We’ve reviewed monitors and tablets before but never a monitor and tablet in one. When Viewsonic offered to send me a review unit I have to admit I was highly skeptical about the usefulness of such a device. My thoughts strayed to someone sitting on the train with a giant tablet on their lap, I mean how useful could this really be?
Overview and Specs
The unit itself is white with a silver strip at the bottom that holds the speakers and touch controls. It is made of a sturdy and strong plastic material that does well to keep fingerprints at bay. The stand is an easel like stand that you can position in a few different ways from 15 to 70 degree angles. There is no vertical adjustment but the monitor naturally falls into your line of sight. Overall the unit is constructed well and has a premium feel to it.
- CPU – NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-Core 1.7GHz
- Operating System – Android™ 4.2 Jelly Bean
- System Memory – LPDDR3 1GB
- Storage Memory – 8GB (eMMC4.4)
- Internal Mic
- Echo cancelling
- Display Type – 24″ (23.8″ viewable) Wide Color TFT Transmissive LED
- Display Size – 19.0″ horizontal x 10.7″ vertical; 23.8″ diagonal
- Resolution – 1920×1080
- Contrast Ratio – 1000:1 (typ.)
- Brightness – 250 cd/m2 (typ.)
- Viewing Angles – 170º horizontal, 160º vertical
- Response Time – 5ms (typ.)
- Light Source – White-light LED
- Backlight – 30,000 hours (min.)
- Touch – Optical touch type, with glass 8H
- Dual touch with pinch and zoom
- USB Ports – Type A (x2), micro USB (x1), mini USB (x1)
- HDMI (with MHL)
- SD card reader
- Ethernet LAN – RJ45, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V2.1
- Headphone jack
- Power – DC-In jack (ID 1.7mm, OD 4.0mm)
- Speakers – 2-watt (x2)
- Front Facing Camera – 2.0MP – HD 1080p
- Vesa Mount
- Front controls include Quick Switch feature, switch from Android to Monitor with one tap
Android Tablet Use
The VSD241 is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which is not the latest and greatest but is very capable on its own. At first you’re a little taken aback at the massiveness of what you normally see on your 5″ phone or 10″ tablet. Everything is just super sized and it takes a minute to orientate yourself to the enlarged experience. I found scrolling to be good with just a slight amount of lag, but nothing too noticeable by the average user. This is a full HD 1920×1080 display so text is sharp and brilliant.
Playing games like Angry Birds is a whole new experience and actually quite fun. Other games like Fruit Ninja were a little more frustrating. The screen is so large it makes it difficult to swipe across to slice the fruits without losing a touch point. I don’t think this is the fault of the VSD241, I think it’s the fact no one ever thought people would be playing a touch controlled game on a 24″ device. Overall touch is responsive and works just as it should.
To be honest I didn’t find having a 24″ tablet gave me any kind of advantage in terms of productivity and I didn’t feel it was very useful to my workflow. And to be honest I was going to report that the VSD241 really wasn’t useful as a tablet. But then I discovered the perfect use for it, kids. As I was testing the VSD241 my kids kept asking what that big TV did. I loaded up a few of their games on the unit and let them have at it. They absolutely loved it! My Little Pony is amazing on the 24″ screen and it gave my daughter a whole new experience. Educational games are perfect on the massive screen and the kids really immersed themselves into the experience. So while I feel using the VSD241 as a tablet is a bit cumbersome for most users, I really think it’s perfect for kids as a tablet.
Everyone could use a nice monitor and the VSD241 is one of the nicest monitors I have ever used. Full HD 1920×1080 resolution makes the text crisp and perfect and pictures and video look awesome. I had my Chromebook plugged into it, and I absolutely loved the results I got. While the tablet features of the VSD241 didn’t flow well with the way I worked using this thing as a monitor really gave me awesome results.
Watching YouTube and Netflix on the monitor gave great results. The colors were vibrant and bright, the blacks rich and deep. Overall this is an above average user experience in terms of monitor use. I did not test gaming on this monitor but I can’t see it being used as a gaming monitor. The response time is a little slower for true gaming. One very bright positive are the speakers. These aren’t the normal tinny sounding things you normally get on monitors. They aren’t the best top of the line either but they’re significantly better than most on board speakers. I found listening to Play Music was a pleasure and the speakers performed beyond what one would expect.
Another benefit of this monitor is its touch screen. Plug your Windows 8.1 laptop into it and you get the full touch screen experience that Windows 8.1 offers. It is worthy to note you will need an HDMI cable to plug into this monitor. No DVI or VGA ports here, but you can buy a DVI/VGA to HDMI adapter if your laptop or computer doesn’t have HDMI.
When I first received the VDS241 I was a bit perplexed. After using it as a tablet for some time I didn’t feel the large tablet experience worked for me. That being said, the large tablet experience was a hit with my kids. They loved playing their games on the big display and they found it much easier to play together. The VDS241 is worth it as a tablet in that capacity. After plugging in and using this thing as a monitor, I was blown away.
The full HD display is rich and really pops colors and contrast. I absolutely love this thing as a monitor and the Quick Switch feature works really well. Just plug your laptop/desktop in and switch between it and the tablet interface. With all the good in this monitor there were just two things that could have been better. Scrolling and touch on the tablet interface could be a tad bit better, it’s nothing that is extremely noticeable but as someone who reviews these things, I noticed.
And the second thing that could have been better, although I’m not sure what can be done about (giving the nature of the monitor), is fingerprints on the screen. Yes fingerprints. I know this is a tablet and it’s supposed to be touched. But those little fingerprints were just overwhelming. Constant cleaning is needed if you’re a bit grossed out by a smudgy display.
Overall this is an awesome idea. It’s not for everyone, but there are some that will appreciate having a two-in-one like this. The tablet is very capable just not practical for my needs, but we found its practicality in my kids. The monitor is one of the best I have ever seen and is well worth your time to check out. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. You can pick it up on Viewsonic’s website for $529.99 hit the link below to get yours.
- Viewsonic announces new line of smart & touchscreen displays (venturebeat.com)
- Dell Venue 8 Pro review (slashgear.com)
- Review: Archos GamePad 2 (technewsworlds.wordpress.com)