic.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Nice

      You might still have a slightly disjointed feeling, depending on how close the screen is to the glass surface. It may well work quite well, but I just have a feeling that it hasn't been tuned for this job. Wacom devices and others use a slightly textured screen, so your stylus doesn't skitter around like a spaniel on an ice rink. That said, they much more expensive than this Viewsonic device.

  24. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    smart glass potential

    is smart glass on the goog store yet

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did I miss the price? and Freeview....

    Did I blind spot the price on this beast, or perhaps does the price only show on the non-print version (Sorry Reg, when I see a multipage article I go straight to the Print version - STOP MAKING ME SCREW AROUND WITH MULTI PAGE ARTICLES).

    And as for Freeview - since this has USB master capability, in theory somebody could just write an app to talk to a USB Freeview tuner (at least Freeview is MPEG4 IIRC, and will thus be something this can do hardware decode. Unfortunately, ATSC is MPEG2 and I have yet to see an Android device with hardware accel for MPEG2).

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Pint

      @David Hagood. Re: Print version

      I've been coming here for years, and that's a new one on me.

      Thanks.

      Have a little drinkypoo, and a thumb up. ;o)

  27. El Andy

    I don't really get it. If it's touch screen, you're going to be reasonably close to use it - in which case the low resolution is going to be a big issue. If you're far enough away to use it like a TV, then the whole touch thing is just an added cost.

  28. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Too low resolution

    I have a 21" 1920x1200 monitor that I'm using right now. I've turned it sideways (so it's 1200x1920) for coding.

    If they're going to all this effort, why would they fall short in one of the most important specs for a monitor?

  29. uhuznaa

    Google is stupid

    Something like this seems to have much more potential than the stupid ChromeBooks Google is trying to force down our throats. Even as just a cheap, simple PC or thin client in the office. Especially with MS Office coming for Android in a few months.

    Add four full-sized SD card slots (so you can add up to 256 GB of flash for media storage), a better stand so you can tilt it between 90 and 0 degrees and you have a great home media system that also works as a simple home PC with or without keyboard and mouse. HP and Dell should be all over this instead of starving while trying to just sell the same old PCs. But they're stupid as well.

  30. nick_s

    coffee table books

    REALLY REALLY want something like this for large format graphic and photo-rich books. These books can cost hundreds in production costs alone - so something like this with resizeable e-book (pdf / epub / ?) would be great. A higher resolution screen would be good.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android 4.2?

    I wonder if there is any chance of this getting an upgrade to Android 4.2 with the multi-user capabilities. That would make it wonderful for each householder to be able to check their own E-mails etc.

    Also, does it hibernate and go into Android as soon as you switch it on, or do you have to wait for it to boot up?

    And does it have wi-fi or not?

  32. Infernoz Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Tiny monitor, very weak Android hardware

    What's the point? How would Smart (huge) TVs every be under thread by this inadequacy?

    24" is the minimum for new monitors, especially for TV, and this will look VERY dated when 4K TVs arrive.

    There are already above 1080HD tablets out at 10".

    The price is a joke.

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