Under further tests using DisplayMate as well as analysing my test images, there were some issues. First, there seems to be some compression in the lowlight areas of all the finely stepped greyscales. Despite the VX724’s vibrancy this made the shadow areas in my test shots look almost completely black, thus leading to detail loss. This is probably not so important for gamers as many will increase the in-game gamma levels to compensate. Secondly, the skin tones in my images seem to trip up the VX724. Even when fine-tuning the RGB levels I couldn’t remove the greenish/pinkish hues that subtly adorned the arms and faces of those in my portrait shots.
Having said that, I should point out that the VX724 is not really aimed at those looking for an image editing LCD. Indeed, ViewSonic has produced the Pro-Series LCDs for that kind of work. Instead, this monitor has been aimed at extreme gamers, hence the emphasis on the ‘X’ in the marketing material. With these users in mind I am sure the lively picture and fast response time will grab their attention.
Of course the quality of the picture is important, but for many so is the design and feature set. If you’re after a display with a high degree of adjustability then this isn’t ideal. It’s a tilt-only model with a fixed stand that has no height, pivot or swivel options. In spite of these limitations the level at which it sits on my desk is very comfortable.
Around the back, the VX724 is suitably equipped both in terms of connectivity and tidiness. There’s a removable rear panel that hides the cable ports along with decent cable routing. The rear of the stand’s neck has a removable panel behind which the cables can be neatly laid and clamped into place with two broad clips. Under the port flap, you’ll find a DVI-I and a D-SUB port, along with the integrated power supply’s socket.
As for aesthetics, the VX724 shares the same styling as the VX910, only in slightly smaller proportions. Here in the office we all liked how the screen is surrounded by a black bezel, which in turn is surrounded by a thin sliver of silver that curves outwards at the bottom to house the controls. The stand and rectangular base continue the black and silver theme, with the base’s hollow design providing a space to store desk paraphernalia.
Controls-wise, ViewSonic still insists on labelling its buttons 1 and 2 instead of Menu and Select, but you eventually get accustomed to it. The 1 button doubles up as an OSD enter and exit, the 2 button will select your options from within the OSD, while the up and down arrows let you navigate through the OSD. The available settings are pretty typical, although it was a little disappointing to find that I was locked out from the brightness and contrast settings when the VX724 was digitally connected with the supplied DVI cable.
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Now onto its cost. I have to say that for £221 ViewSonic has priced the VX724 quite aggressively. Granted, it’s not perfect – the stand is limited and the colours aren’t quite up to the requirements of my imaging workflow – but for gaming as well as general use its performance:cost ratio is certainly high enough to make it an option.
The ViewSonic VX724 doesn’t handle colours with the finesse I demand, nor is it the most feature-rich, but it’s certainly a monitor that stands out in the value stakes – especially when so many users are currently looking for an LCD with a fast response time.