ViewSonic gives the mid-range a treat with an above average display. (July 11th, 2010)
ViewSonic has often had a reputation for skewing towards the budget end of computer displays, but lately it has been hunting for the elusive pro or simply quality-conscious buyers; the Graphic series is an example of this focus with high contrast and display adjustment features that aren't always present. We're reviewing the 24-inch VG2428wm to see if it will appeal enough to the image-savvy crowd.
Product Manufacturer: ViewSonic
Price: $369 (official), $270 (street)
- Good value for the price.
- Above average picture quality.
- Very adjustable.
- Long warranty.
- Speakers have too much hiss at high volume.
- Not as accurate as a more expensive display.
Hardware specs and design
Although the VG2428wm is meaured out at 24 inches, its viewable area is actually 23.6 inches; anyone who remembers the days of CRT displays will remember these slight exaggerations being the norm. The difference is considerably smaller here, though, and if anything helps improve the perceived sharpness of the 1080p (1920x1080) resolution.
The 5ms pixel response time and 300cd/mē brightness aren't anything special for the category, but its 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio is particularly wide and results in particularly deep blacks outside of pure darkness.
For expansion, the monitor gets a two-port USB hub and a set of integrated speakers. Unlike some monitors that integrate the speakers into the front bezel of the display, ViewSonic chose to place the speakers at the top of the back of the monitor; it's unusual, but it makes effective use of the available space. Video connectivity on the back is strictly standard and includes both DVI-D and VGA ports.
ViewSonic's offering thrives on ergonomics; the LCD can be adjusted by height and tilt through large ranges of motion but can be rotated 90 degrees for portrait use, too. The base of the monitor even has a ball bearing system that allows the base to swivel and turn the monitor from side to side independently of the foundation, which we've found is becoming rarer.
Something must also be said about after-sale service: the panel comes with an impressive three year warranty that covers parts and labor regardless of what fails. A few other companies give this level of coverage as well, but anyone who depends on their screens for their livelihoods will like knowing that any possible early glitches won't surprise their wallets.
User experience and picture quality
What first come to attention is less the picture quality and more the ergonimics; that highly adjustable position gives a very precise position. The viewing angles on the display aren't spectacular -- 170 degrees horizontal and 160 vertical -- but this doesn't have as much of a bearing when you can keep the picture on center most of the time.
Picture quality was great all the way around, despite this not being one of the vaunted IPS (in-plane switching) panels. We watched several QuickTime 1080p movie trailers and some Microsoft-formatted high definition content and were consistently impressed with the screen. Color reproduction was rich, and we didn't notice any significant blurring, artifacting, banding or motion issues. It's all too easy to go wrong with a mid-range display, so we're happy to see otherwise.
The user interface on the monitor is nothing special, but it gets the job done. We found all of the typical adjustments in the on-screen display and even managed to acclimate ourselves to the menu controls fairly quickly.
The integrated speakers in the monitor produce decent sound. Obviously, users don't buy monitors with built in speakers for impressive audio quality, but we were pleasantly surprised at the volume these speakers could achieve. These speakers would be more than suitable for an office use computer, but they wouldn't be recommended for entertainment purposes. Their real limit is simply clean output: the speakers created a lot of hiss and static at maximum volume, especially when there was no audio playing from the computer.
It's not often that we find a thoroughly mainstream manufacturer offering a top-tier product that has both impressive features and a solid warranty. Moreover, it comes at a potentially deadly price advantage: the VG2428wm officially costs $369, which is acceptable, but can often be found on the street for $270. There are displays with truer colors; Apple, Dell and HP have premium models, for example. But for someone who cares enough about quality to want more than the basics, ViewSonic's screen is a very strong entry.