ViewSonic VP2780-4K – a strong display at a reasonable price?

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Whether you call it 4K or Ultra HD, the next generation of monitors is still too pricey for most consumers. However, for professional use ViewSonic’s new VP2780-4K looks to be a viable budget option.

It’s a 27-inch display with a 3840×2160 pixel resolution. When you’re working on graphics or video editing, a sharp picture isn’t sufficient: you need as wide a range of colours as possible. PC Advisor notes the monitor can show every one of the possible colours covered by the older sRGB colour system, along with 80 percent of the potential colours on Adobe systems.

PC Pro was impressed with the display’s colour and contrast, but noted that in its review model at least, images had an unwanted “warm, reddish tint.” It also criticised the variance in brightness across the monitor.

Another key feature of the VP2780-4K is that it’s among the first to support HDMI 2.0. That means double the bandwidth of the more-common HDMI 1.4, in turn making it possible to run a 4K resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate. PC World notes that previous 4K monitors have been stuck at an “unusable” 30Hz, so this is one of the first monitors to fully exploit 4K’s potential.

Several reviewers criticised the monitor’s on-screen menu set-up. It uses a touch-sensitive input on the bezel, but PC Advisor found this required such a firm press that you’d need to hold the monitor in place with your other hand.

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While £699 puts this firmly in the professional category, the VP2780-4K seems to be very much a budget model within this context. If the early reviews are anything to go by, it’s a matter of viewpoint: you can see the annoyances and limitations as unacceptable in such an expensive purchase, or you can see the screen quality and resolution as making it a bargain compared with rival models that can cost almost twice as much.

Visit Viewsonic to find out more.

ViewSonic’s ViewPad 10e: Value-conscious tablet computing

Recently announced by ViewSonic is a the ViewPad 10e. Powered by Android technology and boosting a range of advanced features to ensure you are at your most productive wherever you are, the tablet features a 9.7″ 4:3 ratio screen.

Viewpad-10e

Weighing a measly 620grams, and only 9.1mm thin, the tablet is light enough to carry around with you and ensures its portability. At the heart of the device is a Cortex A8 1Ghz processor which, along with its 4GB built-in memory, makes sure it has enough guts to power any application you wish to throw at it. For those looking for even more memory this can be expanded to an additional 32GB by using a Micro SD slot.

Perhaps the most tantalizing feature of the tablet is its customizable 3D user interface, which is created by the ViewScene 3D application. With a number of different layouts and panels, the 3D display looks nothing short of impressive, although it takes a little getting used to. Still, if 3D truly is the future of computing, the ViewPad 10e gives a glimpse of just what that future could hold.

In addition to this impressive technical wizardry, the tablet also includes a number of other features that will put a smile on any commuters face. The wireless Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity grants high speed data transfer, whilst the mini HDMI connector offers a screen capacity of 720p, which for a device this size ensures a crystal clear display.

On top of all this is a pre-installed Amazon Kindle, which grants access to over 700 eBooks, magazines and newspapers. Surely enough for even the longest train journey? Coupled that with a stand-by battery time of over 200 hours, and it looks like we may well have a winner on out hands.

For more information on the ViewPad 10e and complete hardware specification, go here.

ViewSonic’s V3D245 3D monitor literally leaps out on to the market.

Its all well and good being the proud owner of the latest 3D ready technology, but none of it will be much good without shelling out for the extra hardware you need to view it all.

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All that is a thing of the past as far as ViewSonic is concerned, as its new V3D245 24 inch 3D monitor comes ready to impress with a pair of NVIDIA 3D vision glasses thrown in. Smart thinking ViewSonic.

This is a full HD LED monitor displaying 1920×1080 and using its 120 hz refresh rate and the built in NVIDIA wireless emitter, it will potentially throw you into the deep and of a stutter free 3D world if you have enough guts in your PC or player to drive it at full HD. Talking of players, you can hook up a Blu- Ray or Playstation3 using the integrated HDMI 1.4 connector, although if you’re looking for an all in one vision and audio solution, I wouldn’t get too excited about the onboard 2x2W speaker set.

The LED 2ms video output with 20,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 300 nits high brightness provides what ViewSonic suggests to be “unsurpassed image quality.”

James Coulson, ViewSonic’s. European marketing manager comments “This is the ultimate monitor for any gamer or just anyone playing around with 3D technology. It’s a neat solution with the built in NVidia transmitter, that uses LED technology to bring better contrast ratios and significant power savings, but can then revert back to a high performance 2D monitor when required. Working with NVidia is paramount to making 3D emersion a reality and this product is proof of that.”

