back to article Monitor-makers ponder Android-powered touch screens

Anyone fancy a 21-inch touch screen monitor with an ARM CPU and enough computing grunt to run Android? For about twice the price of a conventional monitor? Taiwanese analyst outfit WitsView says monitor-makers are considering just such a gadget as a way to fix the sales slump in the display industry. That slump is in part …


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  1. Jeroen Braamhaar

    I'll bite - moniblet!

  2. Dave, Portsmouth


    Given that there are still vast swathest of apps which aren't well optimised for 7-10" Android tablets, and there are supposed to be a lot of those around these days, I don't hold much hope that developers will be rushing to redesign their apps to make good use of the extra space on a 21" monitor. A phone app scaled up to 21" just doesn't appeal.

    Sounds like a "because we can" product, with little practical purpose.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    this is just what I want, a monitor twice the regular ones, so a half baked reskin of android can reside, never to be updated by mfr; am itching to give monitor makers a bigger profit margin. ...

  4. h3

    Cornerstone is great but Google hates it maybe if they use that then it might be decent.

    4 well designed phone apps on the screen at once on a 3rd monitor for example could be useful.

  5. Paul J Turner

    I suggest 'flaglet'

    or maybe just 'flag', after flagstone, a larger size item than the usual stone tablet.

    Which may reflect on the practical difficulty of carrying around such an item if it had added battery power.

    The coat pocket, yeah, so not going to happen.

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Included in the Box

    A set of DVD's (or download links) showing how you can get arms/shoulders like Mr/Mrs Universe. You are going to need it if you use one of these things for any length of time. Unless you happen to be an actor on CSI.

    A solution waiting for a problem.

  7. Aaron Em

    Yo dawg, we heard you like computing, so we plugged a computer into your computer so you can compute while you compute.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      "Yo dawg..."


  8. Why Not?

    If we go with the name of tablet but its larger and harder to swallow I would suggest Lozenge.

    doubly effective as the idea sucks.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      How about "suppository"?

  9. Bob Vistakin


    Quite catchy, accurate and goes down really well in Redmond.

    And quickly.

  10. Captain DaFt

    Please... PLEASE!!

    Throw away your perfectly good TVs and monitors and buy a new one every year! We're desperate here! We've tried 3D, higher DPI, added tons of bells and whistles, bent the screens, now we're throwing in a touchscreen and computer for twice the price!

    C'mon people! We're running out of gimmicks here!

    ... Our CEOs need bonuses! Won't you think of the CEOs?

    [The preceding message was brought to by the World Television Corporation's Bonuses For Our Corporate Leaders Foundation]

    (Ahem enough jocularity), How about we call a spade a spade, and just call them Gimmick Screens?

  11. Mephistro

    I don't think it's such a bad idea

    If they furnish it with a convenient handle and an external power source instead of batteries, it would be a nice and convenient machine for surfing the net while I'm watching TV with the rest of my family. I fear they are forgetting my face! :^)

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: I don't think it's such a bad idea

      Or when you can't be arsed to boot the damn PC but want to quickly check something online.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Linux EveryWear?

    I think this is the future. You could use any monitor as a slave (eventually). People are in the groove of BYOD of some sort, add in public WiFi hotspots, and the only thing that needs to be publicly ready is a monitor. Throw in a iR keyboard/mouse interface (like MS Kinect) ran off a bracelet, and your set. Assuming all that isn't the future, then at least I could load a recover OS on the damn thing as long as it has USB and Cat5.

    I'm starting to wonder about how many electronic appliances you couldn't put Linux in. At some point it could get very hairy and you would have to start treating different kernels like you would different networks. The whole thing could be extremely grand. Think "Cloud Management" software can be big and complexed? Huh, I'm foreseeing "Kernel Management" software even larger and much more complexed.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Linux EveryWear?

      Linux on TVs is the present, not the future, but they generally run Busybox rather than Android. Maybe Android has some advantages, I don't know, but I prefer to have a screen with lots of HDMI ports and possibly with built in speakers, and plug things into it.

  13. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

    And the name for Android monitors is ....

    "Pokemon". The idea came to me on the train this morning. A bit miffed I didn't think of it while writing the story, actually, but better late etc.

  14. P. Lee

    Do it right

    Screen, Android-on-linux, bluetooth, desk-based apple-trackpad-like bluetooth device with proximity sensor so you can tell where your finger is before you touch it.

    Then put it on steroids to make it a file & mobile sync server, but keep it quiet. Pop in some wired gig-E ports and thunderbolt.

    Essentially, bypass most of the need to power up the pc.

    Yes, its an ARM imac hardware with linux and android... with more gigE ports & disk.

    1. Maryland, USA

      Re: Do it right

      I agree. CRT displays hit a wall at about 130 dpi (2048 x 1536 on a 22-inch diagonal display). LCDs surpassed that, with 150 dpi 20-inchers from IBM, Iiyama, and others around 2001. But since then, we've regressed, settling in at about 100 to 120 dpi, with 30-inchers hovering around 100.

  15. stucs201

    You want to sell more monitors? Give us better ones.

    Not only do monitors not really wear out, they're not particularly getting obsolete either since resolution seems to have been (mostly) stalled for several years (or even gone backwards as 16:9 has gotten more common with 16:10 getting harder to find).

