Remember that transition from 4:3 to widescreen LCD monitors? A lot of folks, myself included, wondered why the industry didn't just move to TVs' standard 16:9 aspect ratio, rather than creating yet another one in the form of 16:10. Oh sure, I'm well aware of the arguments for this decision and even agree with many, but the simple fact is that it did create a lot of confusion for users. Now we do seem to be moving to 16:9 PC monitors after all, which combines with the recent trend for higher resolutions in smaller screen sizes to give us the slim and attractive ViewSonic VX2260wm, a Full HD (1080p) 22in monitor.
Design-wise, it's a very similar beast to ViewSonic's 19in VX1962wm. Thankfully, the company has decided to get rid of the one that didn't work in that model: the grey line across the base. This means that most of the VX2260wm is now unbroken piano black; the only exceptions being the stand's matte 'leg' and silver trim on three sides of the bezel.
One area where things have taken a step back is in assembly, or rather, disassembly. Instead of the VX1962wm's screw-in base, its 22in cousin uses a click-in system that's a bit of a nightmare to get loose again. This might become if, god forbid, you ever have to return the monitor for a replacement, but besides this few consumers will ever need to disassemble their monitor.
As usual, ViewSonic provides VGA and DVI cables, though there is also a HDMI connection on hand for which no cable is provided. HDMI makes a lot of sense on a monitor like this, seeing that its 1080p panel offers the ideal resolution for your PS3 or Xbox 360.
There's also a 3.5mm audio jack to pipe sound in when you're using DVI or VGA, as HDMI carries both audio and video signals. These feed the VX2260wm's twin 1.5W SRS speakers, which as usual aren't up to much. They deliver all the impact of a soggy paper shotgun and though they never strain themselves enough to cause distortion, at barely audible volume levels that's hardly much of an achievement.
Yet fear not; all's not lost on the audio front. Unlike so many other monitors featuring sound inputs and/or HDMI, the VX2260wm actually has a 3.5mm audio out jack, allowing you to stream stuff through to a decent pair of headphones or standalone speakers. Well done ViewSonic; it's amazing how many manufacturers fail to provide this simple, inexpensive feature.
Getting back to the display's physical design, it's a real shame that the slender, curved stand doesn't offer anything but (an admittedly very generous amount of) tilt, since the screen's bezel is one of the slimmer ones around. The exception to this is the bottom part, where it bulges into a stylish curve sporting the ViewSonic name and an LED that doubles as power button. When the monitor is receiving a video signal, the LED glows blue. It's small but bright and cannot be dimmed, so might be distracting to some.
Along the lower edge of this curve you'll find the soft touch menu and shortcut buttons, again identical to those on the ViewSonic's 19in VX1962wm. Button '1' calls up the menu and acts as a 'back' button and button '2' acts as an Enter button or input selector. After this we have two buttons marked with arrows that act as up/down and also provide convenient access to volume and contrast/brightness.