This generally positive impression was mostly reinforced when running the monitor test software DisplayMate, though it did also highlight some issues regarding grey shade production and the lack of detail in the darker end of the scale. In the Dark-Grey Scale, the large majority of the grey shades were very poorly produced, with many of them betraying a yellow/brownish tinge. In addition, the darker end of the scale is practically indistinguishable.
Many of the same problems could be seen in the other tests, with the darker shades of colours always proving difficult to make out. However, such problems didn't affect lighter shades, with lighter greys and colours well produced. This rather reinforces the idea that this monitor is best suited to general use tasks, but isn't ideal for tasks that require colour accuracy or dark scene detail.
This was particularly evident when watching video. Though bright scenes look very good, with smooth motion, nicely defined colours and crisp clarity, the moment the dark side arrives everything goes awry. There's a complete lack of detail, with dark scenes looking rather like giant holes in the screen.
It's a problem that would obviously be of concern for gaming too. Though it may not prove a problem for a great majority of games, there are at least a few that would suffer from this lack of dark level detail. Moreover, with lighting and use of shadows being an oft talked about feature in gaming, such a weakness is certainly a hindrance if this is your desired pursuit.
Overall, though, despite these failings the Viewsonic VX1940w has a lot going for it. As the only 19in LCD monitor on sale with a 1,680 x 1,050 native resolution it has the niche all to itself and though one could arguably go for a 20in or 22in instead, there's a definitely appeal for something this small if space is at a premium. Perfect it might not be, but if this fits your requirements it is a very capable performer that'll more than fulfil most people's expectations. After all, if you want top quality performance you have to pay more: it's that simple.
As the only 19in 1,680 x 1,050 display right now, the Viewsonic VX1940w is in a privileged position. And, though it does have some issues, it's still a good option. It's bright and produces easy to read text, while with exception of some problems with dark scenes, will satisfy most peoples' needs.