Viewsonic debuts new iPod-enabled monitor

Written by Brett Thomas

September 12, 2006 | 17:43

Tags: #ipod #ipod-video #itunes #lcd #monitor #widescreen

Companies: #viewsonic

Well, the Apple Expo has begun...while everyone places their bets to see just how wrong they were on what the big announcements for this year are, Viewsonic figured it would make an announcement of its own: a new monitor designed to work with your Video iPod.

The new product is called the ViewDock, and will initially come in two widescreen sizes - 19" and 22". A dock for your iPod is molded directly into the base, allowing you a host of options. First, you can use the dock just like a standard dock, to synch and charge your iPod. But the real news comes from the connection's other purpose - a direct connection to use the monitor as the iPod's display, letting you just plop your iPod in to watch some videos. Details on resolution, response time, contrast, etc. are still unknown, as is price. Along with the iPod dock is an 8-in-one card reader and four USB ports. Handy stuff!

For many, this iPod addition could be a nice feature - but I see one important issue with it. You're not going to buy a monitor with a convenient video iPod dock if you don't own a video iPod. If you own a video iPod, you are already likely using iTunes or some other video player on your PC. Since you aren't likely going to buy a 22" wide-screen monitor for your "spare" rig, you should just be able to hit play in iTunes as quickly as you could navigate your iPod's menu.

It does have two very useful benefits, despite the above logic. If you have a friend who also uses a video iPod, you can plug it in to watch things at 22" rather than 2". Secondly, and more importantly, you don't have to turn on your whole PC to watch a video or crank some tunes.

UPDATE 13-09-2006: we have had some clarification from Viewsonic today following yesterday's press release. The ViewDock does require your PC to be on - there is no direct video link between the iPod and the monitor. The new displays will also be available sans ViewDock if you aren't interested in docking your iPod.

Would you be interested in a product like this? Let us know your thoughts in our forums.

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