Viewsonic VP231wb

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Viewsonic VP231wb

Pros

  • Great design, excellent image quality, pivoting base

Cons

  • No composite or component or S-Video inputs

Bottom Line

The ViewSonic VP231wb displays gorgeous still images and reasonably good moving images. It also has a highly adjustable pivot-screen.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 11 stores)

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Switched off, the ViewSonic VP231wb looks businesslike and understated, thanks to its thin bezel and monochromatic, two-footed design. But once you fire up the 23" wide screen, you'll discover that vivid colour reproduction and sharp text are the VP231wb's business. It nearly matches the Samsung SyncMaster 243t's stellar performance on text and displays quality graphics. The VP231wb has a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. The overall scores are only part of the story. The VP231wb outperformed nearly every other recently tested large wide-screen monitors on our real-world text screen of a Microsoft Word document, and its clean lines on an Excel spreadsheet rivalled that of the reigning Samsung SyncMaster 243t. On our photo test screens of a group portrait and a fruit tart, the showed vivid colours and natural-looking flesh tones with equal aplomb.

One clear business advantage is that the screen can pivot on its axis. Portrait viewing yields a better picture of full document pages, Web sites, and some specialised business applications. Pivoting the screen also makes it easier to reach the four USB 2.0 ports in the back. The VP231wb comes with Perfect Pivot, ViewSonic's version of Portrait Displays' Pivot Pro software; if you're bargain-shopping for a large wide-screen monitor and plan to use pivot, take this add-on into account.

The VP231wb has only analog and digital PC inputs--no composite, component, or S-Video inputs--so we tested it with its digital input. When we watched a scene from our test movie DVD in full-screen mode, images looked sharp and colours rich, but subtle shadows and highlights in a black velvet cloak didn't come through. Video quality improved at the smaller sizes of picture-in-picture displays; but even at these small sizes, a little motion artefacting was evident. ViewSonic rates the VP231wb's response time at 12 milliseconds, which is its intergrey (also called grey-to-grey) response time; its rise-and-fall (or black-to-white) response time is 16 milliseconds. In any case, the monitor displayed smoother video than did the Samsung 243t (a close LCD competitor for overall image quality), though it couldn't match the motion display quality of a good CRT.

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