As mentioned, the controls on the VX2336s-LED’s front bezel are a bit of an eyesore, but they are particularly easy to find and use, especially since they consist of four well-spaced, protruding buttons in groups of two to either side of the blue-LED-backlit power button. They might not feel like quality but offer a crisp click and, unlike some, they’re usable even in the dark. From a practical standpoint, ViewSonic has done a great job, though shortcuts could have been better.
The OSD is basic and plain. Though we don’t mind its lack of visual appeal, it also lacks advanced options like overdrive calibration, though automatic aspect ratio adjustment and dynamic contrast controls are present. Another niggle is that colour temperatures are listed as “Bluish, Cool, Native and Warm” rather than in degrees Kelvin, which might be perceived as being friendly for novice users but is actually not particularly helpful.
So far the VX2336s-LED is not exactly good-looking, its adjustability and connectivity are as basic as it gets, and its OSD is unimpressive at best. But really, a monitor should be primarily about image quality, and ViewSonic’s choice of a Full HD 23in IPS panel practically guarantees a better experience than most similarly-priced TN-based rivals. Furthermore, we discovered to our pleasant surprise that the VX2336s is not just better than TN rivals, it’s one of the best 23in IPS screens we’ve seen – despite also being the most affordable.
First off, ViewSonic has done a superb job on out of the box settings. As usual brightness is set way too high for comfort at 100 percent, but in every other regard we would be more than happy using the VX2336s as it arrived. Viewing angles are simply superb, with no sign of the contrast or colour shift that’s minimally present on even some pretty pricey IPS monitors.
Contrast is also excellent, with every little dark detail clearly distinguishable without sacrificing differentiation or purity in whites. Despite the VX2336s-LED’s matt finish, colours are plenty vivid and blacks remain relatively deep. Backlighting is also superbly even, perhaps thanks to the roomy chassis dispensing with the bleed from bezel pressure many thinner displays suffer from.
Superb sharpness and no sign of artefacts like banding complete a very rosy picture indeed. For gamers, meanwhile, only the most fanatical FPS players will find much to complain about, despite a quoted 14ms response time (which is probably a lot more honest than those of most manufacturers). In fact, our only and rather minor image quality issue with this stunning ViewSonic monitor is the purple tinge most IPS screens have to some degree, and it’s not nearly as noticeable here as it was on the Philips Blade 2.
This really is a superb performance for any display, and especially one that will only set you back £111. And the VX2336s will continue going easy on your wallet even after you’ve purchased it, with a standby power rating of 0.5W and getting as low as 21W during use.
Its closest IPS price rival, the AOC i2353Fh, is £145. Of course, if you can afford the extra £34, the AOC offers better connectivity and design that’s in a whole different league. However, this ViewSonic gives you slightly better image quality and, at this level, £34 can mean quite a lot.
The cheapest 23in Full HD IPS monitor we’ve ever reviewed is also one of the best. Sure, the ViewSonic VX2336s-LED’s design is utilitarian while its connectivity and menus are basic, but it offers image quality so far above what you would expect for the price that these drawbacks are easy to forgive. After all, when you get right down to it a display should primarily be about its screen, and here the VX2336s truly excels.