Lenovo's IdeaCenter Horizon, a 27-inch all-in-one desktop/tablet that turns into a table-top PC, won LAPTOP's Best Innovation award for good reason. But what if you want a screen that folds flat and don't need a whole new computer? ViewSonic has you covered with its new TD40 series of Windows 8-certified external monitors, each of which supports 10-point touch and the ability to position the display perpendicular to a table. At the company's CES booth, we got a brief demo of the 23-inch TD2340 and 27-inch TD2740.
The 23-inch TD2340, pictured at the top of this post, wowed us with its unique, flexible stand and stylish bezel. Unlike any other monitor we've seen, the stand has two large, windup-toy-style feet that jut out from the front in an imposing manner. The pitch-black glossy bezel stands in stark contrast to the colorful images we saw on the panel itself. We watched as a ViewSonic rep bent the dual-hinged monitor backward, rotated it into portrait mode and folded it completely flat on its stand.
The ViewSonic TD2340 has USB, VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. It will sell for $599 when it ships later this month.
A behemoth of epic proportions, the 27-inch TD2740 sports a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and a plethora of ports including DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA. A ViewSonic rep showed us how the TD2740's kickstand allows it to either fold flat or prop up at a 45-degree angle for a better onscreen typing experience. He also showed us how responsive the screen was to touch, opening Windows Paint to draw with several fingers at once.
Colors were significantly more muted on the TD2740 than its 23-inch brother, but our rep told us that that the demo unit was using a preproduction LED panel and the image quality on the final release will match that of the TD2340. The TD2740 also sports a 1.3-MP webcam for video chats. It will be available in April for $799.
The majority of notebook and desktop owners don't have touch screens today, but by attaching these new ViewSonic monitors, you can turn any PC into a Windows 8 all-in-one. At $599 and $799, you're paying a huge premium for touch, because you can get a decent 23-inch PC monitor for $200 or less and a solid 27-incher for under $400. However, the unique stand on the TD2340 makes it particularly compelling. We just wish there was a way to run more table-top apps on the PC.