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Of all the various sizes and native resolutions available in the widescreen LCD market, it seems as though the 20 to 22in display is becoming as close to a popular standard as one can get. Obviously the larger displays with 1,920 x 1,200 resolutions, or the even larger 2,560 x 1,600 30in screens, offer more desktop real-estate, but what's offered by 1,680 x 1,050 models is a nice balance between viewable area, physical size and price.
As such, it's no great surprise to see that this particular segment of the market is well supplied and highly competitive. We've looked at a number of 1,680 x 1,050 displays predominantly featuring either 20in or 22in panels, though one particularly outstanding 21in model, the Samsung 215TW, remains a firm favourite.
If anything, though, it's the 22in displays that are the most appealing. Though they offer no more viewing area in real terms, the extra one or two inches of diagonal size is a palpable improvement. The last 22in ViewSonic LCD we looked at was the VG2230wm, which at the time – December 2006 – was a creditable effort. However the market has moved on rapidly since that came out, and ViewSonic has responded by updating its 22in offerings with the VX2255.
Our sample is the piano-key white edition, the VX2255wmh, while there's also a piano black edition with the 'wmb' model suffix. If anything we prefer a black finish, but glossy white isn't without its appeal and Apple users will certainly appreciate the potential synergy. For its part this ViewSonic isn’t as ornate as the rather overpriced Apple displays, but the design is still attractive.
For this model, ViewSonic has done away with front facing speakers, and as such the VX2255wmh is noticeably slimmer and sleeker than other ViewSonic displays. This doesn't mean there aren't speakers though, just that they've been moved to under the edge. This is no bad thing, especially considering speakers are hardly a key feature for most users and sound quality is predictably poor.
Moving back to the overall design, it's good to see ViewSonic providing a little more by way of adjustability with this model. The last ViewSonic monitor we looked at, the VX2435wm, lacked significantly in this department, and was a major contributing factor to it not receiving an award. There are no such problems with the VX2255wmh, with 80mm of height adjustment, tilt and 360 degree panning. The panning is particularly nifty, utilising a plate underneath the stand that provides a beautifully smooth and easy to control action.