ViewSonic VG910s review
A superb overall performer. It may not have all the bells and whistles of other TFT monitors, but it's a great buy nonetheless.
Review Date: 15 Mar 2004
Reviewed By: Ross Burridge
Price when reviewed: (£570 inc VAT); Delivery £5 (£6 inc VAT)
ViewSonic's VG910s enters what's becoming an increasingly crowded market. And, while just a few months ago we were lamenting the poor quality of many 19in panels, there's now some stiff competition.
The panel started off well, with a pleasing brightness greeting us on the Desktop. Icons and text appeared crisp, and exhibited a strong depth of colour. The excellent contrast results in the white page of a word-processing document appearing significantly purer than most, without dark colours losing their depth.
During DVD playback, dark scenes remained detailed, while brighter scenes weren't too washed out. There were a few noticeable compression artefacts, but these didn't prove overly distracting. Given the quoted 25ms response time, lag was surprisingly lacking. A session of high-speed gaming proved a little too much for it, though, with the occasional descent into blurry mayhem. Better news comes with the VG910s' excellent viewing angles and low screen reflectivity.
Our technical tests, particularly DisplayMate, also failed to expose any major flaws. There was slight pixel jitter on moire patterns when using the analog input, but this wasn't particularly evident during normal use. The auto-setup routine was otherwise effective. Colour range is excellent at both extremes, with well-defined separation between similar tones.
There was no discernable banding on colour ramps, and both colour and greyscale graduations showed an impressively smooth and balanced response. Looking at the overall balance between RGB components again revealed little bias. The VG910s includes the option to switch colour temperature between the usual 9,300K and 6,500K, plus 5,400K, 5,000K and sRGB. There's also a user-defined option, adjustable across the RGB axis.
The front-panel buttons are a little fiddly and unresponsive, but once you get used to the labelling of '1' and '2' rather than 'menu' and 'select', the OSD is relatively simple to operate. Most options are accessible within a couple of button presses, with dedicated mute and volume buttons added for convenience.
In terms of space, the egg-shaped base has a comparatively small footprint, while remaining sturdy. The bezel isn't quite as 'ultra-slim' as ViewSonic describes, but at 21mm it's reasonably discreet. The thickening at the bottom accommodates the 3W stereo speakers, which are tinny but fine for Windows bleeps. Cable management is by way of a removable panel covering the ports, making for a tidy end result front and back. That's helped by the integrated power supply.
The VG910s lacks some of the features that higher-end panels offer, such as height adjustability or rotation into portrait mode, but this in turn makes the panel significantly cheaper. If you need all the bells and whistles, a panel such as Eizo's L795 (see issue 114, p70) is still the best choice if you can stretch to £640 - but the ViewSonic provides superb performance for a reasonable price.
That said, this isn't the cheapest 19in panel we've seen - that honour goes to CTX's S962A at £399, which also puts in a good performance at the cost of a digital input. Either way, the VG910s should definitely be on your shortlist.
Author: Ross Burridge
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