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CRT - ViewSonic G90f+B

ViewSonic’s range of monitors will be immediately recognisable by many prospective buyers, partly due to its colourful bird trademark, and also because the overall boxy design has largely remained unaltered for quite some time.
That said, ViewSonic has gone for a different approach here, by cladding the G90f+B in a completely black shell that makes for a refreshing alternative to beige.

Housed inside the black casing, you’ll find a PerfectFlat screen that employs shadow mask CRT technology for an overall picture quality that looks remarkably like that of the Samsung.
Akin to the Samsung, the maximum resolution is an uncomfortable and strained 1,600 x 1,200 at 76Hz and the dot pitch is also 0.25mm. In addition, you can notice similar internal reflections in the inner surface of the CRT, which can be distracting on bright days.

However, that’s not to say the picture you look at will be curved too. Far from it in fact as this appears flat thanks to the optically correcting nature of the CRT glass layers.
ViewSonic has also hopped onto the ‘boost the brightness’ bandwagon and included a dedicated UltraBrite button mounted next to the recessed OSD and power button controls. This, as with other monitors on test increases the brightness of the whole picture for use with movies, images and gaming. There’s only one setting, however, but nevertheless it does mimic the higher beam intensities you’d find on a TV set.

At the back of the G90f+B, there’s just a captive D-SUB cable, which is a shame considering that ViewSonic are targeting the G90f+B at graphically orientated users who are more likely to make use of BNC connectors.

The no frills design is also passed on to the OSD, which is easy to understand and use. It also features the same hooking adjustments seen in the Samsung, and you can adjust the RGB colours individually. That said, there’s no sRGB mode.

Testing at the recommended resolution of 1,280 x 1,024 at 85Hz, text was well focused at the centre of the screen, but dropped toward the sides where we observed a horizontal colour misalignment during the colour registration tests. Of course the first thing we did was try to correct this, but the absence of convergence controls made this impossible. The colour scales test proved to be an issue too, with perceptible intensity changes in most of the scales’ divisions. On the other hand colour purity was better than Samsung display, but vibrancy was a little muted.

Geometrically, the G90f+B failed the horizontal curvature test due to a conspicuous bow located at the top edge of the screen. As there are no controls to correct this, you’re pretty much stuck with the problem. Linearity was fine however and there were no signs of pincushion or barrel distortion. Some streaking is evident though, primarily when the raster beam switches from a low intensity to a high one in DisplayMate’s black-level shift test. On the upside, there was no indication of this during a white level shift. Power regulation was a little down on the Samsung, but it wasn’t too unruly.

Verdict
The G90f+B is priced at a similar point to that of the Samsung, and all in all it’s not a bad monitor. Its moody black colour will appeal to some, but if we had to choose between the two, we’d rather go for the Samsung’s better geometry, three brightness levels, and the option to use a fancy mouse-controlled OSD.

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