LCDs have always been a slippery technology, plagued by a range of problems. Truly exceptional displays manage to avoid some or most of these problems, but in the end, LCD technology will only take a screen so far. The Viewsonic N2010, unfortunately, is not one of these displays. A fairly standard television, the N2010 suffers from a fairly standard range of problems. To its credit, it still manages to deliver impressive image quality, when not bound by the restrictions and limitations of the technology driving it.
- Bright screen, vivid colours
- Poor contrast ratio, narrow viewing angles, sluggish response rate
A less than adequate television for most purposes, the pitfalls of LCD technology are particularly noticeable on the N2010.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Bright, colourful images and movies display excellently on the Viewsonic. The entire length of the twenty inch display is evenly lit, with strong, solid colours reaching to each of the four corners. Even in high light settings, the image was well defined and glare was barely noticeable. We could detect no aberrations at all, and found that colours were rendered vividly and clearly across a wide spectrum.
The only notable exception was blacks. Despite claiming what should have been a reasonable 500:1 contrast ratio, we couldn't help but find fault with the screen's ability to produce a distinct range of blacks. Dark scenes were poorly represented, a problem particularly apparent in the darkly atmospheric movie, The Crow. At several times during playback we found ourselves staring at nothing but a black screen, with one or two indistinguishable areas of dark blue, making it a less than enjoyable viewing experience.
Staying true to the natural pitfalls of its technology, the Viewsonic is marred by a noticeable colour shift at angles. While the horizontal viewing angle is more than adequate, we noticed that even a slight vertical shift resulted in a flawed image. Users are well advised to sit at eye level when viewing LCD TVs and the N2010 is no exception. An unavoidable problem, it is especially noticeable on this particular set.
Finally, a sluggish response rate makes fast moving and action-packed scenes appear blurred, with noticeable ghosting. Far from the worst example of this we've seen, the Viewsonic N2010 is nevertheless a model that is not well suited to playing action movies.
Physically, the Viewsonic looks nice enough. A crescent-shaped stand supports a silver bezel, which is flanked by two speakers, each delivering reasonable, though less than perfect sound quality. A row of basic buttons is positioned on the top of the monitor, while basic inputs on the back allow for a somewhat limited range of connections. Component is the only digital connection available, and with only two audio inputs, the N2010 is not readily suited to a position in a large scale home entertainment setup. We found the remote to be generally acceptable for operating the TV, although it was slightly unresponsive at times, and the large, rubbery buttons left a lot to be desired.
Still, despite its list of faults, the Viewsonic proves itself capable of displaying respectable image quality, in the right situations. While its faults are, in our opinion, unacceptable for general viewing, the N2010 offers an inexpensive option for users interested a big, bright screen.
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