    Apply some of the tech improvements which currently seem confined to tablet screens to desktop sized screens (better DPI, not put a computer in there) and they might find they sell rather more once there is a reason to upgrade (if at a sensible price) .

  16. Peter Diffey

    I could use one today

    I currently use a 10in Android tablet as a point of sales screen, ideally I would like a 15in touch screen but they cost silly money and are difficult to interface with Linux.

    Given the move to cloud based apps, Android based monitors are the obvious solution.


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The price is wrong

    How can they possibly justify doubling the price of the monitor? The power supply is already there, there is already some compute power and memory to run the OSD menus, etc., just upgrading this to being able to run android probably wouldn't cost the manufacturer more than around 30 dollars. Double that up for the retail price and they might find a few punters. As things stand, you're better off getting a separate android tablet with HDMI output and hooking it up to a dumb monitor. Total cost is about the same, and you have the extra flexibility.

  18. cupperty

    It's got to be a 'mondleslab' ...

  19. Christian Berger



    Dedicated box for InfoBeamer?

    There would be uses, but Android and touch seem more like obstacles.

  20. Himalayaman

    The nonsense continues...

    And manufacturers keep on putting Android in any device in the hope they can make some money and become a bit more like Samsung.

    " For about twice the price of a conventional monitor?"

    Ha that explains things.... gg

  21. uhuznaa

    You can buy these today

    ViewSonic VSD 220 and VSD 240, Acer DA220...

    As cheap, low-power all-in-one devices somewhere between a silly TV and a full computer these aren't too bad. Keyboard and mouse support in Android is good enough to use them now and then as a "computer" and the touchscreen is fine for some browsing, youtubing, playing music and general "terminal" use in the kitchen or so. They also have enough USB ports to hang some serious storage off them (for those with huge music, photo and movie libraries).

    This is to a desktop PC what a tablet is to a laptop.

    1. EddieD

      Re: You can buy these today

      I was going to say - this article from November on this very organ talked about them

  22. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    A touchscreen for a PC ?

    What for ?

    Do they really think I want to do my coding by poking at my screen ?

    On a PC I have a mouse and a keyboard that fulfill 100% of my computing needs. Requiring that I actually touch the screen is not only superfluous but also a waste of time, not to mention a possible health risk, what with the possible hazards to the back. Keeping a proper ergonomic stance all day long is difficult enough without having to bend over the keyboard to poke at some vertical surface.

    A touchscreen is only useful when you don't have a keyboard. It becomes necessary if you have neither keyboard nor mouse. If you have both, it is nothing more than a waste of money.

    1. Dr_N

      Re: A touchscreen for a PC ?

      "A touchscreen is only useful when you don't have a keyboard. It becomes necessary if you have neither keyboard nor mouse. If you have both, it is nothing more than a waste of money."

      What rot. It's all about personal choice, n'est pas?

      I find a touchscreen very useful for browsing stuff.

      But I personally need a keyboard for any text entry.

      As for poking at your screen whilst coding. perhaps not.

      But I can see a future use for onscreen editing and layout work.

      Horses for courses.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I can understand your argument, and I give you an upvote for the basic truth you expose. Of course, if you are happy with a touchscreen, more power to you. After all, a touchscreen is still a screen.

        The difference - in my mind - is that I don't mind if the touchscreen on my phone is smudged - I don't look at it all that often. And when it does have smudges, my phone is easy to clean and it's quickly done.

        Contrast that with the widescreen I have for my PC, which I stare at for hours at a time, and is placed on the other side of my desk (ie hard to get to because desk against the wall so no going around). Smudges on that screen bring immediate irritation to me because a) they're a constant nuisance while I'm working and b) I'm going to have almost lie on the desk to clean the whole screen for that darn smudge so as not to leave traces on the rest of it.

        There are people who are not bothered by screen smudges. Good for them. I'm not one of those. I like my screens spotless. And touchscreens simply cannot be spotless. Ergo, I'd go mad working with one if I couldn't avoid touching it.

  23. Esskay

    Sounds daft...

    but assuming it'll be 1080p (which the latest phones support, so no compatibility issues, plus on a 21" monitor it's plenty of pixels) and assuming "double the cost of a regular monitor" = double a cheap 21" (not twice their top-o'-the-line model, so ~ $400-$500 AU), and assuming it supports USB on the go (or whatever it's called, where it'll recognise mass storage devices) I can see it functioning very well as a cheap backup media player, for the kids or whatnot.

    Sure, there's a lot of assumptions^^ up there (esp. price), but if they're serious about sales, it has the potential to carve a niche for itself.

  24. markw:

    Raspberry Pi

    Plug it in — cheaper...

  25. Jess

    Too expensive, but otherwise interesting.

    It should be about £30 over the price of an otherwise similar monitor.

    I think it should have the following features.

    media player

    good range of terminal/thin client apps pre-installed

    the ability to run as a second screen for a PC or Mac

    ability to boot from external media

    a simple method of disabling features and managing upgrades in a corporate environment

    It would also be important that system stayed compatible across the range and trough the years.

  26. ecofeco Silver badge



    I have a hard enough time keeping my monitor clean and the carpal tunnel at bay.

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