ViewSonic VX2336s-LED review

11 Jul 2012

ViewSonic goes back to basics on everything but the IPS panel, resulting in a monitor that performs far better than its price suggests

Price when reviewed 
121
5

Not so long ago, spending less than £200 on a monitor would have guaranteed a basic TN panel. This is no longer the case, as IPS monitors seep into the mainstream with the promise of great image quality at competitive prices. ViewSonic’s VX2336s-LED is a prime example: it packs in a 23in Full HD IPS panel for only £121.

Sit the ViewSonic alongside the average budget TFT and you’d be hard-pressed to tell it apart. There’s the same frumpy design, the same lightweight build quality, and its styling extends to a strip of glossy black plastic running around the base and the edge of its bezel; it’s unexciting.

ViewSonic VX2336s-LED - angle

There’s precious little in the way of features, either. It has only D-SUB and DVI ports at the rear, along with the power socket.

While the stand wobbles at the slightest provocation, a notch in the base allows cables to be neatly routed out of sight. The onscreen display is basic, with a brightness and contrast control alongside a few presets for colour temperature, but it’s simple to navigate thanks to the four buttons on the front.

For a budget monitor, the ViewSonic’s IPS panel delivers unusual levels of refinement. Test images that often look undersaturated on TN panels oozed with rich, saturated primary colours. If it weren’t for the frumpy plastic body, you’d think you were looking at a far pricier monitor.

Putting the ViewSonic to the test with our X-Rite colorimeter, we saw fantastic results. The maximum brightness of 287cd/m[sup]2[/sup] may not be the highest we've ever seen but it’s ample, and a contrast ratio of 1,025:1 is exemplary. Its colour accuracy is up with the best, too, with a Delta E of 2.7, and while the low gamma of 2.04 leaves images looking a little paler than is ideal, the colour temperature measured an almost perfect 6,552K. For a monitor costing only £121, it’s a fine performance.

ViewSonic VX2336s-LED - side

Closer inspection reveals flaws, however. The LED backlight is reasonably power-efficient – the ViewSonic drew a modest 18W when calibrated to a brightness of 120cd/m[sup]2[/sup] – but it isn’t as parsimonious as others. The backlight leaks around the panel’s edges, and it’s noticeably patchier than the more expensive award-winners this month.

Then there’s the question of response time. ViewSonic quotes a grey-to-grey (GTG) response time of 6ms, but that’s optimistic. Compared to the almost flawless performance of Dell’s U2312HM (quoted at 8ms), the ViewSonic exhibited more obvious smearing around the edges of fast-moving objects, particularly with swift camera pans in action movies.

At this price, however, they’re not killer blows. ViewSonic has gone back to basics and built a monitor that delivers good image quality at a far lower price than we’d expect. For those craving a taste of the high end, the VX2336s-LED redefines what we expect from a budget monitor.

Details

Price ex VAT £101
Price inc VAT £121
Overall rating 5
Image quality 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Main specifications

Screen size 23.0in
Aspect ratio 16:9
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Screen brightness 250cd/m2
Pixel response time 6ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Dynamic contrast ratio 20,000,000:1
Horizontal viewing angle 178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle 178 degrees
Speaker type none
Speaker power ouput N/A
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 0
USB ports (downstream) 0
3.5mm audio input jacks 0
Headphone output no
Other audio connectors N/A

Power consumption

Peak power consumption 34W
Idle power consumption 1W

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? yes

Ergonomics

Height adjustment 0mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? no

Dimensions

Dimensions 548 x 201 x 426mm (WDH)