When disconnected from your PC, a typical monitor just sits there with a blank look on its screen. But what if your display had a mind or at least a processor of its own? Announced today and available in July, Lenovo's $1,199 ThinkVision 28 is an eye-popping 28-inch Ultra HD touch screen monitor that turns into a powerful Android PC with the press of a button.
We had a chance to go hands-on with the ThinkVision 28 here at CES 2014 and were as impressed with its picture quality as its versatility. When the monitor was connected to a ThinkPad
X1 Carbon running Windows 8.1, photos we saw were incredibly sharp and colorful on its 3840 x 2160, 300 nitdisplay.
There was also plenty of room for Windows in the desktop mode while the few tiles this system had on its home screen seemed dwarfed by all the real estate around them. The 10-point touch capable display responded immediately to all of our touches.
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After changing a menu setting, we jumped right into the ThinkVision 28's Android 4.4 KitKat environment. According to a Lenovo rep, the monitor upscales any tablet-optimized content to its full 4K resolution and indeed icons and apps, such as a game of Angry Birds Star Wars we fired up, looked really sharp. High res photos really popped as did a 4K video of a beach scene.
Powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra CPU with 2GB of RAM, the ThinkVision 28 has enough oomph to run high-end Android games. With 32GB of internal storage and the ability to connect an external drive via USB, there's plenty of room for your apps and media files.
In its wide chrome-colored base, the ThinkVision 28 has just about any port you could want, including 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2 port, 1 micro USB 3 port, 3 HDMI ports, a microSD card slot, Audio out, Ethernet and DisplayPort. It even has NFC communications for easy sharing or pairing with other devices. A 2-MP front-facing camera allows for video chats while integrated Wi-Fi lets you stay connected.
The ThinkVision 28 cuts a huge but attractive figure on your desk, with its giant chrome-colored display and base. With a weight of 24.9 pounds, it's designed to stay in one place. However, its folding hinge design allows you to bend it into table mode, ideal for playing board games or swiping through photos in either Android or Windows.
With its gorgeous 4K display, the ThinkVision 28 would be impressive as a PC monitor alone. However, when you add in its ability to act as a powerful Android all-in-one and its plethora of ports, it could be the must-have screen of 2014.