The ViewSonic V3D245 will be available in the UK for £350

Viewsonic launches revamped PJD5 projectors

A lightweight, high clarity projector is a vital tool for anyone in the world of sales, marketing or teaching. It can bring a presentation to life, but equally, if it’s substandard, could ruin a perfect pitch.

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Seasoned US manufacturer ViewSonic has taken a good look at its PJD5 range and invigorated it with a spring clean and some added functionality.  With a sleeker and more optimised design, the overall size of the units has been reduced by 20% weighing in at just 2.6 kg. The main benefit to users however will be the improved colour and clarity which has been significantly enhanced. Using ViewSonic’s BrilliantColour technology, the PJD5 range now features 2,700 lumens and a contrast ratio of 3000:1 which can be fine tuned to suit any type of presentation.

There are five model choices in the range, and whilst all of the are 3D ready and capable of accepting 120Hz input from sources such as Sky 3D, 3D Bluray or Sony Playstation,  the PJD5123 comes with SVGA resolution, the PJD5223 and PJD5233 with XGA and the flagship  PJD5523w with both WXGA and HDMI.

Oddly though, the range doesn’t support USB or memory flash drive functionality which is an oversight considering how important mobile media is these days, but there is a mini USB port for a mouse.

Trevor Holt, ViewSonic’s European Product Manager comments “We have made subtle but important changes, such as introducing a built in presentation timer, mouse control function via the projector remote control and enhanced security with Kensington slot and security bar.   All these new features continue to differentiate ViewSonic projectors from our competitors.”

If you are into 3D just be aware that whilst the PJD5 range is ‘3D ready’ you will need an additional 3D processor (the VP3D1) and a pair of compatible active shutter glasses too.

For business users though, this looks to be an affordable and lightweight range that will do your presentations proud.

The models are available from £249 plus VAT.

Viewsonic VPD31 3D box

3D is a subject that splits opinion more so than the shady goings on in Roswell, New Mexico in the 50s. When viewed at a cinema, and most importantly, on an iMax there’s no doubt about the merits of the tech, when we laid eye’s on Tron Legacy at our local iMax we were blown away – but where are all the 3D projectors? Well ViewSonic is now has just announced its latest foray into the world of 3D.

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Many consumers probably don’t realize that you’ll need an after market solution to get you PS3, Blu-ray and 3D Sky or Virgin to work with a 3D ready projector. In order to connect a 3D source directly to a projector, the content must be in a frame-sequential format. The leading types of 3D are not in this format. So you can get 3D projectors, but they are only really work when connected through a PC. Not an ideal solution, but the ViewSonic’s new box converts 3D signals to work on their DLP projectors.

Their latest box of tricks is designed to convert 3D video content including 3D TV, Blu-Rays and 3D Playstation 3 gaming to work with their impressive range of Home Cinema DLP 3D-ready projectors.

After an impressive unveiling at CES, where it was given the thumbs up from the gaming community, it has quickly become one of the most sought after 3D solutions on the market.

The combined black magic of the VPD31 processor box and some very lightweight PDG-250 3D glasses gives the viewer a super sized 3D experience that only projectors can achieve.

The VPD31 is compatible with ViewSonic’s range of 3D ready DLP Link 3D/120Hz projectors and features dual HDMI v1.4a inputs and one HDMI v1.3 output to enable a scalable 3D projection without losing visual quality.

To further enhance this 3D experience, ViewSonic’s second-generation PGD-250 3D glasses have been designed to be a hell of a lot more stylish, although were not sure who they are kidding, it’s like making shell suits stylish – a complete waste of time. But at least they’re foldable and lightweight compared to other options on the market.

With impressive resistance against ambient light interference and a long effective distance of 12 meters, the glasses also feature an impressive 44 hours of continuous use battery life and are rechargeable via mini USB port on the arm of the glasses

Trevor Holt, European Product Manager – Projectors, ViewSonic Europe, commented: “After a slow start in 2010, Ovum has predicted that 2011 will see sales of 3D hardware rapidly grow as prices drop due to increased competition.”

So there you have a 3D projector experience that won’t set you back a year’s wage – the box comes in a very reasonable £299 and you can get a Viewsonic 3D 1080p ready projector for as little as £700.

Bought a 3D TV recently? Wished you hadn’t? The ViewSonic VPD31 is available now.

ViewSonic 3DV5: Your own 3D movies – for £150

The price of 3D goodies plummets ever lower with the release of Viewsonic’s latest 3D camcorder.

Ease of use is the order of the day for the ViewSonic 3DV5, which offers one-touch recording, and a quick switch between 2D and 3D recording. To watch your movies, just plug in the camcorder to your computer via USB, or straight into a 3D TV with the HDMI cable.

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As 3D conversions take place on board this pocket camcorder, you can upload your creations directly to YouTube’s 3D channel too.

