ViewSonic unveils VSD240 smart display running Android 4.1: arrives in April for $499

ViewSonic has decided to give Android-powered "smart displays" a second go-round. After releasing the VSD220, it's following it up with the VSD240, a 24-inch monitor running Android 4.1. Though we're living in an age when Sony and Lenovo are both marketing battery-powered all-in-ones to consumers, ViewSonic is targeting the VSD240 more toward business users than anyone else. The idea, company reps say, is that it could act as a secondary display in the office -- one that's smart enough to update apps all by itself. By that same logic, it would make for a nifty kitchen computer, though even then, ViewSonic spokespeople are quick to say this isn't intended to be a primary system.

We happened to see it in person at a CES-related event here in Vegas, and our quick assessment is that the screen is responsive, and the design chintzy. (Just look at that tacky plastic.) In addition to that 1080p display, it packs a 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip along with a TI multicore OMAP processor. As for connectivity, this glorified monitor features HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports, along with an SD card slot, WiFi and Bluetooth. ViewSonic has also baked in a 1.3-megapixel webcam, microphone and speakers. It'll be available in North America starting in April, with street prices expected to hover around $499.

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Dana Wollman contributed to this report.