Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

Though in many respects the LCD monitor has been quite a liberating development, freeing up space in the bedroom, home office and office while making the PC a far more living room friendly beast, it hasn't all been perfection. That's because unlike CRT monitors that could display more or less any resolution you wanted, LCDs perform optimally at only a single resolution - generally known as the "native resolution".

For the most part this doesn't pose too great a problem, but in the case of smaller widescreen displays this has meant sacrificing vertical resolution when compared to older 4:3 aspect displays. Or, at least it did until ViewSonic released this 19in model, the VX1940w, which features a more capacious 1,680 x 1,050 panel instead of the typical 1,440 x 900 found on most monitors of this size.

This is a far more practical resolution, giving you the freedom of greater horizontal space but without sacrificing vertical viewing area. Moreover, at time of writing this is the only 19in LCD that can display this resolution and though the £165-£170 asking price does pit it directly against budget 20in and 22in displays, if you need something small without sacrificing on desktop real-estate, this is you're only real option. On that basis, this should prove a popular option.

However, it isn't just these general use scenarios where ViewSonic sees this monitor being ideal. It's also targeting gamers, claiming ridiculously low response times of 2ms grey-to-grey and 5ms black-white-black. Aside from this the display has a 300cd/m2 brightness rating and a 1,000:1 Contrast Ratio, DVI and D-SUB connections with HDCP support on the DVI port.

This is all pretty straightforward stuff and though it doesn't standout in any real respect, it doesn't want for anything either. Moreover, ViewSonic has added a dynamic contrast mode, which allegedly boosts the Contrast Ratio to 3000:1, though as with the response time figures this is all subject to a fair amount of scepticism. Not necessarily because they're not true, but because it hardly matters either way since response times have long since ceased to be a real issue, while "dynamic" contrast modes rarely live up to their billing.

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