And you can ditch the special glasses (supplied) if you want to watch on the camcorder’s screen, as it has a built-in 2.4in ‘autosteroscopic’ display – handy for checking content when you’re out and about.

The camcorder can film content in MP4 format at HD 720p resolution, and can also take still images. It comes with only 10MB of internal memory, so you’ll probably want to up that by buying an SD card.

For such a bargain price, we’re not sure just how good the finished product is likely to be – your films are hardly going to be up there with movies filmed on the likes of the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D HD, but then that costs well over a grand.

If you’re after a novel Christmas gift at this kind of price point, it might be worth a punt, and should be in the shops now. But if you are not completely desperate to jump on the 3D bandwagon, it’s probably worth waiting to see what else is waiting in the wings before letting go of your hard-earned cash.
For more details log on to www.viewsoniceurope.com/uk/.

Samsung Galaxy Tab review roundup

There are now two quality tablets on the market – the ageing iPad and the new Samsung Galaxy Tablet. The Galaxy is smaller, lighter and faster, but does that make it better? Our hands-on experience left us wanting, but what do other experts around the web say?

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Software

PC Advisor warns us from the oft that: “it’s using the very latest Android version 2.2 … it should be noted that even Google has not sanctioned this particular system for tablet use.” Uh-oh. “instead of a half-baked handheld, in the Samsung Galaxy Tab we found a quite usable mobile PC.” Oh, phew.

On top of Android 2.2, Samsung have added its TouchWiz. PC Pro thinks this is “no bad thing… The homage to Apple’s iOS is clearly intended to draw customers away from the iFamily, and the simple, icon-based interface is slick and simple to navigate.”

A detailed run-down of the operating system comes from Slashgear:

Five desktop panes (you can have a maximum of nine) which can be filled with widgets and moved between with a finger-swipe (since there’s no D-pad or optical joystick). A pinch-zoom gesture shows thumbnails of all screens for speedier navigation.

At the bottom of each pane is a three-button shortcut bar, with two user-definable shortcuts (browser and email, by default) and the Applications button in the middle. Unlike on Android phones, each pane supports a 5 x 5 grid of icons and widgets (4 x 4 is the norm); as well as the usual widgets, shortcuts and folders, Samsung has added a few new clocks (including examples with weather or calendar integrated), social updates with the Feeds and Updates widget, and – most usefully – a Program Manager widget.

And don’t forget “full Flash support”. Thanks for the reminder, Endgaget!

Design

T3 quite acutely summed up the difference with the iPad:

The 7-inch plastic-encased tablet is notably smaller … but that also means it’s a comfortable fit for one-handed operation, or a rear jeans pocket, and at 380g it’s roughly half the weight of the iPad.

Size is an issue that reoccurs frequently with The Telegraph pointing out that it’s “almost exactly the same size as the highly praised Amazon Kindle.”

Slashgear had nothing but praise for the unit’s construction. “The chassis is all plastic, unlike Apple’s proclivity toward aluminum and glass, keeping the weight down to 0.8 pounds, but feels solid and creak-free.”

Power

“The 1GHz ARM processor and PowerVR SGX540 graphics chip keep Android feeling spritely, with applications popping into view with nary a delay. Samsung even claims that the PowerVR hardware is capable of Full-HD playback.” It all sounds pretty good so far – especially when you include the 512MB RAM (double the iPad’s). PC Pro continue the praise: “Games looked great on the display and both the first-person-shooter, Nova, and the arcade racing staple, Need for Speed: Shift, kept up a steady frame-rate.”

Screen

T3 described the 1024×600 screen as “bright and sharp”, however PC Advisor disagrees. They say that the display, “Unlike Apple’s eye-poppingly bright and colourful glass IPS panel … has a duller, flat-looking plastic LCD. Off-axis viewing of the Tab is not at all great.”

The Telegraph doesn’t offer a strong opinion either way, explaining that “the screen is not AMOLED, but that is not painfully noticeable.”

To throw our opinion into the debate, when we played with one we found it about as good as an average laptop screen, with a sharper finish. Tech Radar agrees: “the WSVGA screen resolution is only slightly lower than that of the 9.7-inch iPad (so that’s 260ppi versus 132ppi) which means that the display on the Galaxy Tab is a lot sharper.”

Battery

The battery is also impressing reviewers. CNET noted that, “in the few days we had the Tab in for testing, we didn’t notice the battery draining too quickly, despite Samsung telling us that our particular review sample suffered from an abnormally weak battery.”

Slashgear was keen to remind us that it better be good, because it’s a “non-user-accessible battery, since as with the iPad, the Galaxy Tab is a sealed unit.” Let’s hope the lifespan is good.

