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ViewSonic VSD220 review: ViewSonic VSD220

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The Good Touch screen; Android software for tablet-like use; inoffensive design.

The Bad Low-powered integrated processor makes Android sluggish; unimpressive colours; only micro-HDMI input from your PC.

The Bottom Line The ViewSonic VSD220 offers tablet-like features with Android software while still working as a regular monitor. Sadly its poor performance, unimpressive display and lack of inputs means it's not great as either a tablet or a monitor.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

5.5 Overall

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Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7 might be racking up sales like there's no tomorrow, but what if you want to enjoy Android goodness on a massive screen?

ViewSonic thinks it has the answer with the VSD220. It's a 22-inch monitor that packs in its own dual-core processor to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Want to check Twitter but don't want to wait for your PC to boot? Just load up the monitor, leaving your computer unplugged.

But with processing power that would make even a low-end Android phone snort with derision, can the VSD220 really offer the perfect big-screen Android experience?

It's available now for the spicy price of £331.

Should I buy the ViewSonic VSD220?

With its dedicated processor and touchscreen, the D220 can act as a massive Android tablet, as well as function as a regular PC monitor. It lets you quickly access your email and social networks in 'tablet mode' without having to load up your PC every time you want to send a tweet.

With a USB mouse and keyboard connected, you can work in Android as you would in Windows, switching to your PC only when you need your desktop's performance.

Sadly though, it runs Android using a very weak processor that makes many tasks noticeably sluggish. Gmail and Angry Birds run fine but if you're keen to edit photos or play more demanding games then you'll be disappointed with the performance.

Unfortunately it doesn't perform much better as a monitor either. The Full HD resolution is let down by rather cold, lacklustre colours and there's only one input for your PC -- micro-HDMI.

Although the combination of tablet and a monitor is an interesting and attractive concept, the D220 doesn't impress as either. For the same money you could buy a 22-inch regular ViewSonic monitor and a Google Nexus 7 tablet for Android apps and still have change from £300.

Design and build quality

In terms of design, the D220 looks basically like any other monitor on the market. To accommodate its 22-inch screen it has to measure 513mm wide, so it won't sit too comfortably on tiny desks.

ViewSonic VSD220
The kickstand gives the VSD220 a sleeker look than most monitors.

It sits directly on the desk propped up by a kickstand, rather than having a proper stand with a base as you'd expect to see on most monitors. This does makes it look quite sleek, and I'd be much happier having this in my living room than a standard PC display. It does mean that you can't alter its height though, so if you're working on a desk and want to raise it up, you'd better have a couple of Yellow Pages to hand.

The display is bordered by a slim, black plastic bezel, with thicker, grey plastic along the bottom. It's an inoffensive design although it feels a bit plasticky in places. You're not likely to be carrying it far away from your table though, so it shouldn't fall apart on you.

The kickstand is sturdy and allows the whole thing to lie almost flat, letting you swipe around the Android interface as if it were a regular tablet.

ViewSonic VSD220
You can lie the monitor almost flat and swipe around it like a tablet.

Around 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, a micro-HDMI port and an Ethernet port. There's a webcam on the front too, letting you video call your favourite people over Skype.

Display

The D220's 22-inch screen boasts a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution making it well-equipped for handling Full HD video from either your computer or streaming over YouTube in Android mode.

It's perfectly sharp for most tasks, but if you get up close you'll notice a little fuzziness around some of the Android icons. Text also isn't quite as pin-sharp as you'd find on Android slates like the delicious Nexus 10 so it's probably not the best device to read ebooks on.

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