Review: ViewSonic 32-Inch Monitor Pretty Enough to Touch

ViewSonic last month expanded its TD40 series of touch displays introduced at CES 2013 with the TD2240, a 22-inch model for $489 list. The TD40 Series gives Windows 8 users a great-looking way to display Live Tiles tiles and sweep and swipe their way through Win8 apps.

For testing, the company sent the CRN Test Center the TD3240, a 31.5-inch unit and the largest in a line that also includes 23- and 27-inch models. Part digital sign, part computer display, the 3240 provides a 400 x 200 VESA-mount for its LED-lit projected capacitive display panel with 10-point touch input capability. A pair of 10-watt downward-firing stereo speakers built in provides adequate sound that was free of distortion, though limited in top-end volume. The panel is covered with glass that carries a 7H rating for scratch-resistance. Ordinary glass carries a rating between 5 and 6. Diamonds are a 10. A 7H rating makes the TD40 series well suited for education and retail environments, transportation centers and high-traffic kiosk applications that often take a pounding.

On the subject of pounding, the TD3240 is built like a tank. Its all-metal cabinet and thick glass contribute to an overall weight of almost 36 pounds plus the stand (thanks, ViewSonic, for sending one). With the stand, the monitor needs about 21 inches of clearance above and 31 inches across. There are about 2 inches of clearance below the bottom edge of the monitor to the desktop.

Out of the box, the TD3240's white saturation test was nearly perfect, displaying levels between 200 and 251 clearly (on a scale that goes to 254). By lowering the contrast, we were able to see two of the remaining three levels (level 254 was still indistinguishable from 255, which is pure white). Black-level tests returned similar results, with all but four of the 254 black levels distinguishable. Gradients of color and black-and-white exhibited no banding, and sharpness tests were all within acceptable parameters. For testing, we used the CRN Test Center's standard test images for evaluating LCD monitors. All tests were conducted in a darkened room with the unit set to its maximum resolution.

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The IPS panel delivers 1,920 x 1,080 resolution at viewing angles close to 180 degrees without color distortion. The TD3240 provides inputs for VGA and DVI, and includes DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter. These inputs are mounted in a downward orientation along with connections for AC power, audio in and RS-232 in and out (both male) and a USB host port for accessing the touch module. All controls are in the rear, but they're easy enough to find and use.

The TD3240 lists for $3,059, and it's a recommended product for kiosk-style applications that can justify the cost. The 27-inch version lists for $849, the 23-inch model for $619 and the newest 22-inch unit for $489. All include a three-year warranty. A two-footed stand is optional on 32- and 27-inch models. and wired remote are sold separately.