Camera

“The 3-megapixel camera on the rear partners with a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera – video recording stretching up to 30fps at 720×480 resolution” Thanks, PCPro. But is it any good? TechRadar thinks not:

There’s no HD recording – the resolution of your recordings is fixed at 720×480. The Tab records at 30fps and so the handling of motion isn’t too bad. But like our stills shots, quality isn’t great. Colours are washed out, and contrast is quite poor indeed.

CNET prompts that at least “the software itself is snappy, so you won’t miss the moment waiting for menus to load.” You’ll definitely capture the moment, just in a washed-out way. Hmm.

CNET also explain a minor disappoint with the cameras’ video chat. “You can also make video calls over 3G, thanks to a tiny camera just above the Tab’s display. Sadly, though, video calling is only supported from one Galaxy Tab to another.”

Conclusion

Tech Radar does a great job of summing up why most reviews for the Tablet are coming in at around three out of five: “When sliding through your home screens, the iPad just is slicker, smoother and more responsive. The Galaxy Tab keeps you waiting a split second at a time, and it all adds up. As a result, it’s not a fun device to use.”

We couldn’t agree more. Especially if you’re paying a premium price for it. And when we used a copy, it wouldn’t let us update our Facebook status on it. Ouch.

The best of IFA – part 1

IFA 2010 is done and dusted, so thought we would give you a 2-part low down on what has caught our eye, including the world’s first 3D camcorder from Panasonic, the Galaxy tablet from Samsung, Toshiba’s Folio, ViewSonic’s tablet and LG’s 2.9 mm thick OLED.

Best-of-IFA

Panasonic were in bullish mood about their focus for the next twelve months, and it all revolves around their 3D Eco-system. We attended their press conference at the Messe in Berlin, where they held a full 3D press conference. All attendees were given 3D glasses to watch the presentation. And they filled the conference room with 94 Viera Full HD 3D Plasma TV’s.

The first big unveiling was the world’s first consumer-type 3D camcorder, which will go on sale in the autumn. The HDC-SDT750 is the world’s first and they showed footage caught from the camera on the 3D TV’s in front of us – it showed the potential of bringing family moments to life; like birthday’s or going to beach in full 1080p 3D glory. We have to say it did look stunning. Especially, with their new 3D eyewear that was on show for the first time.

They also announced two new full 3D HD TV’s that were very impressive, especially with their new 600hz technology, it’s not as thin as a LED but they did produce stunning pictures. Later on, they brought on stage partners from Eurosport and Ubisoft, who announced that the French and US open were going to be available in 3D. Ubisoft announced a slew of titles that will be in 3D. Panasonic also announced that their new Viera 3D TV’s can connect to Ge-force PC’s making 425 games 3D compatible via HMDI 1.4a. They also showed off their 152” HD TV, which they have already taken orders for. However, they were unwilling to say how much it was.

Elsewhere the IFA went tablet crazy, with announcements from Samsung, Toshiba and Viewsonic. Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet stole the show and already being talked about as an operator-friendly alternative to Apple’s iPad. The 7-inch form-factor is more portable than the iPad and runs the Google alternative operating system Android. It will come in two flavours 16GB and 32GB and Samsung announced 200 apps on launch. No pricing details were given although it is thought to be a high as £500.

Toshiba announced their foray into the Tablet world with their compelling software full Folio, which again runs on Android. The tablet has a 10.1-inch, diagonal screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Folio runs on version 2.2 of Google’s Android operating system.

The fact that Toshiba used Android 2.2 is important because the Folio will be able to run Adobe Flash, a ubiquitous Web technology for playing video. That’s a key advantage over the iPad, which along with the iPhone can’t play Flash video. The Folio is equipped with an SD card slot, and HDMI and USB 2.0 connectors. The device supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless, with a 3G model scheduled for the near future, according to Toshiba.

Viewsonic also announced a tablet which features Windows 7 as well Android, but there is a compromise you can only run Android 1.6, which is already considered outdated. This is because it’s the most recent version that supports the x86 processor on the tablet, which is required for Windows 7. Not the worst compromise, but still a compromise. The rest of the specs are typical netbook-level stuff: Intel Atom N455 processor, 1GB memory, 16GB SSD, 1024×600 10? LCD.

LG were proud to show off the world’s biggest and thinnest OLED TV, which have had us drooling for years, but they’ve always been tiny and expensive. Now LG has solved one of those problems, well sort of, showing off a 31-inch OLED TV, which will hit stores in March 2011. Finally, OLED is big enough for the living room. The only downside is it’ll cost a whopping £6,000 to get it there.

For the money though, you’ll get a Full HD TV set to floor all others, with an “infinite” contrast ratio and colours as rich as those buying it, the world’s largest commercially available OLED TV measures 31 inches across, as is also the slimmest in the world at 2.9mm thick.