The Good Touch screen; Android software for use as tablets; offensive design.
The Bad The low-power integrated processor makes Android sluggish; non-corrosive colors; only micro-HDMI input from your PC.
The Bottom Line The ViewSonic VSD220 offers tablet-like features with Android software while it works as a normal monitor. Unfortunately, its poor performance, non-striking display and lack of inputs mean it’s not like a tablet or a monitor.
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Android tablets like Google Nexus 7 It may be a pile-up of sales like tomorrow, but what if you want to enjoy the kindness of Android on a massive screen?
ViewSonic believes it has the answer with VSD220. It’s a 22-inch monitor that accumulates in its own dual-core Android sandwich maker. Want to check Twitter but don’t want to wait for your PC to boot? Just load the monitor while leaving your computer unplugged.
But can the VSD220 really be the perfect experience for the big Android screen, with the processing power that would make even a low-end Android phone laugh?
It is available now for a spicy price of £ 331.
Is it worth buying a ViewSonic VSD220?
With its dedicated processor and touch screen, the D220 can act as a massive Android tablet and function as a normal PC monitor. This allows you to quickly access your email and social networks in tablet mode without downloading your computer every time you want to send a tweet.
With a USB mouse and keyboard connected, you can work on Android, just like Windows, switching to your PC only when you need desktop performance.
Unfortunately, it runs on Android using a very weak processor that makes many tasks noticeably sluggish. Gmail andAngry Birdswork fine, but if you’re looking to edit photos or play more complex games, you’ll be disappointed with the performance.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work much better as a monitor. Full HD resolution goes down quite cool, unstable colors, and there is only one input for your PC – micro-HDMI.
Although the combination of the tablet and the monitor is an interesting and attractive concept, the D220 is not impressive. For the same money, you could buy a regular 22-inch ViewSonic monitor and a Google Nexus 7 tablet for Android apps, and they can still change from £ 300.
Quality of design and assembly
In terms of design, the D220 basically looks like any other monitor on the market. To accommodate a 22-inch screen, it should have a width of 513 mm, so it will not sit too comfortably on tiny tables.
It sits directly on a desk supported by a rack, not having a proper base stand, as you would expect on most monitors. It makes it look quite sleek and I would be much happier if it were in my living room than a regular PC display. This means you can’t change the height, so if you’re working at a desk and want to lift it, you’d better have a couple of Yellow Pages.
The display is framed by a thin, black plastic frame, with a bottom thick gray plastic. It’s an offensive design, though it feels delicate at times. You probably won’t carry it far from your desk, so it shouldn’t fall on you.
The stand is sturdy and allows everything to lie almost evenly, allowing you to swipe your finger across the Android interface as if it were a regular tablet.
At the edges you’ll find a Micro-USB port, two full-size USB 2.0 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the back is a microSD card slot, micro-HDMI port and Ethernet port. The front also has a webcam that lets you make video calls with your loved ones via Skype.
The 22-inch D220 has a resolution of 1 920×180 pixels, making it well-equipped to process Full HD video from your computer or stream via YouTube on Android.
It’s perfectly sharp for most tasks, but if you get close, you’ll notice a bit of fuzziness around some Android icons. The text is also not as clear-cut as on Android slates as it is on the tasty Nexus 10, so it may not be the best e-book reader.
Colors are sadly disappointing. It has a rather cool color tint that gives the images and icons a slight blue tint. It’s not a big deal for social networks and email, but it doesn’t work with your favorite movies.
Using VSD220 as an Android tablet
With a touch screen, internal processor, and Android D220 software, you can effectively use a massive tablet. It’s too big to carry, of course, and there’s no battery inside, so it behaves more like an Android all-in-one desktop. If you have the right set of programs, then there is no reason why you cannot use it the same way as a regular PC.
There is a standard Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sandwich interface that offers you multiple home screens to fill in apps and live widgets. Any applications that do not want to clutter the cover page are hidden in the grid. It’s exactly the same Android you know and may love on your existing phone or tablet. Only bigger.
Having Android on board gives you full access to thousands of apps on the Google Play Store, though some of them are probably a little pointless with such a large screen. Games likeRiptide GPmore fun when you can tilt your device to turn your little racer on the screen. Without an accelerometer, you can’t do the same with the D220 – even if you could pick it up long enough.
It comes with a 60-day OfficeSuite Pro trial – the full version will cost you less than ten times – allowing you to continue working properly. Insert your mouse and USB keyboard, and you can work with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents just like you would on a regular desktop PC.
Also, download the Google Drive app and get started with Google Docs. When you first log in, it automatically syncs your Gmail accounts, so you need very little setup.
You can download the Chrome web browser from the Google Play Store, but to be honest, you’re better off with a built-in browser. Not only did it seem like pages were loading faster, it could stream YouTube videos – and of courseour own wonderful video section– much easier. Because it runs on Android, you will automatically be taken to the mobile versions of the websites you visit.
Unfortunately, not everything is perfect. It runs on a 1GHz dual-core processor that is stormy even at low smartphone standards. On the phone, this would be a good idea because the small resolution is less demanding and you won’t care about watching high-definition videos and games on the big screen. However, on D220 it probably will not be.
Navigation on the interface is very sluggish, with a noticeable delay when switching between home screens and opening the menu. Downloading a high-resolution photo took a few seconds to properly display, and the high-definition video sometimes seemed a bit unrestrained.
Basic elements of email, web browsing, social networking, and multi-touch games such as the ever-popularAngry Birds, all is well. It’s much faster to boot to Android than to boot your entire PC for the same tasks.
Use the VSD220 as a monitor
If Android just doesn’t cut the mustard, you can switch D220’s input to a regular PC. Fortunately, this is a very easy task. In Android mode, you spy on the “OSD” button next to the regular navigation buttons in the bottom pane. Clicking on it will open a window that allows you to switch to a PC or control the volume and brightness.
Pressing and holding the Windows Power button will bring up the same dialog so you can return to Android at any time.
Switching between them may be easy, but the D220 is not the best monitor in the business. There is only one input – micro-HDMI -, not taking into account the usual full-size HDMI, VGA and DVI ports you find on most monitors. A micro HDMI to HDMI cable is included, but if you want to connect it to a VGA on a PC, you’re going to have to fight.
It also cannot be used with touch input connected to a PC. Since it is only connected via HDMI, the screen cannot transfer touches to the computer. This is not a problem for Windows 7, but if you use a touch screen monitor to swipe your finger around the colorful Windows 8 the interface is not for you guys.
With a built-in processor, touch screen, and Android software, ViewSonic VSD220 offers a fun way to use apps and games with your Windows PC. Fast download time means you can quickly check your emails or Twitter in Android mode without having to download your entire desktop.
Unfortunately, the low-power processor makes it inconvenient to use as an Android device, and the lack of inputs and non-corrosive colors means that it is also not the best monitor.