With its widescreen ratio and its 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, it’s a great screen for gaming on, as long as you’ve got the 3D horsepower to keep the frame rate up in the latest games. The images were smooth and lag free, not that I’ve seen a LCD recently that had a problem with lag.
Playing video revealed one of the displays deficiencies – its vertical viewing angles. When standing up to watch video, you lose a lot of contrast due to the colour shift but it does do a better job at the sides.
The brightness is rated at a decent 280cd/m2, and it does seem quite bright. However, there were noticeable areas of uneven brightness, with dark patches in the corners and towards the right hand side. These were revealed on a bright blue Windows desktop and in the red of our DisplayMate tests.
Overall though, it put in a good DisplayMate performance. There was hint of compression at the top end of the colour scales and it could only just about display the darkest steps at the low end, but it did make it. This is a display that will look better in the dark, giving its dynamic range the best chance to shine.
In general Windows use, the VG2230wm impressed with its sharpness, with even small text appearing crisp, defined and easy to read.
With the large size of the speaker grille beneath the screen I was hopeful that the sound quality would be an improvement over the usual integrated fare. However, I was to be disappointed – even for two watts the sound is quite remarkably thin and weak, with no mid-range or bass.
The Viewsonic is a good monitor with the size, resolution and image quality all making the grade. It’s not an issue that at £301.23 it’s more expensive that the Mirai or the IIyama, as on balance it pips both of them for looks and picture quality. It’s more that the Samsung SyncMaster 215TW, one of the best screens we’ve ever reviewed, is now only around £50 more. Of course with the Samsung you’ll have to give up an inch of viewing area, but you’re gaining superior image quality, pivot mode, an HDCP DVI input and component video input too. For me, that’s worth saving up for and I’d be willing to sacrifice having a slightly larger size.
However, £50 is still £50, so on that basis the Viewsonic is worthy of attention, especially if its price comes down further.
The problems with the Viewsonic are that the contrast could be better, the speakers are a disappointment. However, the brightness, sharpness and vivid images are all a plus as well as its height adjustment, screen size and resolution. The Viewsonic VG2230wm is a good screen and the pick of the 22in bunch, but you’ll have to decide if you should pay more for the slightly smaller but even better Samsung 215TW.
The best 22in screen I’ve seen so far, with generally impressive image quality, and height adjustment, tilt, and rotation. However, it’s more expensive than the competition too but the real problem is that the superb Samsung 215TW is now breathing down its neck in the price department.