ViewSonic celebrated its 25th anniversary — the company was founded in 1987 in California — by unveiling a trio of display products in London yesterday, including the VSD220, a 22in. Android-based Smart Display. Also announced was the VP2770-LED, a high-resolution 27in. monitor aimed at graphics professionals, and the Pro9000, a full-HD hybrid laser/LED home cinema projector.
The term 'smart display' may ring some unwelcome bells with those who recall Microsoft's short-lived 2003-vintage Wi-Fi-linked thin client technology for Windows XP — and ViewSonic CEO James Chu made rueful reference to the company's ill-conceived airpanel V150 in his opening remarks. However, the new VSD220 is a very different beast.
The 'display' part of this 'Android AIO Smart Display' is a 21.5in. LED-backlit touchscreen monitor with a native resolution of 1,920 by 1080 pixels. The 'smart' portion is a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, running (GMS-approved) Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Internet connectivity is via Wi-Fi (2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n) or Ethernet (10/100Mbps), with Bluetooth (2.1) and USB (2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Micro-USB) available for attaching keyboards, mice and other peripherals if required. You can, of course, also use the VSD220 as a regular PC monitor, with a Micro-HDMI port provided for this purpose. Completing the spec is a MicroSD card slot, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, a microphone and a pair of stereo speakers.
For those wary of potential ergonomic problems with large touchscreens, it's worth noting that the VSD220's kickstand can go a fair way back, putting the display at a reasonably comfortable angle — at least in our brief experience with the product. The VSD220 will be available in Europe in (mid-to-late) October at a recommended price of £359 (inc. VAT). Look out for a review on ZDNet in the coming weeks.
The second product unveiled by ViewSonic, the VP2770-LED, is firmly aimed at the professional digital design market.
A 27in. slim-bezel IPS monitor with a class-leading maximum resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 pixels, the VP2770 offers wide (178-degree) viewing angles in both vertical and horizontal planes and can deliver 10-bit colour — that's 1.07 billion colours. The result is pin-sharp image quality with consistent colour rendering.
The VP2770 has VGA, HDMI, dual-link DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs plus five USB ports (one uplink, two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0). The stand tilts, swivels and pivots from landscape to portrait mode. The VP2770-LED will ship in Europe in October and will cost £459 (ex. VAT; £688.50 inc. VAT).
Finally there's the Pro9000, a 1080p-resolution, 1600-lumen home cinema projector whose chief innovation is its low-power, long-life hybrid laser/LED illumination system.
The lack of a traditional high-wattage, high-pressure mercury vapour lamp allows ViewSonic to call the Pro9000 a 'lampless' projector, and hail its 20,000-hour lifespan. Like many lamp-illuminated products, it also uses a Texas Instruments DLP chip. Equipped with dual HDMI inputs, along with VGA, S-Video and composite video, the Pro9000 will be available in Europe for £1,599 (inc. VAT).